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.

22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$5.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $5.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
22 GAUGE COPPER CRAFT ZEBRA WIRE BEAD WRAP JEWELRY CHOOSE COLORS
$2.69
Time Remaining: 23d 7h
Buy It Now for only: $2.69

 

10 Responses to Colored Wire for Viking Knit

  • Bonnie Berken says:

    Have you tried para wire? It is supposed to be sturdy but I have not tried it with Viking knit and the draw plate.

  • Gail says:

    Hi Bonnie,

    No, I haven’t tried ParaWire yet — every time I think about getting some, I can’t find it, except at the manufacturer’s site (and they charge an arm and a leg for shipping). One day — they sure do have some really nice colors! 🙂

    Gail

  • robin says:

    i just got some zebra wire and can’t wait to try it. i bought some parawire at hobby lobby and was disappointed that the colors came off with drawplating. i have had excellent luck with wire by beadalon. i happened on it at Tuesday morning in limited colors and need to order some more online.

  • Gail says:

    Hi Robin,

    I think you will enjoy the zebra wire. I’ve had issues with some wires I’ve gotten at craft stores (some were OK, some colors came off while I was working the knitting). Zebra wire has held up for me, as has aluminum wire. Hope it does the same for you! 🙂

    Best Wishes — Gail

  • Dragonwire says:

    Hi: parawire color rubs off right away. I bought some in the denim color and quit wasting my time after a couple inches. I found the Artistic wire is fantastic for Viking knit. It is lacquered so the silver doesn’t tarnish and the wire comes in many great colours. The only thing you can’t do with it is use LOS. It draws beautifully and as many times as you want.

  • Gail says:

    Thanks so much for the feedback. 🙂 Sharing your experiences helps us all!

  • Beth says:

    That’s so odd, I have been using Parawire for a while and the only issues I have with it is when I first start my knit since I use the Viking Knit tool and it has a metal disk and the metal holes pull off some of the color but I just use a short wire and cut that part off. 🙂

    I have specifically used non-tarnish gold, non-tarnish silver and titanium recently and have used some of the other colors in the past. I do tend to stick with the silver plated colors so maybe that helps? I usually use a wooden draw plate and don’t treat it with anything.

    As a side note, the titanium has a really nice color when you want a silver type color that isn’t so bright.

  • Gail says:

    I wonder if sometimes we get “bad wire”, because I didn’t have a whole lot of luck when I first tried Artistic Wire — it nicked way too easy, and I had to be really careful with the drawplate.

    However, based on Dragonwire’s comment, I got some more Artistic Wire — this time I am having no issues at all, even when I get a little “enthusiastic” with my drawplate, LOL.

    So, I may have to try parawire again; perhaps the titanium, since a more muted silver color is nice sometimes.

    Thanks, Beth!

  • Katherine says:

    I have used Artistic wire with good results. I started with shades like gunmetal, antique bronze and chocolate in case I ended up with a “distressed” look, but so far so good. I used 22 g wire and drew down to 1/4 inch.

  • Gail says:

    Thanks, Katherine! I’ve had luck with gunmetal as well — it turned out beautifully.

    The only color I have had nothing but bad luck with so far is Peacock Blue — a shame because it’s such a pretty shade. But it seems like the Artistic Wire brand has gotten a bit better over the years — yay!

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