About Jewelry Chain- Bar Chain and Peanut Chain
by Judy Ellis
Bar Chain and Peanut Chain
Bar Chain
Bar link chain is typically made of long tubes or wires with links at the end, which may be connected to each other or to connecting jump rings. These tubes may be curved or straight. The tubes may be actual round tubes, or they might be flattened or even given a textured pattern.

You can easily make this chain yourself out of wire: take a 2" piece of round wire (about 20-gauge). Gently shape it around a large round object, like a vitamin bottle. Then hammer the last 1/2" of each end nearly flat, form them into a loop, and finish hammering. There's a bar chain link - add some jump rings and keep going to make a full necklace!
Peanut Chain
Peanut chain is a popular type of chain now. You might find this chain made entirely of peanut links, or using other chain links between the peanut links. Named for the shape's similarity to a peanut shell, the links can be rounded or flat, in a bowtie or peanut shape. You may also find this called crinkle chain. Sometimes crinkle chain has an extra dimple, so rather than a chain link that looks like 2 circles merged together, it may look like 3 circles pushed together!

In addition to all the varieties of chain in this series, there are flattened and textured versions of each. For example, a chain may be made with 2 round wires twisted together for a rope effect, then shaped into a cable or curb chain. Or, it might be made with a round wire, that is notched or textured for a different effect. You may find this chain labeled as textured, alma, or ribbed.

There are many other types of specialty chain out there, including chain that has crystals embedded in it, and chain with specialty charms such as leaves or hearts. Now you know the basics of the chain world and you'll be able to tell your customers about them, too!
Judy Ellis's About Jewelry Chain- Bar Chain and Peanut Chain - , General Education, Design, Bar Chain
Judy Ellis's About Jewelry Chain- Bar Chain and Peanut Chain - , General Education, Design, Peanut and bar chain


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  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): Design