What in the Wire?! Beading wire explained

This post brought to you by Beadalon.com.  Thanks Beadalon for sponsoring this post and helping me to share my love of DIY jewelry making.what wire to choose for jewelry makingIt’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Well….the jewelry making universe anyway.

Beading wire.

This is nylon coated beading wire we are talking about.  It’s flexible and used for stringing beads of all shapes and sizes.  Beading wire is not used for wire wrapping stones.  That’s a common confusion I’ve found.

There are so many different ones available and it can get really confusing.  That’s why I created this post to help you understand the different types of beading wires used in jewelry making.what wire to use for jewelry making
7 strand, 19 strand, this diameter, that diameter, but what if I’m stringing chunky gemstones or making an illusion necklace?  So many jewelry design ideas, but where to start?

The first thing I ask myself is what am I stringing?  Seed beads or heavy gemstones?  I pulled this image from the Beadalon website so you can see what wires are good for what beads.how to pick Beadalon beading wire for DIY jewelry makingYou can click on this image to make it bigger.  From left to right:

Virtual size is the thickness of the wire.

Wire diameter is just that–I usually speak in millimeters here on the blog (i.e. .018)

Strand count is how many tiny wires are twisted together to make the single wire.  More strands equal more flexibility.

More wire diameters–those are simply recommendations for the type of bead you are stringing.  For example, Beadalon recommends .010 diameter wire for seed beads.

Before I forget–did you know Beadalon wire is made right here in the USA?!  I love that so much.

File May 11, 2 56 28 PMNinety percent of my jewelry uses 49 strand beading wire because it’s my fave if you can’t tell.  It’s also the most expensive.  And while I get mine for pretty much free from Beadalon–I’d still use this or 19 strand in my jewelry projects because I want it to last.  You can see I have a few different diameters here.

If you’re just getting into this DIY jewelry making world I suggest starting with 49 or 19 strand .018 mm diameter.  It’s a great all-purpose choice for your first jewelry making projects.what wire to use for jewelry makingBeadalon wire also comes in a huge array of colors from neutrals like these to ones found in the rainbow.  You can shop their site to see all of them.What wire to use for jewelry making using Beadalon wireLastly, one really important thing to pay attention to on the package is what size crimp bead or tube to use with that particular beading wire.  Crimps secure the clasp and beads to the wire in DIY jewelry.  See the #1 or #2? These numbers vary according to the wire diameter.  There are #3 and #4 crimps as well.  If you would use those with this wire, your piece would most likely fall apart because they are too big for this wire.how to pick beading wire for jewelry makingI hope this post has solved some of the mystery.  The more you make, the more you learn…sometimes the hard way, I’ve found! Haha!


Special thanks again to Beadalon for keeping me locked and loaded on beading wire and sponsoring this post.