Wire Lace™ is fun and versatile to use and makes any jewelry piece stand out from all the rest!
What is it? Wire Lace™ is a metallic, tubular mesh ribbon made from small woven wires of brass, copper, and aluminum. It's assortment of colors are the result of enamel bonded to the wire mesh. It is:
Heat resistant to 265 degrees (try it baked into polymer clay!)
What can you do with it? Lots of things!
You can spread or stretch it out flat.
You can put beads inside it.
You can make include it in a multi-strand design.
You can knot it.
You can thread a ribbon through it.
You can embroider or weave beads onto it.
You can twist it into a small cord and string beads onto it.
You can support it with Soft Flex wire.
You can weave beads onto it.
You can stretch it over a wire frame.
How do you finish it? There are a few ways to finish off a necklace using Wire Lace™... more details below.
What can you do with it...
Spread it or stretch it out flat. Gently pull the edges of the lace ribbon away from the center. It holds it's new shape surprsingly well. If you have heavy beads on your lace with no support, you will find the weight of the beads pulls the lace back straight again. Always support your heavier designs somehow (see more notes on supporting your designs below). SEE EXAMPLE
Put beads inside it. Wire Lace™ is a tubular ribbon. That means you can put things inside of it. Small beads inside the lace offer an element of depth and textural variety that can be fun to explore. Be sure your beads are not too large, however. The more you stretch out the mesh, the more you stress it as well. A large bead may cause the mesh to weaken and break. SEE EXAMPLE
Knot it. Wire Lace™ is a metal, but it is also similar to fabric ribbon and can be knotted when desired. Make sure your knots are where you want them! Untying and re-tying mesh lace may cause it to fray. SEE EXAMPLE
Include it in a multi-strand design. When you are designing a piece with several strands, make one of the strands a ribbon of Wire Lace™. It is especially effective to use the mesh ribbon in twisted or braided pieces where the ribbon is intermingled and entwined with your other beads. The other, non-lace strands will support the piece so its weight won't interfere with the integrity of the mesh design. SEE EXAMPLE (see detail)
Thread a ribbon through it. Use a similar color or a contrasting color fabric ribbon to slide inside the tubular mesh. This will help enhance the inherent texture of the Wire Lace™ because it has a solid color inside of it.
Embroider or weave beads onto it. You can even sew beads onto a ribbon or backing through the Wire Lace™ to make the beads appear to be floating or set directly on top of the mesh. Try doing a bead weaving stitch with small seed beads this way, using the Wire Lace as a backdrop. SEE EXAMPLE. see detail
Twist it into a small cord. Gently roll the lace into a slim cord so you can thread beads onto it or to simply have a cord-look for part of your design. Putting a dab of Hypo-Tube Cement on the tip will keep the mesh from fraying. If you need a very fine tip, it may help to cut the ribbon at an angle before twisting and glueing. Also, avoid using beads that have rough interiors as they may snag the lace.
Support it with Soft Flex wire or other stringing materials. Thread a stronger stringing material through your Wire Lace in order to support the weight of the beads you are using. Use Nymo, Soft Flex, Silk, ribbon, or anything else that fits your design! SEE EXAMPLE (see detail)
Weave beads onto it. Stretch the lace out flat and weave beads onto it using bead embroidery stitches or seed bead weaving techniques. It makes a beautiful background. SEE EXAMPLE (see detail)
Stretch it over a wire frame. If you gently spread out the lace, you can slide it over a wire armature for a gossamer, delicate covering. SEE EXAMPLE.
How do you finish it...
There are a lot of ways to finish off a jewelry design using Wire Lace™, and it lends itself to creative, new approaches. Here are some ideas that we have:
Tying off. First of all, it's best not to tie your lace right onto your clasp. The amount of friction it would withstand may compromise the integrity of the wire mesh. If you are going to add a clasp with a knot, tie onto a closed jump ring that would then be attached to the clasp. (A standard jump ring or a double split ring may snag the material and is not recommended) When you tie a knot in the lace, you want to add a drop of Hypo-tube Cement (NOT super glue) to secure the knot, then hide it under a Crimp Bead Cover (4mm works best).
Twisting & Crimping. If you twist the lace into a thin cord, you should be able to fit two widths of it through a large crimp bead. In this case, you can crimp just like you would Soft Flex. Add your crimp bead to the twisted lace, thread the lace through a closed jump ring, and back through the crimp, forming a loop. Squish the crimp bead closed using needlenose pliers.
Using supportive stringing materials. If you choose to thread another material through the inside of the tubular mesh lace, then you can attach the clasp as you would that particular stringing method. For example, if you use Soft Flex inside the Wire Lace™, you would focus on crimping the Soft Flex. If you are using ribbon, you may want to use fold-over ribbon ends. How you make the transistion between the Wire Lace and the interior stringing material is completely dependent on your particular design.
Experimentation and creativity are a big part of any beading project!
We've listed just a few ideas above to get you started, but these are not the only options out there.
We'd love to hear some of your ideas and even some pics of your work.
Email us at email@example.com
Or post them on our Facebook Page
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