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Memory Wire

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Memory wire is one of the easiest materials on the market to string beads onto since it holds its shape. Knowing exactly how a piece is going to hang before you begin makes designing a piece so much easier. One of the hardest parts of designing jewelry is getting it to lie exactly how you have it pictured in your head. Once you have all the different variables of beads, choosing the chain or stringing material often becomes a game of trial and error. Memory wire isn't that way. You know what it's going to look like before you even begin stringing beads.

As the name "memory" indicates, this wire has been hard-tempered to always return to its original shape. You can find two shapes of memory wire on the market: traditional round and flat. Round is universal and can be used on any number of projects with just about any type of bead. Flat is unique in that it gives you a great surface for wire-wrapping, or you can combine it with special findings to create a custom design.

Memory wire is tempered from stainless steel wire that is corrosion-resistant and will also resist tarnishing. It comes in a range of sizes for rings, bracelets and necklaces, and it also comes in gold and silver plating. Memory wire can be found at most craft stores.

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There are a few important things to note when working with memory wire. Always make sure you use memory wire cutters and not your regular flush cutters or scissors. Since memory wire is made from tempered steel it is very hard and will damage any cutting instrument other than memory wire cutters. This is probably the most important tip I can give you about working with memory wire. The other tip is that you can finish the ends of the memory wire in two different ways: You can use your round-nose pliers to make a simple loop at each end of your piece, or you can buy special end beads for memory wire. These end beads are only half-drilled so that they can be glued onto each end of your piece for a more finished look.

Make sure to check out the new free project that uses memory wire.