Introduction to Wire Wrapping: Types of Weave

On September 27, 2012

Jewelry design evolves from exactly two things: Idea and Technique. I personally find Idea the more difficult of the two, so we’ll leave that quietly in its corner for now. Impudent children, those ideas of ours! So we’ll turn our attention towards Technique for now, at least until I’m bored or you’re bored and we’re both mutually basking in the soft glow and subtle warmth of our brains melting into a single pool of energy at our feet.

Now, I’m often asked, when questioned about my process, how I get started, and my answer is usually (and simply put) “With a weave”. But don’t get too excited. This isn’t a how-to for the pendant pictured. However, I felt it was a good example of types of weave, how they are implemented and how they compliment one another in a single design, which are all things derived from the skills learned in “Types of Weave: Introductory Instruction Part Two”.

This tutorial Download Types of Weave Tutorial … please note this is not the free Tuesday Treasure Hunt Tutorial) was simply too involved to include in-post, so you can find it nestled on its own page, with seventeen glorious pages of images and written direction, all in a single free PDF download. It includes three two-wire weaves, a three, four and five-wire weave, though don’t feel confined! I hope you’ll muster up the courage to experiment, have fun, try the three and five-wire weaves with four, six, ten wires! Shape the weaves, practice, gain a real understanding of how the wires move in relation to one another, how they move in relation to a design, and how the fit your style, whether emerging or established.

Feel free to share this tutorial with others and spread the creative love. I only ask for a bit of kindness in return. A gentle wink wink nudge nudge in my general direction (or, you know, in the form of some intimate link love) is always appreciated.

Most importantly, have fun and happy weaving!


21 Responses to “Introduction to Wire Wrapping: Types of Weave”

  • I got to the word HERE, as in available HERE and immediately downloaded your tutorial. Thank you. I absolutely love the look of wire woven jewelry. One of these days I might just put aside the time and give it a try.

    By the way, in my last post I linked to you.

    • And still more to come! I should have something else up soon, but I’m offering a single advanced tutorial free in the coming weeks as well. I just have way too much fun writing tutorials, and I’m trying to do my best to share when I can. If you have any ideas of tutorials or lessons you’d like to see, let me know!

      • The tutorial I need is the one that tells me how to add an extra few hours to the day or to give some of my responsibilities away.

        Honestly, I am in awe of wire weaving.

        I do have a question for you- do you work directly from the spool when creating? If not, how do you know how much wire you are going to need?

        • I’m all out of those omnipotent time management tutorials. But what’s coming may hopefully prove entertaining at least. Lol

          As for the wire, I only work with cut length. I find working from the spool kinks the wire and work hardens it so much it snaps. Cut lengths tend to allow the free end to move while weaving or coiling. I’ll be honest, though. I totally guestimate how much to cut. Usually 100 cm gets me a good amount of work while remaining a manageable length for me. Then I just add more as needed.

      • I have never such beautiful wrapping as you do and I am new to jewelry making! why do I think I could start with something so wonderful as you put out? I would love to see the absolute beginning of figure 8 wrapping
        with big pictures! I would be oh so happy! Talk to us as if we are children so we can surely understand and maybe produce one good piece. I would love to be taught (pay for would be ok too) all your wrapping. Maybe put out a dvd with all of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Thank you for sharing your talent………..
        Sandi Brando

    • Oh, and thanks for the link! I always appreciate it.

  • Wow! Great tutorial! I love how you are showings techniques! Thank you so much Nicole ;-)

  • Wow! Hanna ever since I saw your work on I knew I had to learn how to wire weave and I am hooked. Thank you for your kindness so that us newbies can learn without having to pay a lot of money. One day I too will share what I have learned. Your work is absolutely gorgeous and belongs in a museum. :)

  • Your work is incredibly beautiful and I have signed on as a premium member of Jewelry Lessons.

    I laughed when I read your article about setting up a blog site. I am too intimidated to even use a Facebook page! How do you find time to design, write tutorials, blog, sell, and create these beautiful pieces? I think you are really five people or more. Just kidding, but how in the world do you find the time?

    Thank you for being so kind to share your talents.

    Linda Brown

    • Oh I just saw this comment! So sorry for the late response! (See… I think sometimes I’m so busy I can’t keep up!). Honestly, I do this full time, so it’s all the other things people do when they aren’t working that I don’t have time for…. like…. people, dinners, movies lol. I keep my days jam-packed with all kinds of creative goodies (which can hardly be considered “work”), but this is the only job I have, so it’s not as hard as it seems. I can’t imagine doing all this on top of working outside the home! Although, I don’t blog nearly as much as should or would like to. I tell myself every day I’ll keep up with it better starting next week. It’s always next week, right? lol. I think I NEED five of me sometimes!

  • very great tutorial. Thank you so much…

  • Hi Nicole, how long we’re you wire weaving before your hands got used to it. I just started and mine are cramping like crazy.

    • Hi Elaine! I’m not entirely sure they even are all that used to it, even six years after I discovered wire wrapping. Working with smaller gauges and soft temper wires helps tremendously, especially to build up your hands to work with the harder metals. I tend to recommend the soft copper if you are just starting out, and then work hardening in a tumbler, if you have one or have access to one. I use mostly 22 and 28 gauge and it’s SO much easier on my hands than the 18 or 20 gauges that are fairly typical. You can also use crafters compression gloves which helps with arthritis.

  • I am brand new to wire wrapping, weaving and was directed to your site. I am so excited to see this tutorial. I can’t help but notice, though, that it says Part Two…. Where can I find Part One??

    Thank You so much for your generosity in sharing this…


  • Hi Nicole – I really admire your work and appreciate how freely you share your techniques. I also am a self-taught wrapper and teach small classes, and freely share as well. To see examples of my work, google LiquidSky Jewelry. Keep up the good work-your pieces are beautiful. Also, your photos and presentation are excellent. The best of luck to you.

  • Was sent your link for the tutorial, downloaded straight away, will have a play. Thank you :) x

  • I was so pleased when I managed to get some of your free downloads a few weeks ago and have made my first piece, the sweet little dragonfly. It turned out well. This Types of weave tutorial will help me so much on my way to more difficult projects. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you for the info…looking forward to stepping up my wire wrap. This should be just what I need. So thankful for everyone who is so willing to share what they know!

  • What a lovely selection of jewellery, fantastic designs. I have just downloaded your weaving pdf and am so pleased its really comprehensive, can’t wait to try them out. Thank you very much.

    Trudi – United Kingdom

  • Thank you Nicole,

    Its not always you find someone who will share for free. I have been an electrician for about 37 years and decided about a year and a half ago to get into wire wrapping and jewelry making. I do some metalsmithing, faceting, and wire wrapping and love it along with the complements. You never get wow look at that outlet when doing electrical!
    So thank you as I find it hart to find someone who will share how I can put all the weaves I learned together for one piece.

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