Beadalon Beading Wire vs Other Bead Wire | Jewelry Making Supplies

Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire

Not All Bead Stringing Wires Are Created Equal:

Lately I’ve been making a lot of custom beaded lanyards and eyeglass leashes for some customers who just keep ordering and ordering and ordering. I guess no one told them there was a recession on [smiles].

By the way, if you have no idea what a lanyard is, or would like to see some of the ones I’ve been making, you can have a look at this article: Selling Custom Beaded Lanyards | Make It, Wear It, They’ll Buy It

Now with all of this lanyard production going on in my studio of late, I’ve been using up a fair amount of beading wire… actually ran out the other day and needed to get some more. But the craft store where I usually get my Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire, is kind of far away. So instead, I dashed over to the local Walmart, hoping to find something suitable.

They did have some 7 Strand Beading Wire called Fashion Cord for a good price, so I decided to give it a try. The silver color wasn’t as shiny as the Beadalon brand, but it did have an aged look, which I kind of liked.

Back to the studio…

The first difference I noticed was that the Fashion Cord brand seemed stiffer and didn’t drape as nicely as the Beadalon. Then I noticed it wasn’t as springy and it kinked really easily.

After closer inspection of both the old packaging from the Beadalon Stringing Wire, and the new Fashion Cord Beading Wire, I noticed the Beadalon said nylon coated stainless steel. And the other just said nylon coated wire. There’s the difference!

Stainless steel is a very strong metal that is extremely springy and holds its shape. It is often used for making springs. Memory Wire is actually made with stainless steel so if you’ve ever worked with that, you’ll know what I mean.

When it comes to the quality of stringing wire it also makes a difference how many strands there are. Wires with 7 strands are considered good flexibility, 19 strands are better and 49 strands are the best.

I don’t want too much flexibility on the lanyards because they are quite long at 37″ to 40″ and with the weight of all the beads and findings they hang straight down anyway. But when you’re making more delicate jewelry, you will find the higher strand wires give you a nicer drape and are worth the extra price.

Anyways, what I learned from this whole bead wire purchasing experience, was that it’s worth it to pay a little more or drive a little further for better quality beading wire like Beadalon. If you don’t, you may just end up with kinky jewelry (err… kinked jewelry wire is probably a better way of saying that). Or… jewelry pieces that hang funny.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 07 February, 2009

    I have heard of some people using fishing line but I have not tried that. I also know a person who makes jewelry with crystals and packaged. She has been getting more business restringing jewelry made by OTHER crafters; proably because the wire was not coated. This emphasizes the importance of quality of the wire .
    Have any advice as to different brands of thread based cording?
    Once again, thank you for the info.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2009

    I know what you mean about other crafter’s work needing to be restrung.

    My mom has brought me three different necklaces that were given to her for gifts, that have broken because they were not strung on the proper material!

    This is a shame. It takes no more work and very little extra cost, to make jewelry properly. It is a matter of education about the materials.

    There is always so much you can learn about doing things the right way. I am learning every day and do my very best to pass on what I have learned to everyone here.

    As far as they best cording, I’m not sure since I have not worked with cord too much yet.

    Maybe some of the expert Beader’s that come here can give you advice on that. Anyone out there have the answer for Anna?

  3. Debbie, 25 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy, this is Debbie from polymer clay ponderings. I tried making charms last year and it turned out to be a disaster. The charms were cute but wires gave me problems. I want to try them again. Do you think that an eye screw pushed into the clay with liquid sculpey would work? I have tried the head pin up through the bottom, but I don’t know how to make it look nice when I try to make a hoop. The end of the hoop is open. Any advice? What’s better, head pin or eye screw? Thanks, Deb

  4. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2009

    Hi Debbie! You can use an eye screw if you want to but it is nice to master the technique of making nice loops on the ends of headpins.

    I would like to do some videos on some simple wire work and jewelry making techniques, but it could be a little while before I do that. (Unless people start begging!)

    There are some how to videos on YouTube for learning how to do loops on eye pins if you need to learn right away.

    I think head pins are a little classier than eye screws because you can use good quality wire in the metal that your findings are in. Most eye screws only come in nickle which doesn’t have the same perceived value as gold, silver, copper or bronze does.

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