Why Are There So Many Different Kinds Of Beading Wire?

11:00 AM


Why are there so many different kinds of beading wire? All I want to do is string a bracelet.

Thankfully, it is much simpler than it looks.

At Soft Flex Company, we have our original line – Soft Flex – and our premium line – Soft Touch. Soft Flex and Soft Touch share many of the same attributes: same strength, same durability, same quality. They only differ in the drape. Soft Touch is about fifty percent softer in it's drape. It drapes like silk cord. Soft Flex has more of a wire-like look.

Metallics? What is that?

Metallics is a wire that looks antique. Copper and Antique Brass colors. Perfect for turning an old skeleton key into a beautiful pendant. Metallics is perfect for vintage designs and older findings. It is also a wonderful wire to incorporate into a Steampunk piece.

Why so many colors?

Our wire comes in a big variety of color. We think the wire should be part of the design and not hidden. What fun is it if you are desperate to hide the wire? We created a spectrum that can either be shown directly or allow a translucent bead to POP with color. If you are still stringing all of your jewelry on a dull steel wire or simple mono-filament, you are missing out on a celebration of color.

Goodness. What are all of the diameters for?

Diameters are designed to withstand abrasion. If you are stringing a Turquoise bracelet, the stone is sharp and it will rock back and forth on the wrist – make sure you get a heavy diameter. If you are stringing pearls, you can go with a fine diameter as they are not going to eat into the wire. A good rule of thumb is to use the biggest diameter you can fit through your beads once. We don't suggest using a finer diameter and doubling back through beads at the crimp – that makes the entire piece weaker. Our medium diameter is the best bet if you are buying your wire before a project. It will fit through just about any bead – except for the really tiny stuff – and is durable enough to hold up to the most strenuous designs.

Test strength? Number of strands?

We like to include all of the details on our labels. Test strength is the wire's tensile strength. It is the amount of force required to break the wire. At a 26 pound test, our medium wire is a very robust wire. The strands are the number of wires inside that comprise the beading wire. A 49 strand wire has a core of 49 braids of wire.

So what do you need to know before you buy?

What are you stringing? If it is a bunch of mixed beads, use a medium diameter – it will fit through everything and will be very strong. Are you going to show the wire? Make sure you use a color that will compliment the design. Are you stringing finer beads like seed beads and pearls? Consider using a fine diameter for that – and drape may be a factor – Soft Touch is perfect.


There is a lot to choose from, but it is not hard to make a decision. If it is still confusing, you can always email us. We are here to help and we love to chat about beading.

Blog contributor Thomas Soles is the Trade Show Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. His favorite stones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Tom Selleck's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at

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