Stringing Beads On Wire.

Q: I am designing a necklace for a friend. She has asked for it to be strung on "wire" vs. "thread". The beads I'm using are 10mm-15 mm glass, sterling silver and iolite chips. I would consider the necklace to be somewhat "weighty" when finished.

A: 'Softflex'. 'Tigertail' will break. See http://www.softflextm.com/. Weigh your beads and buy the weight of 'Softflex' you need. There are a lot of places where you can buy it a spool at a time, rather than with the minimum like the manufacturer's site has. Is your friend asking for wire because she wants the necklace to be stronger, or because she likes the wire wrap look? If she wants a stronger necklace, 'Softflex' is definitely the way to go. If she wants the necklace to be wire wrapped, that's a whole different kind of project, with a different set of (easily learned) skills. For a wire wrapped necklace, I recommend 24 gauge sterling silver. She just mentioned she would prefer wire versus thread. My first thought was to use memory wire. My second thought was using sterling silver. Can I use 'SS' wire and string the beads like I was using thread (there are small iolite chips between the large glass beads)? I am worried about the necklace bending out of shape if strung on wire. Hmm, I've been watching the notes about making a necklace using wire or other things... sounds as though the lady wants the beads put together with wire, and as someone said, it is not difficult to learn how to do it. Yes, do not use tigertail... and if you do use wire, with all respect to the person who advised 24 gauge wire, that will also certainly break quite quickly, especially if the beads are heavy. Any bracelet, even, made with 24 gauge wire will not have a very long life if it is a favourite piece. I have been working with wire for over twenty years, and although half-hard is certainly stronger than soft, and although there are lots of people out there stringing pearls on 24 gauge wire for bracelets and necklaces (because they do not know how to or do not wish to enlarge the holes in the pearls), who might beg to differ with me - those pieces are not destined to become family heirlooms! Softflex is certainly an answer if you don't want to commit yourself to the tools and learning curve in using wire... fair enough too. It could work and be beautiful. I have written a little book on wirework, but that is not why I have written this tome.