Beading Techniques: How to use French Wire


This tutorial talks about what French wire is, when to use it and gives full illustrated instructions for using French wire or Gimp to attach clasps or other findings. I have put all my teaching and beading experience into creating this great tutorial for you. It took me a few hours to write up. I am very happy for you to benefit from it for free. However, if you would like to support my work, so I can bring you more great beading projects, you also have the choice to do that by making a voluntary donation. Thank you!

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Beading Techniques Sheet

This free beading techniques sheet shows you how to use French Wire. This can also be referred to as ‘Gimp’. It is the same product. French Wire is basically very fine wire that has been tightly coiled to create a narrow tube.

The idea is to thread through this tube as you attach your clasp, or other finding. Then the French wire forms a casing for the thread. This serves a two-fold purpose. It protects the thread from being rubbed by the metal of the clasp and it gives a neater finish.

There is always a danger that the wear and tear our jewellery goes through can lead a metal clasp finding to gradually break the thread that is holding it in place. So I regularly use French wire when I am finishing my beaded jewellery.

Top Tips

There are two tips that I would recommend for this beading technique. Firstly, use a fine needle as it can be very easy to split the French wire and lose the coil.

Secondly, this is one of those beading techniques that isn’t difficult in itself, but is a little fiddly. So I would strongly recommend that you practise on scrap pieces before you try using this for your best piece of beaded jewellery!

Where to go next

I believe that the basic beading techniques are the fundamentals to all beadwork and you should be able to learn them for free. These techniques are not copyrighted. So I wanted to make sure that everyone has access to well-thought out materials for learning these building blocks.

If you find my style of teaching and writing works for you, then I hope you will return. I will be sending you a coupon which you can use to get a discount on the patterns on this website. Or, if you live nearby, do please book for one of my classes. You can find an up-to-date list of my teaching schedule on the beading classes page.

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