Wire is one of the most essential components of many types of jewelry. However, for some jewelry beginners, when it comes to choosing jewelry wire, they also feel confused when choosing proper wire for art project. They may come up questions like :
What’s the meaning of industry terminologies such as half-hard wire, base metal, dead soft ?
How many specifications of wire?
Why was the thickness of the wire sometimes described in millimetres and sometimes in gauge?
To select the proper wire is so important that lets learn some knowledge about the world of wire.
Gauge is a technical term used to describe the thickness of the wire, the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire will be. Generally speaking, jewelry wire ranges from 10 to 38 gauge and the most commonly used specifications are 14 gauge, 16 gauge, 18gauge, 20gauge, 22gauge, 24gauge, 26gauge and 28 gauge.
26 to 28 gauge wire : Wire in that specification is very thin and flexible that can be used to make wired crochet, wired weaving creations and wrapped wire creations etc..
22 to 24 gauge wire: 24 gauge wire is the standard gauge of most ready-made eye pins and head pins. These wires can be used for making wrapped wire creations or string semi-precious beads that typically have slightly smaller holes.
20 gauge wire: Earring wires are typically made from 20 gauge wire.
18 gauge wire: this kind of wire will fit through most bead holes. And it commonly used for making typical jump rings, clasps, head pins, and eye pins.
14 or 16 gauge wire: to make thicker-than-average jump rings and clasps or eye pins and head pins used for beads with larger holes.
Millimeter is another measuring unit for wire. See the difference wire with difference specifications:
2mm and 1.5mm wire: They are very thick wires, best used in projects that need to be very rigid, for example bangles, neck wires and clasps that take a lot of weight.
1.25mm and 1mm wires: They are very sturdy wires and are good for making medium duty clasps, large jump rings and chain mail.
0.8mm and 0.6mm wire: They are good general purpose wires, they are stiff without being too thick and are good for making simple loops, head pins, eye pins and jump rings.
0.5mm wire:They are not quite as easy to bend as 0.4mm but also not quite as thick as 0.6mm, but a good compromise for making head pin and eye pins for pearls which often have very small holes.
0.4mm wire: It is easy to bend and invaluable when making tiaras. If you twist two strands together you end up with an attractive flexible wire that is sturdy enough to hold its shape
0.3mm wire: You can use this wire when making beaded angels and snowflakes. It is fine enough to pass through a bead several times, yet it is strong enough to create a stiff structure.
The conversion of wire between garge, inch and millimeter is specified in the following chart.