What is a Bail?

By on August 22, 2014
Print Friendly

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Tip for August 22, 2014

What is a Bail?

Today I thougth we would answer a couple of great questions, that go hand in hand: What is a bail and How do I use bail making pliers?

First let’s answer the question: What is a Bail?

A bail (also spelled “bale“) is a component of certain types of jewelry, mostly necklaces, that is used to attach a pendant or stone. The bail is normally placed in the center of the necklace where the pendant hangs. Some bails are made so a pendant can be attached after the necklace production is completed.

A classic bail allows the chain to pass through and is connected by a ring to the pendant. Bails are a frequently pre-made component used on an otherwise handmade piece of jewelry.

A cross attached to a necklace by means of a curved bail. Sixth or seventh century. From the collection of the Museum of Byzantine Art, Berlin.

Secondly: What are Bail Making Pliers and how do I use them?

Bail Making Pliers are simply pliers whose jaws are cylindrical in shape and usually two different and ungraduated sizes.


Shown Above: 6 1/2 Inch Bail Making Pliers:

These double barrel bail pliers are a specialty hand made tool with stainless steel jaws. Perfect for making bails on pendants large enough to fit large chains and collars. The cylinder sizes are approximately 6mm and 8.5mm across.

How to use Bail Making Pliers:

Although bail making pliers can be used in many situations that require the bending of wire in a curved shape, they are titled ‘Bail’ making because a lot of folks use them to form the main bend, consistently on one or several wires at one time, when forming a bail at the top of a pendant!

Get started with Bails today!

Albina Manning gives us a short tutorial about how to make a Wire-Wrapped Two loop Connector using Bail Making Pliers. It’s easy to make and easily changed to accommodate all of your basic bail making needs for any other patterns. CLICK HERE to take a look at Albina’s pattern and get started crating and using bails for all of your projects.

Bails are a classy way to connect your wire wrapped pendants or cabochons to a handmade, or store bought necklace chain. We carry bails in many different sizes including: 11mm, 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm. They come in packs of 1, 2 and even 10. If a bail is what you’re looking for to complete your wire jewelry project, look no further.

Happy Wrapping!


Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email


  1. avatar


    August 22, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Can also use mandrels if you have them or other items such as felt markers for the arch. Most, if not all, of us have round nosed pliers they can use for the smaller loops to attach.

  2. avatar

    braided copper wire

    August 24, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing information about Bail that is a type of jewelry.