1. The most common cause of wire failure is when beads are strung too tightly - people hate to see any exposed wire, so push the beads up has hard as they can before finishing the end. This results in the wire being stretched to the point of breakage. Remember the breaking strain of the wire is at rest - but when you have a tightly strung piece, the length of the wire acts like a lever and the breaking point is easily exceeded.
This normally happens at the end or middle of the wire. On inspection, you can normally see little creases at the edges of each bead. In order to avoid this situation, before crimping the end, lay out the necklace in the shape it will be worn - ie with the wire at its longest - before crimping. It is easy to illustrate this point - if you string on end, let the beads hang and then lift the finished end, you will see the beads all move upwards. If you hold your fingers against the beads, you will feel the force being exerted.
2. String square edges beads together or beads that do not allow the beads to 'Articulate' can also cause stress to the wire and often the effect is more severe than in (1). Always make sure small beads are placed between larger beads in order to let the design hang better and take the pressure off the wire.
3. Over-Crimping. Many jewellers are nervous about crimping - to the extent that they apply too much pressure to the crimp, which has the effect of cutting the wire. Often seen when the wire fails at one end of the design.
4. Kinking. If Beading wire is kinked too much, the result is that the wires are case-hardened, becomes brittle and then snaps. The fewer the strands of wire, the more likely this is to happen if the design is not completely covered in Beads. For this reason, we never recommend using Tigertail - always use a minimum of 7 Strand beading wire and ideally for such designs, 49 strand.