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Finished Or Loose Chain???

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  • Finished Or Loose Chain???

    I'm just wondering what everyone buys for their jewellery?
    I need lots of sterling silver chain but don't know whether to buy it loose or buy 16/18/20" finished chains?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages?
    The thing is if I buy finished chains it's easier but someone might request a different length. Which one is the cheaper option?

    Do you offer a choice of any length in the shop? To make finished chains, do you just cut to length and add a clasp?

    Which is most popular..16, 18 or 20" chains??? How do you know what to offer in your shop as the default length?

    If anyone knows the best place to buy wholsesale sterling chain, that would be very helpful too!

    Thanks in advance for any help :-)

    Find what you want to do and then do it with all your heart.

  • #2
    I'm not the most experienced in this but I do take a greater deal of satisfaction from making necklaces, etc up myself from longer lengths of chain and adding clasps and extension chains. By doing this I usually end up with better quality clasps than the ones on ready-made necklaces.

    I can't really help with your other questions as I'm still just experimenting with different styles/suppliers/quality of metals, etc

    Good luck and I'm sure someone else will be along soon to answer all your questions
    Lorna x - I've finally ventured into the world of blogging!


    • #3
      Hi - I tend to make my own chains (from loose) partly because it let me make the necklace the length I want and because I can finish the chain off to go with the neclace, I make my own sterling silver clasps and attach them using wrapped loops and stones or Swarovskis to go with the design
      My Website -
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      I'm new to blogging so please be gentle -


      • #4
        I think if you're wanting chains to simply hang pendants on, then if you add up the cost of the loose chain, the findings and the time element in making, you'll find that buying ready make chains a better option.

        Loose chain gives you flexibility, and can be good for short lengths for dangly ear-rings, bracelets or designs where you're going to add beads and link together with chain for example.

        Best selling finished chain lengths are 16" and 18"

        Both finished and loose chain are on our site under 'Sterling Silver Findings' if you fancy a look

        On-line bead supplier and bead lover


        • #5
          I also make up my own chains. You can make any length that you like, including chains for bracelets etc. I am sure it would be more economical for you to make your own. I think that the most popular length would be 18 inches, but you can also put extension chains on the back of pieces too
          Bedecked Beads-Handcrafted Jewellery from Scotland


          • #6

            We sell made up chains in 40cm/45cm/50cm/55cm and loose chain, the most popular lengths of made up chains are 40cm and 45cm.

            Best wishes


            Kernowcraft Rocks & Gems Ltd
            Your Destination For Gemstones & Jewellery Making - Since 1967

            For jewellery making advice, call our friendly team on 01872 573888



            • #7
              silver chain

              Hi, I have a few ready made chains, 16,18,20.... in stock which sit on my market stall because I tend to sell pendants without a chain to keep costs down...most people have a chain or two at home, but if they are buying as a gift they cannot use the lucky eventual recipient will hav eone so they buy a chain to make sure......
              ....but when making pieces which need a chain then I buy by the metre, it is more flexible and less expensive usually...ok you have to add clasps but you have a wider choice there too....many of my ladies complain the fasteners on bought chains are too small....usually a bolt ring or tiny lobster..... by buying loose chain you have the option of making a necklace custom fit, any odd bits left over can be used for extension chains or to make dangly earrings or charm danglies at the centre of a chain/bead necklace. otherwise buy made up chain and break 1 or 2 down but that seems a waste.
              I buy mine from Cairo and it is much cheaper than UK but not hallmarked. Palmers Metals are great for loose chain, as is Intenational Craft both in UK.
              Jan Miller.


              • #8
                Thanks guys!
                So the general concensus is that 16" and especially 18" are the most popular lengths, and buying loose chain and making them myself is best.

                Some people have already said where they buy their chain (I'll add the shops to my list, thanks!), but what about everyone else? What is a reasonable amount to pay for loose sterling chain? Where do you buy the findings - do I just need clasps, jump rings and extenders? Do you recommend bolt or lobster clasps? What size?

                What size (width) of chain is best for adding pendants to? Do you use the same width for everything?

                In another thread, I read trace chain and then curb chain are generally the most used/popular - do you concur?

                So many questions! Thanks for any help :-)

                Find what you want to do and then do it with all your heart.