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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Default Do you reuse french wire?

    I haven't been able to find 14k French wire at all. So when you restring your pearls do you reuse the gimp? I have only been half successful with that so far. So one part of the clasp has it and the other side doesn't. My other question is, can you assume the gimp is 14K if the clasp is 14K? This necklace is pretty dirty but it was only $8 because its broken but the clasp is 14K. I don't know how the original maker got all three strands on that little jump ring but I will try to replicate what they did later today. Should I just leave the gimp out all together? Thanks ~d
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  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member maiakity's Avatar
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    I think the finished necklaces look nicer with the gimp...I would probably just use goldtone gimp rather than skipping it altogether...are the gold beads 14k too? Nice find!

  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Gimp or french wire should protect the thread (especially silk) from wear. I have found vermeil gimp, and gold plated, but not 14K. It's not expensive and does as Melissa says, make a nice looking finish. Some designers prefer not to use it, so really it is a choice. I've had some gimp that gets scratchy on my neck, which is most annoying.
    Pattye


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  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I've always assumed it is all gold plated only. Does 14K French wire even exist? Rio Grande doesn't carry it-- just the gold tone.

    Gimp is not reusable. But it's cheap to buy and easy to use, and really improves the finished look.

    Edit: Based on Pattye's post, I searched and found that Fire Mountain sells the vermeil gimp.

    Pattye, do you have any feelings about which is better in use, the gold plated or the vermeil? The vermeil is considerably pricier.

  5. #5
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    PD,

    I have a variety of sizes and colors in gimp, mostly I just hope to closely match the clasp for a clean, seamless look at the clasp. So no real preference. I did experiment with making my own gimp, and you all are welcome to laugh. I bought some 32 gauge gold filled wire and wrapped it around a fine, straight pin. Did this with sterling wire also. It works pretty good, but still looks coarser than the ready made gimp. Yeah, I just like to try stuff sometimes.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  6. #6
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Thank you all, I think I looks much better too. The beads are 14K too. My only concern is I can only wear real gold or sterling silver, unfortunately I'm allergic to most everything else. Which is why I can only buy gold or silver to work with, so I do hope the prices come down soon. Silver and my ph sometimes don't mix but lately I've been ok wearing it. It used to turn black as soon as I put it on. The vermeil may cost more if it is plated sterling silver. I will have to check out the place you found that. Is there different thickness and is it just trail and error to find the right size? Thanks again for all your help. ~d

  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    PD,

    I bought some 32 gauge gold filled wire and wrapped it around a fine, straight pin. Did this with sterling wire also. It works pretty good, but still looks coarser than the ready made gimp. Yeah, I just like to try stuff sometimes.

    I have done the same thing, Pattye!! I sometimes use it to cover beading wire near the clasp.

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    One other question, you know the pearl thing I'm attempting for my wedding. Well I bought a bunch of sterling silver heads pins in different sizes to work with but now I'm concerned about tarnishing. Has anybody tried working with stainless steel? Is it hard to manipulate? I know I wouldn't be allergic to that and I think it would be less maintenance.

  9. #9
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    Default Making gimps

    You may be able to make 14k gold gimps using 14K gold wire, a straight pin, and wire cutters. Rio Grande should have 14K gold wire that's thin enough to use, like 30 or 32 gauge. Here's a great Youtube video that includes directions for making a gimp with the straight pin:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVtds...UohtLQ&index=8

    Also, it's not 14k gold, but Fire Mountain Gems has coiled vermeil french wire in various tube sizes. Here's the link to their french wire page:
    http://www.firemountaingems.com/Shop...rtBy=BestMatch

    Hope this helps!

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    That is a good idea. I've seen them do something similar to that on Jewel school. They have so many cool tools out there nowadays, but boy can they get expensive.

  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I have worked with stainless steel, and it is considerably less flexible.

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Thank you PD, I may just have to use the sterling silver.

  13. #13
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Can you get Argentium head pins? Rio Grande has them. http://www.riogrande.com/Search/argentium-head-pins

    These would be slower to tarnish.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member CharmedOne's Avatar
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    Thanks PD, I will look at those too and some wire. Thanks again for all your help. I am so out of practice. Some of the beads I dug up from the old days, I know they don't sell them anymore. LOL.

  15. #15
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    I've been using the vermeil french wire from Fire Mountain for years and have not had any problems with it degrading. Gold plated is a different story !

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