Wires Commonly Used For Wrapped Jewelry

Posted by Mark Hargreaves on

The Wires I Use For Wrapping

Copper Square and Half round Wires


You will come across 3 main types of wire in wire wrapping but in many different gauges, hardnesses and colours. The 3 main types are round, square and half round. Largely, square and round wires are interchangeable and more a matter of preference than anything else though there are differences that I will go over with you. 

Half round wire is what I would consider an essential for my type of wire wrapping. Half round wire is 'D' shaped. That is to say flat on one side and round on the other. The advantage of using this wire with either round or square is that it lies better on the wires giving a firm, even wrap that is aesthetically pleasing too. You will see it in action when I come to basic wrapping techniques. 

Personally I use round and square wire in gauges (thickness) of 1mm (18 Gauge) and 0.8mm (20 gauge). I had to buy many different types and sizes of wires to find what I liked to work with best and what suited the type of wraps I wanted to make. You will probably go through some experimentation yourself before finding your ideal sizes. I like to use square wire whenever I can as I like the way it bends and twists more than round wire but you will have your own preferences.
Next is hardeness. Wire is available in different strengths. Hard, Half hard, soft and dead soft. For a beginner, dead soft is probably better to use. Some people only ever use dead soft but like gauge you will find your own preference. I use a mixture of Half hard to dead soft, sometimes even mixing them on a single piece. You can make dead soft wire harder by working it to give greater strength to your pieces.

Colour is more than just silver or gold these days. Wires can be had in almost any colour imaginable and can really bring out the beauty of the gemstones you will be working with. The more traditional colours used in wire wrapping are silver, gold, copper and antique bronze.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of all the types of wires  and their uses but as an introduction to be used with the next posts on basic wire wrapping techniques. As usual I am always available for questions or to clarify points of interest for you. The tools I have found most useful, how to avoid common mistakes and where to buy materials at good prices will all be in future posts.


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