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
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.
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.
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
Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
Originally Posted by pattye
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.
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.
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: