color coated wire for jewelry

Colored Wire for Viking Knit

I recently had someone ask me if there was a good colored wire that could be used for viking knit jewely.  You know, a colored wire that would survive repeated travels through a draw plate, and not look all mottled because the color flaked/rubbed off.  Guess what -- I found one!

I've tried several brands, with varying results.  One thing I quickly learned was not to use one that was plated.  I'm talking about the wires that are bright and colorful and shiny -- beautiful on the spool, but starts degrading when you're working it.  (Let alone try to put it through the draw plate.)

Before today, my standard wires were red brass (resembles 18 kt gold) and copper, because of the coating issue.  I was able to get some wire from the local Joann store which was fairly decent, as long as you only sent it through the drawplate twice.  It's manufactured by a company called Darice.

A New Kid in Town

A few months ago I had heard about a brand called Zebra Wire, but only recently did I get some to try it out.  And am I ever happy I did (and sorry I waited so long)!

To the above right are two samples I made, using 26 gauge Zebra Wire in magenta.  I did two double-knit chains, and passed them through the draw plate relentlessly.  Well, maybe not relentlessly, but the top chain was sent through 6 different holes on the draw plate, and it came through beautifully!

The bottom chain was drawn down less, only 4 times.  It had more petals, and I didn't want to have the chain any narrower anyway.

Still, as you can see from these extreme close-up photos, the color stayed on the wire!  (Any white-ish color you may see is just light reflection.)

Update:  I now have a new Viking Knit jewelry ebook featuring colored wire!!!!!

That was the good news.  The bad news is that it only comes in about 8 colors (although they are very nice) and it's really hard to find!  I've only found 2 places where I've been able to get it -- Fire Mountain and  ebay.

Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$4.24
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4.24
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$4.24
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4.24
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$6.95
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $6.95
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$6.98
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $6.98
ZEBRA WRAP WIRE SILVER COLOR 20 22 24 GAUGE 15 20 45 71 YARDS
ZEBRA WRAP WIRE SILVER COLOR 20 22 24 GAUGE 15 20 45 71 YARDS
$4.32
Time Remaining: 2d 3h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $4.32
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$4.48
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4.48
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$4.98
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4.98
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$4.98
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $4.98
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
Zebra Wire Gold Silver Copper Round spool 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Gauge
$5.95
Time Remaining: 23d 3h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $5.95