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What is Craft Wire?
Craft wire is a color-coated wire made of copper. Wires come in a variety of colors for design purposes.
It is also known as color-coated copper wire, enameled copper wire or magnet wire.
Craft wire can be used in many different craft project, like candle holders, plant holders, and greeting card designs.
Many people use craft wire to make decorative jewelry.
Wire can be made of either non-precious metals like copper and brass, or precious metals like sterling silver or gold.
Copper and brass wire are easy to shape because they have high flexibility. Brass wire is slightly less flexible than copper, but is still very malleable. Sterling silver holds its shape well, despite being soft, while gold wire is expensive and brittle.
There is also gold-filled wire, which is made by fusing 12-karat gold to another material, creating a permanent bond. This allows for people to buy gold jewelry without having to pay as much.
Craft wire will be copper, and these are the wires offered by TEMCo.
Wire Size (Gauge)
The size of your wire depends on its gauge. American wire gauge (AWG) is a set of standards used in the United States and Canada that represent standards for solid, round wire. These include diameter, resistance and current. There are 44 standard wire gauges ranging from 0000-40. The thicker the wire, the lower the gauge will be.
Jewelry will mostly be made out of 10-28 gauge wire. For example, bangles and chokers will be made out of a wire that is 12 or 14 gauge, while jump rings, and links used for necklaces and bracelets, will be made of 16 or 18 gauge wire. 18 or 20 gauge wire will be used to make earrings.
10 gauge wire has roughly the thickness of a strand of spaghetti, while 40 gauge wire is around the thickness of human hair.
All metals have a certain hardness, which will determine how flexible they are.
Currently, wire comes in one of three designated hardnesses: dead soft, half-hard and full hard.
- Dead soft wire: very flexible and easily shaped. Good for making spirals and other round shapes, though it does not hold its shape well at stress points, like clasps.
- Half-hard wire: still flexible, but more rigid than dead soft wire. Holds its shape better under stress than dead soft. It is useful for weight-bearing parts of jewelry, making wire loops, and wrapping wire around itself.
- Full hard wire: holds its shape best of all types of wire and will spring back if bent. It is also very useful for clasps and other stress points. Full hard wire jewelry is difficult to produce, but it is extremely durable.
Copper craft wire is considered to be dead soft wire, though its hardness rating is rarely specified. Craft wire is easily shaped and retains that shape well, especially with larger gauge wires.
Wire hardness was at one point graded on a scale of 0 through 4. The hardness was based on pulling the wire through a draw plate, resulting in the the wire hardness increasing each time with each drawing. This system is no longer used, though, as wire hardness can now be adjusted through annealing, a process called where the wire hardness can be altered by being heat treated.
Soldering is the process of fusing two wires together, or else fusing a single wire to a finding, like a head pin or a clasp.
The process involves taking a third metal, one with a lower melting point than the wire material, which will be melted down and used to filled in the gap between the two components.
Wire wrapping is a technique for handmade jewelry making where the wire will be connected without having to be soldered. Rather, the craft wire will be connected to findings by a another wire that is made into a decorative shape, such as a loop, which is then wrapped around itself.
Where can I purchase Craft Wire?
TEMCo offers a variety of craft wire in amber, red, and green coloring. View the selection simply by clicking the links below. Buy your craft wire from TEMCo today!
"I needed a 3 phase rotary phase converter to run a DoAll Mill."
The family friend I purchased the mill from had purchased one from TEMCo several years ago, and told me that's the company to deal with. Very competitive price, fast delivery, and a solid, quality product. The shipping was fast, and the phase converter was crated very well and had zero damage from shipping. This thing runs so quietly I hardly know it's running.
I HIGHLY recommend TEMCo!
- mrtriton, 3/15/10
"Excellent advice, service & product".
The staff helped determine exactly the size converter I needed, answered any questions I had thoroughly. The unit was shipped quickly & was very welled packed. The product is so well designed that installation was a breeze & the converter works great.
Got me up and running very quickly.
- Michael Hall, 3/25/11
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and many thousands more.
TEMCo products meet the demands of tough industrial applications with dependability and quality.
Since 1968, TEMCo has become a trusted name in Industrial Power Products.