Memory wire is a thin, tempered stainless steel wire. It is non-corrosive and resists tarnishing. It is a type of shape memory alloy, which is similar to smart wire and muscle wire. Shape memory alloys can be used in many different fields. It can be used in dentistry as dental braces. It is also used in titanium-containing eyeglass frames in optometry. In the aeronautical field, it is used in Variable Geometry Chevrons. These chevrons reduce the engine noise coming from aircraft engines.
Like nylon or hemp, memory wires can be used to make accessories such as wire bracelets, rings and necklaces. It is labeled “memory” because it remembers its shape and stays in this figure unless it is overworked or deformed by heat. This material is very easy to use and it comes in different sizes—bracelet, ring and necklace sizes.
To make a necklace using memory wire, you will also need the following bead tools:
- Measuring tape or bead tray that can be used for measuring
- At least 3 different bead designs or spacers
- A wire cutter tool
- Round nose pliers
Simply follow these steps to create a memory wire necklace:
- Measure the circumference of your neck. Try to visualize how tight you want your necklace to come out. When doing this, make allowances of about two inches, in case the necklace is too tight. It’s easier to cut from the wire than to add to it later on.
- Cut a piece of memory wire according to the desired length to be reached. Using a pair of round nose pliers, create a small unwrapped loop on one end of the wire. This is done to avoid skin scratches that may be caused by the memory wire.
- Arrange your beads in several patterns to determine which design will look best on the wire. You may use a bead board to easily establish a design before stringing. When using irregular-shaped beads, use the ones that have smooth edges, and no sharp points. Sometimes, there are beads with holes that are too large for the wire. It will be convenient to tape the wire so the beads won’t fall off.
- Lastly, make another unwrapped loop at the top-edged of the open end of the wire. Try ending with matching beads at each end. This completes the memory wire necklace.
Memory wire is hard to cut. It is advisable to use sharp cutters. Measurement is also important. For general measurement, make it about 16 inches. For a more accurate measurement, it is better to base the measurements according to the person who will be wearing the necklace.
A memory wire necklace is easy to make, and yet it is very durable and handy. It is versatile—it can be used anytime. It can also be very unique because of its personalized designs. Making memory wire necklaces can be a hobby, or it can also be a business for some people. Either way, there is enjoyment in making one, especially for those who love arts and design.