French wire is a fine coiled wire. It is intended to protect stringing thread from wear around the clasp. This Handy Tip will show you how easy it is to use French wire in your designs and will even give you ideas for using French Wire in other ways.
French wire comes as a 14-inch coil. It comes in different sizes to fit over different thread sizes. It can be cut easily with side cutters, nippers and even household scissors. Just cut off the amount needed for your project.
Here we stretched it out so you can see the fine coils that make up the wire.
We have gathered some beads, a clasp, stringing thread and two pieces of French wire cut the same length for each end of the project. These two pieces are both approximately half of an inch long.
Thread the first bead and the French wire onto the stringing material and then go through the loop of one half of the clasp.
Bring your thread back through the bead, taking care not to pull too tight or the French wire will bunch up on the thread. The loop on the clasp should fit over the French wire.
The French wire forms a nice loop for the clasp to sit on. Take a look at this Handy Tip for more instruction on how to knot between pearls. To learn about knotting pearls to a clasp, see this Handy Tip.
French wire can be used to protect thread in any beading project. It is used with a magnetic clasp in our Beyond the Blue Horizon bracelet and protects thread from earring findings in our Charlotte earrings idea. It can also be used as a design element, as seen in the Fleur de Lis ornament in the Friends Make the Best Accessories set. It can also be used over jewelry wire if you don't like the look of the wire. With so many ways to use this supply, you'll always want to have some on hand!