Wire working is a tedious yet satisfying part of jewelry making, no matter what your end goal is whether it be making jewelry as a hobbyist or as a real jeweler, you will end up working with wire. In my years of making jewelry I have found one solid brand of wire and that is all I will use. That brand is Beadalon by a long shot.
I have used several different brands and through trial and error, Beadalon in all gauges has preceded in some pretty intense testing. When I would try out a new wire my “test” is to twist and twist until the wire breaks, most other brands break within the first 3-4 twists, while Beadalon can be twisted around 10 times depending on the gauge.
A good wire for jewelry making is tarnish resistant, permanently colored copper wire and is available in silver, gold, rose gold and black. All wire except stainless steel wire which is really not a viable option because while it is very durable it does not bend easily, is copper based. This is for many reasons, copper is malleable, bends and shapes easily and is easy to work with.
There are several different sizes or gauges of wire available for jewelry making. Typically a good all purpose size is 20-22 gauge. At this size you are able to bend pretty easily with your hands, though I do suggest using a wire bender regardless of gauge (save your fingers the pain). I like to use 20 gauge for rings and 22 for all other things like wire wrapping stones and whatnot.
Here is a quick reference chart for the various wire gauges you will find.
|Wire Gauge Conversion Chart|
|20 (common size)||0.032||0.813|
|21 (common size)||0.029||0.737|
|22 (common size)||0.025||0.635|
|24 (common size)||0.02||0.508|
|32 (smallest and very fragile)||0.008||0.203|
So what do I suggest? My favorite, as stated above, is Beadalon which you can find locally or online (Amazon is my retailer of choice) here. They have it available in all three colors and at an affordable price.
A great tool to add to your wire wrapping cart is this book on techniques and different styles of wire wrapping. It has been really helpful to me in my journey of jewelry making, so I highly recommend it, especially if you are new to it all.
To make your wire wrapping work a bit easier you can also pick up a jig, these tools are great for beginners as well, they help create some pretty neat stuff without too much hassle. This one by Artistic Wire is a great option, I do not own one but have used it and based on experience it is very user friendly. It allows the designer to use their imagination while they guide the wire through the pegs.
You can check out what other tools you need to get moving on your jewelry making journey by clicking here.
Wire wrapping is really fun, you can design so much and let your imagination run wild to create some really neat and unique pieces. If you haven’t gotten into it yet, you definitely should!