Memory Wire

Serena Bracelet

A beading product I use from time to time is memory wire.  Memory wire is really hard, thin wire that comes in coils.  And when I say hard, believe me.  You need special cutters to cut it or it will ruin a regular pair of cutters.  Memory wire has been treated in such a way that when you stretch it out and release it, it goes right back into the coil shape.  When it first came out on the market, the size of the coil for a bracelet was about the size of a baby’s wrist which made bracelets that were really tight.  The manufacturers realized this was less than ideal and came out with bracelet and necklaces sizes that fit very well.  I think they even make ring sizes.

Two things are great about memory wire.  First, you don’t need a clasp which a lot of people like.  Second, the resulting bracelet has a degree of flexibility in the sizes of wrists it can accommodate.  I did find that you have to design for it a little differently than you do a traditionally strung bracelet.  What worked for me is to measure the length of one round, determine how many rounds I wanted, and calculate the total length I would need.  Then I pre-string the beads on a length of traditional beading wire to the measured length, coiling it up from time to time to see how the design would look once strung on memory wire.  After I had the design worked out, I would then transfer it to the memory wire.

This bracelet was made that way and features marcasite, dumortierite, agate, crystal, glass, and metal beads.  I named it Serena.

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3 Responses to Memory Wire

  1. Mortira says:

    Great tips for using memory wire! Pre-stringing is a great idea. It can be a real pain to try and remove beads once they’re half-way down the memory wire.

    I love the colors in the bracelet, too! It has a real vintage look to it.

  2. Stella says:

    I never had a memory wire. Actually, this is the first time I heard/read it is called that name. It seems interesting.Well, I used to customized silicone wristbands. But as I understood, memory wire is used for necklaces too? Well, this seems perfect for me (since I can’t wear silicone wristbands around neck), I might try to have a memory wire necklace. You didn’t write if there is any site where I could look to buy memory wire necklaces online. Can the memory wire necklace be bought in regular jewelry store, or it is a hand craft which sells in “special” stores?

    Thanks

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