We stock a huge range of craft wire - Artistic anti-tarnish permanent coloured wire, Beadsmith Tarnish Resistant Wire, Sterling & Gold Filled Wire, and Argentium tarnish resistant sterling silver wire.
The gauge of a piece of wire is a measurement of its width (diameter). Gauge is often abbreviated as "ga", thus 20 gauge = 20ga.
Gauge numbers work the opposite of how you'd expect. The larger the gauge, the smaller the wire's diameter. This is because the numbers were originally determined from how many times a piece of wire had to pass through a draw plate before it was done being sized. The more times through the plate, the thinner the wire.
Common Jewelry Uses of Wire by Gauge:
32-28 gauge are extremely thin. They are typically used for intricate wire work like weaving, crochet, and Viking knit.
26-24 gauge are good sizes for stringing pearls and beads with small holes. 26ga also works well for Viking knit.
22-20 gauge are good all-purpose, versatile wire sizes. Thin enough to be able to string on most beads, these gauges are also sturdy enough to hold their shape for making handmade chain, ear wires, eye pins, jump rings, and lightweight clasps. 20ga works well for bracelet and necklace wire.
18-16 gauge work well for making sturdy clasps and jump rings. They're also great as necklace and bracelet wire. Solid (not plated or filled) wire in these gauges is commonly used to make rivets. 18ga makes good ear wires too. Depending on the metal, 16ga gauge may be difficult to bend.
14 gauge is primarily used to create thick, extra-strength components. It can also be used to create frames for resin and mixed media projects. Solid 14ga wire can be used to make rivets. Depending on the metal this gauge may be difficult to bend.