Ask the Experts Memory Wire Q&A

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What does one use memory wire for? I bought some thinking that it would stay the way I bent it, and found that it was impossible. Now what do I use it for?

- Nancy

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Memory wire is made of carbon steel and is a spring-like wire designed to stay coiled as well as hold snugly against your skin. This steel wire which holds (or "remembers") its preformed circular shape is available in multiple sizes to make necklaces, bracelets and rings. Memory wire jewelry does not require a clasp as the tension built into the wire keeps the jewelry in place. The multiple-loop coils can be cut apart using memory wire sheers, allowing you to create designs from a single loop or continuous multi-loop designs. Be sure to use memory wire shears any time you are working with memory wire as they are made specifically for hardened wire. If you use regular wire cutters they will get damaged.

When placing beads onto the wire, it's important to keep the wire in its natural shape. Avoid pulling the wire straight or the ends may bounce back, causing the beads to fly off. Memory wire can be finished by either creating a loop at each end or by applying bead ends for a more polished finish. See the resources below for instructions on finishing memory wire ends and design ideas created with memory wire.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert