About Wire For Rosaries 

There are three different measures of wire gauge. The following comparison chart is handy when purchasing wire.

 

GAUGE

IMPERIAL

METRIC

10

0.102

2.6

12

0.081

2.1

14

0.064

1.6

16

0.052

1.3

18

0.040

1.0

20

0.032

0.8

22

0.025

0.6

24

0.020

0.5

26

0.016

0.4

28

0.013

0.3

 

     Wire may be hard drawn, medium, soft and dead soft.

We recommend hard wire of around 0.5mm for use making rosaries. 

The specific size will depend on the drill holes of your beads

 

 

 Wire for Rosary  Making   

Suitable wire for rosaries is hard to find.  Popular, general crafting wires of the gauge needed tend to be too soft for rosaries. The loops do not hold their shape well and slip open when the rosary is used. We had a long search but eventually found a wire with the right ratio of size to hardness for rosary making, This wire can’t be found  in craft shops. It holds it's shape well but is soft enough to be easy for hand crafters to work with. It is an alloy with some nickel so please check out the page on nickel for information about this wire and the law on nickel use.  If you do want to use a solid silver wire, and find it too soft, you can harden it by tempering it through bending it a few times or using a hammer.

All Wire becomes brittle if it is overworked and is liable to break.   

This is because of its molecular structure. If you do find you just can’t get a particular loop in to the shape you want, it is better to get a new piece of wire, rather than keep reworking the same piece.   

 

 The size of wire you use depends on the size, weight and drill holes of your beads. In general:

6mm beads:     0.5mm wire is suitable for most. Occasionally the drill holes of 6mm beads require a smaller guage, try 0.45mm wire. Any smaller than this, the beads are intended for stringing rather than forming wire loops.

8mm beads:       Try 0.56mm wire or above. Some 8mm beads have large holes intended for cording, If you make wire loops for these the loops will need to be large in order not to fall throught the drill hole.                                                                                                                                             

Coated and Plated Wire

Wire may be coated, plated or bare. If the wire is plated you need to know what the core wire is. For rosary making, if a wire is plated look for a steel core. This gives a much better hardness that a copper core. Acrylic or plastic coatings allow a range of colours to be applied to a core wire. The colours are great but the gauge of the wire is increased by the coating without an increase in the hardness of the wire. This means coloured wires tend to be too big and too soft for making a wire loop rosary.