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  • Wires!

    Very recently bit the bullet and ordered stuff to start making jewellery, its something I've wanted to do for some time but was worried i'd end up spending more money than what I make! lol Alot of what I have bought has been off ebay (pliers, wire, beads and more beads :P ) but im unsure of what type of wire is best! Finally worked out that tigertail is good for both necklace and bracelets, and ive bought some silver plated wire so I can try wire wrapping, but what im wondering is will this just discolour really quickly? Ive bought sterling silver earring hooks so I dont have to worry so much about the earrings looking rubbish after a few wears, but is there anything other than sterling wire that will keep its silver colour for necklaces? How well does silver plating last? Dont want to sell jewellery that only looks nice for a couple of wears! Also confused on thicknesses of wire etc but I should probably get used to what works best for which projects as I start getting into it! :O) any help would be gratefully recieved!! x

  • #2
    I use a non-tarnish wire, it's a copper wire which is then silverplated and then coated in a light coat of plastic. It does not tarnish unless you damage the coating that is protecting it, so you can't hammer and distress it etc. I believe the non-tarnish wire is also called artistic wire, with reference to what gauge I use a variety dependant on project, I would say a variety but mainly 0.3mm 0.4mm 0.6mm and 0.8mm a really good place to purchase wire is
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    • #3
      thank you I saw someone saying they had used non tarnish wire and wondered what it was :OP


      • #4
        I think German bead wire by Beadsmith is excellent good quality for wire wrapping - tiaras, earwire, cabochon wrapping, rings, etc.. It can tarnish but from the different wires we have tried, it is one of the best. Others wires we have stocked were easy to snap (compared to similar gauges of BeadSmith's German bead wire) and tarnished even in route to us!

        Tigertail is for bead stringing (necklaces & bracelets) and is merely an industry name for cabled wire in different gauges and strands (and colours & metals) that has a nylon coating. We stock Acculon and use it in our store for restringing. I know that over time that perspiration and/or water can discolour the wire inside but this would only be noticeable if the wire were showing. Usually your beads hide the wire. If you are worried about tarnishing of wire then using sterling silver tigertail is probably best but will be expensive. Beadalon and SoftFlex Extreme are to brands that would be in sterling.

        Have you taken any classes? Your local bead shop can help consult on the different wire and their uses. Best of luck to you!
        Mike, The Bead Company
        7 Keith Street
        Glasgow G11 6QQ
        Find us on


        • #5
          Soft Flex Extreme is lovely for illusion necklaces, and 'ordinary' Soft Flex is great to work with too. Must admit I'm not a fan of Beadsmith products generally and if it's a choice between that and another brand I'd go for another brand every time.

          I use Artistic Wire for rosary style necklaces. It's a bit fiddly to work with because it's not as flexible as sterling, but the non-tarnish element is worth the extra fiddle, and it's cheaper than sterling too.
          Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

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          • #6
            i was making a rosary style necklace last night, and even before i'd finished the pliers had made a mess of the loops :/ lol shame because it came out quite nice otherwise!! haha I've not taken any classes tbh, but even when I was a teenager I would take apart my own necklaces or earrings (generally when id lost the other!) and make something new lol. Dont think I'd have time for them atm either, as my son is only 11 weeks old This is a hobby to stop me buying baby clothes on ebay! lmao anyway thanks for your advice, i think i'm going to look into the non tarnish wire as itll do the job and is a hell of alot cheaper than sterling!! :O)