Beading Wires like Soft Flex
If you find you are having a problem with breakage or stretching, consider these possibilities as the problem.
Are you stringing too tight? When your piece is laid out in a straight line you should have extra beading wire showing at one end if you push all the beads towards the other end. Now curl the piece like it would be if worn, you will see the 'extra' disappears. Just make sure you still have a small gap so the beads don't have to really rub every time the piece moves.
Verify you are using the right diameter wire for the piece. With Soft Flex you match the diameter of the wire with the abrasiveness of the bead, using too light weight of wire can result in breakage. If you are getting breakage near the clasp, try not to attach directly to the clasp, instead connect to a hand wrapped loop, jump ring etc and attach the clasp to those. The extra movement will alleviate some of the wear on the wire. Using French wire (bullion) or wire protectors can help protect the wire also.
If you think your piece is stretching, chances are it is not instead the crimps may be slipping a bit or you are using the wrong diameter. When using too thin a diameter of wire it can pull the wire so tight it mimics stretching, simply use a heavier wire.
For crimping, make sure you are using the correct size crimp, your wires don't cross inside the crimp and you crimp snuggly but not with all your strength. Crimping too tight can damage to the nylon coating leading to problems later, not crimping tight enough can lead to slippage. If you are having problems with this, spend some time with some scrap wire and crimp and yank to test until you feel you have it just right. Also, use good quality crimps. Don't skimp and use base metal crimps or seamed crimps, if you can avoid it. The few extra cents invested in good precious metal crimps can really help solve slipping and breakage problems.
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