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Wire Information Page

Soft Flex
Soft Flex wire is a Soft Flex Company product.  The two most popular sizes are .014 and .019 diametersWhen bead stringing, this wire will add strength, there will be no thread breakage nor loss of precious beads, pendants and other designer items.  Both wires are composed of several wire strands which gives them strength.  When you look at the end of the wire, it will look like one strand because all the wire strands are very tiny and compressed.  Crimp beads are used on the ends of the wire before adding closures.  Soft Flex is very soft and supple and when you string beads with it, the beads will lay as if they are on thread fibers without that kinky look some wires have.  Soft Flex wire is made in coated colors, however, I prefer the original silver tone called "clear."  I use the clear wire for all my stringing.  The crimp beads for this wire should be used in the size that fits the wire; see the individual listings and Soft Flex Company recommendations.   You may have to use a thicker crimp bead with thinner wire if you are putting 4 strands through one crimp bead on a project.  I sometimes use smaller or larger crimp beads than those recommended, depending on the project.  The 1.5mm,  2mm and 3mm are standard size crimp beads. 

Size .014 is composed of 21 strands of wire.  You can string freshwater pearls and small beads with or without larger beads interspersed such as 6mm to 12mm.  Gemstone beads are very heavy; only add a few if they are larger than 8mm in size.  Seed beads can be strung to separate larger beads.  Seed beads can be strung as small as size 15/0 on this wire.  You can string multiple seed bead strands with .014 wire.  If you are stringing seed beads on Jean Stitch thread, you can string see beads on one strand of size .014 and add it for strength.   The Soft Flex Company recommends 2mm crimp beads for .014 wire.  I use 1.5mm when I take the wire through the crimp beads 1 or 2 or two times and the 2mm for wire going through the crimp beads 3 or 4 times.   Multiple strands may require the 2mm, depending on how many strands are added.

Size .019 is composed of 49 strands of wire.   This wire is a little thicker than .014 and you can string most 11/0 seed beads, however, they are not as easy to string as they are on .014 wire.  Size 8/0 and 6/0 seed beads can easily be strung on .019 wire.  This wire is strong enough to include several larger beads such as 12mm, 14mm or 16mm interspersed between other smaller beads.  You can string heavy gemstone beads on the .019 wire.  This wire will hold for continued use items such as eye glass holders, watchbands, bracelets and anklets.   The Soft Flex Company recommends 2mm crimp beads for .019 wire.

Soft Touch
Soft Touch wire is also a Soft Flex Company product and is labeled as Very Fine, .010 diameter.  It is thinner than the smallest Soft Flex wire and is almost like thread.  A cut strand could easily be lost because it is so thin.  You will be able to string very tiny pearls with small holes and seed beads 15/0 and smaller. It is advertised for weaving, crocheting, embellishing and stringing.  I know it will work for weaving with beads, however, you must remember, you are going to need a crimp bead on each end, so plan for it.    It is soft enough for crochet, however, the project will need to finish with crimp beads.  I find Soft Touch excellent for the purse straps of tiny beaded and amulet bead crocheted bags, and also as attachments on my Why-Knot necklaces, from my Beadwrangler's Hands on Bead Stringing book.  I would not use Soft Touch for an attachment that holds an extremely heavy designer bead; use Soft Flex .014 instead.  The 1.5 mm crimp beads work best on this wire.

Tarnish Resistant Beading Wire
When you use this wire in beadwork, it will not turn dark after a few months like other craft wires do.  This wire is available in 3 colors, gold, silver and copper.  Each color is available in sizes 20, 22, 24 and 28 gauge.  These wires feel good to work and are easy to manipulate, as if they were made of fine gold or silver.  You can interchange any of these wires when weaving on a bead loom or working freeform.  With every combination of wire sizes, the final piece will look and feel different.  Beaded wire flowers, also known as French beaded flowers can be created using these wires.  You can string beads on these wires and wrap them around vases, bottles and other 3-D items for embellishment.  You will find all four wire thicknesses will work differently depending on the project you are working.

20 gauge is perfect for the main pieces in a sculpture and as base structures for jewelry.  You can string size 8/0 beads and 6/0 beads on this wire.  This wire makes great warp wire for pieces needing strength.    Once you have shaped this wire, it will be very strong and require more work to pull it out of shape.  You can double this wire and use it as the stem for beaded flowers and wire beaded flowers.

22 gauge is a little thinner than 20 gauge and will work as a weft wire to the 20 gauge when weaving.  You can easily string size 11/0, 8/0, 6/0 seed beads and 4mm to 6mm beads.  Keep in mind this wire is a little soft and a large amount of the larger beads may cause the wire to sag from the bead weight.  This gauge wire will also serve as stems for beaded flowers and beaded wire flowers.

 24 gauge is a great wire for embellishment to the two thicker gauge wires.  You can string size 11/0, 13/0-1cut, 15/0 and some 16/0 beads.  The 24 gauge is soft enough for beaded flowers and beaded wire flowers as long as you use the size beads indicated.  The 24 gauge is soft and works much like the 28 gauge, just  a little stronger.  This gauge wire is too thick for me to crochet; I have weak wrists.  If you do crochet with it, use a size 5 to 7 steel hook. 

28 gauge wire is very thin and soft.  It will not hold a shape unless the wire is manipulated to create density.  You can use this wire for loom weaving with beads.  You can use beading thread for the warp and use bead strung wire as the weft or vice versa, or use wire for both.  Then when you take the piece off the loom, you can shape it however you like.  This is thin wire, very soft, and you can not reshape it several times as it may break.  This wire can be used for crocheting small items using a size 12 to 14 steel hook.  Use this wire for beaded flowers and leaves composed of seed bead sizes 16/0 through 22/0.   Small vintage beads are not uniform and you will need to cull the beads as you string them.  This wire can be used for delicate wirework such as miniature vases, flowers and leaves.  Small wire strung beads make beautiful earrings.  The Greeks have been making beaded wire earrings and broaches for over 85 years.

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