Fitting Wires for Your Beads

By Michelle Ecker on October 26th, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online jewelry design course and because we do, we like to provide free tips for aspiring designers. Enjoy!

Fitting Wires for Your Beads

When shopping for your jewelry design supplies, you need to remember that wires come in different sizes. Depending on the type of beads you typically work with, you’ll therefore need to adjust the corresponding wire size you stock up on in order to maintain an appropriate fit.

If you need some more specific guidelines, here’s what we recommend:

  • For beads 3mm or smaller (or tiny pearls), work with fine beading wire- something like .014 inch/ 21 strands (with a test strength of 10 pounds) and 1 X 1 mm crimp beads.
  • For 4-10 mm beads, work with medium beading wire- something like .019 inch/ 49 strands (with a test strength of 26 pounds) and 2 x 2 mm crimp beads.
  • For beads larger than 10 mm, stick to heaving beading wire- something like .024 inch /49 strands (with a test strength of 40 pounds) and 3 x 3 mm crimp beads.

Generally, the wire you select should be small enough so that you can comfortable string your beads along without having to be forceful, but large enough that said beads aren’t loosely swimming around on the strand.

Want to learn more? The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online jewelry design course that can teach you how to create and sell your own unique line of jewelry. Request your free course catalog today!


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