How to Compress your Weave

By on April 20, 2016
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by Judy Ellis,

Wire Jewelry Tip for April 20th 2016

How to Compress Your Weave

by Sarah Thompson

Today’s tip about wire weaving comes from our good friend Sarah Thompson. For those of you who are just getting into Wire Weaving, it’s a beautiful way to create a breathtaking piece with a cabochon or druzy! There are so many options!   In today’s tip, Sarah gives us a few hints on how to work those wires into small spaces.

Sarah Says:


Part of a good weave is to compress, or push down, the weave as you work. For me, I stop every ¼ of an inch or so to compress. This serves two purposes:

  • The first is to make a more consistent texture with the weave from top to bottom.
  • The second is to give my hands the opportunity to stretch, this helps with hand fatigue.

Tip 8a

Since we are working with wire, pushing the weave down can wreak havoc on your nails. I end up with grooves in my thumb nails, sometimes I have even split my nail. Over the years my nails have become stronger and I still prefer using my fingers, but my students have come up with some good tools that can be found around the house that do a great job pushing the weave down

  • Cuticle sticks are great and can get into tight spaces. I use these when my nails are too short.
  • old credit cards
  • a guitar pick
  • pink eraser

Tip 8b

Avoid using metal. Using your beading awl, or pliers do work but because they have no give to them all it takes is apply too much pressure or pushing at the wrong angle and at the best you break your weaving wire, at the worst you end up scraping down the entire woven strip gouging it as you go. If this happens your weave is ruined and you have to start all over. For me it is not worth the risk. This is why I turn to tools that are softer than the wire.

I hope that these simple tips help you with your wire weaving.

Happy Wrapping!


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  1. avatar

    Janet Braunstein

    April 20, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Thank you! I’ve learned just enough about wire weaving to recognize generously useful tips. My hands do get weary, and my once-sturdy fingernails are just shreddeded.

  2. avatar

    Carol Praissman

    April 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you for such good tips!
    I’ve had surgery on both of my thumbs & have avoided doing wire weaves due to hand fatigue & pain. With these tips I feel I may be able to do this technique.
    Thank you again.
    Carol Praissman

  3. avatar

    sandra pelletier

    April 23, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Thank you for this information on wire weave. I never thought of using those objects. I have learned something about jewelry making everyday.