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Wires, Cords And Threads For Jewelry Making Basics
A Variety Of Materials Used For Stringing Beads
The many materials used to make jewelry are as varied as can be. The variety of wire alone is amazing. Then there are cords made from natural fiber, leather, and even synthetic materials. It is the same thing with the many threads and strings that can be used for making all kinds of adornments.I thought a hub covering some of the different stringing materials might be useful for a basic idea and better understanding of what can be used and what can be done with all of the different kinds of wires, cords and threads that jewelry making enthusiasts are using today.
Wire Is Made Of Various Metals In Many Sizes
Jewelry makers are using all kinds and sizes of wire to produce some very stunning hand crafted pieces. Wire can be purchased in very thin or very thick pieces. This difference in size is called the gauge of wire. When you go to purchase your wire, you will be looking for a number with the gauge abbreviation next to it. This will tell you exactly what the diameter of the wire you are purchasing is. It will be written like this, 24ga, as an example. The larger the number the smaller the wire will be in diameter. The smaller the number the larger the diameter or thickness.
Wire is more or less, a round metal string. All wire was made round at one time but today you can also find wire that is half round and also square. Theses are sometimes used in jewelry making to create a variety in the finished product. The kind of wire you decide to use is your choice. You might decide to use a certain wire for it's color or for the hardness of the particular piece you would like to make. Different kinds of metal have different hardness's so, wire is basically the same hardness as the metal it is made of. Softer metals are gold, silver, copper and aluminum and these are the easiest to bend. Harder wires such as stainless steel and brass which is a metal compound, are more durable by nature. As you work with different kinds of wire you will get a feel for the character of the various kinds of metals.
It is my thought that anyone working with wire should try various sizes and metals just for experimentation purposes. The best way to figure out what you like working with is to practice. The more you work with a certain wire the more you will become familiar with it's characteristics. I like to work with copper because I like the color. It is not the most popular wire for jewelry but you can make some stunning adornments with this color and it is different from the norm. keep in mind that softer wires will bend easier and may not be suited for all projects same with harder wires not being used for wrapping and coils. Practices and you will see what works best for your ideas.
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Cord Materials Used For Jewelry
Cord is sometimes used in place of string, thread or wire to make bracelets, necklaces and ankle bands. These are made with different materials such as cotton, nylon, leather and now I am seeing some stretchy rubber types of materials being used as well as plastics. The rubber and plastic stuff is popular with kids today. These kinds of materials are often found in kits for the beginner enthusiast.
Cord is also measured for diameter and the measurements will be found as 2mm. This tells you how thick or thin the cord is. The larger the number the smaller the cord or the less thick it will be. The smaller the #mm the thicker the cord will be. It is important to recognize this for using the right size of beads and findings with your cords. These items are measured the same way.
Leather and nylon as well as poly cord are used when fashion and style come in to play on things like chokers. You can make a very attractive item, using a good color to coordinate with a specific outfit for relatively little cost. A length of cord with finished ends and a simple charm or a few beads and you have a completed piece. This kind of jewelry is a great way to go when you are looking for a quick project. What I mean by that is if you would like to be able to start and finish it in a short length of time.Group activities such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and classroom situations are perfect situations to employ the use of cords in your jewelry making.
I really like to use leather. Many years ago I would buy the leather shoe laces typically found on work boots for my jewelry crafting. Today I am finding some very nice looking, round leather cords to work with. They have a finished look and are found in different colors so I am able to mix them with other elements and plans for some refined finished projects. The sky is the limit with cords of all kinds. Technology keeps progressing and new things keep being manufactured to enhance to materials available in the jewelry making industry.
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Thread And String And Berkley Fireline In Jewelry Making
This has to be one of the oldest forms of stringing beads and bobbles imaginable. Cultures around the world have been fashioning beautiful adornments by stringing miscellaneous items on some kind of thread. Over the years some of these fashions have become very popular. It brings to mind the apple seed necklaces. I first remember seeing them during the 1970s and think they were popularized during the hippie movement. That is a common example but the link above has some colorful options to stringing seeds. The strings used range from synthetic fibers to all kinds of natural ones.
One of the most popular forms of string manufactured today are the ones made from Hemp. There is a history behind the manufacturing of hemp products that is deeply embedded in the southern region of The United States. The making of refined threads has brought this sturdy old favorite to the front of the line, as a choice thread for making jewelry.
Years ago the rope made from hemp was used because of its strength and durability and today the market for hemp has blossomed into a colorful industry. I am sure that this natural thread has a magical attraction with the youth culture due to the illegal use of marijuana but, a closer look at the products available for making handcrafted jewelry sheds a different light on the subject. Hemp is now made in vivid colors and sizes to accommodate the heaviest beads and therefore is a great choice for making one of a kind crafts.
Other very popular strings such as Berkley Fireline are manufactured for fishing. Berkley manufactures all kinds of fishing products and is a leader in that industry. Along the way somebody figured out the use of Berkley Fireline for making jewelry is great, due to the characteristic of incredible strength. The line is made to withstand extreme testing when trying to land large fish so it stands to reason that using this same material to string beads is a good idea. That is the most important consideration for choices of material to string beads and bobbles. You need a good sturdy thread to stand up to everyday wear and tear.
The sky is the limit! The materials I mentioned are just a few of the many products that can be used to string your beads. Be sure to pick something that is sturdy and has properties you can use to enhance your craft. You may want to use a durable and colorful hemp thread or go for the translucent qualities of Berkley Fireline so the thread goes relatively unnoticed with it's invisible qualities. The choice is yours and there are many more options than I can begin to cover here to consider.
The Choice Of Strings, Wires, Threads And Cords Is Amazing
There was no way I could cover all the available materials used to string beads and bobbles. There are just too many out there. The thing is, they keep coming out with new ones and better ones all the time. This is really pretty cool because it will keep you from getting bored with your Jewelry Making projects. You could probably start with a few of the materials mentioned above and work through the assortment of colors and diameters and various styles of jewelry and never run out of new things to use and make. If you did, I am sure there would be something new on the market by the time you came to that point.
Now that I have scratched the surface of wires, cords, strings and threads I hope I have motivated you and inspired you to get busy with your newest craft projects. Hope you have lots of fun and learn some new tricks with making jewelry along your way. The sky is the limit! Projects can be very simple as I mentioned with a few charms and some cord or you can get very intricate and try your hand at wrapping wires and weaving threads. Whatever you do please enjoy and maybe share your experiences here on HubPages.