Basic Wire Weaving

Friday, May 2, 2014

Discover three simple weaves to use with two, three and four wire frames. By Sue Mason-Burns

Once you know how to achieve the basic weaves, you can do so much with wirework. It is really simple when you know how. Sue shows us three weaves, one for a two-wire frame, one for a three-wire frame and one for a four-wire frame. Sue has used 0.9mm wire for the frames and 0.315mm wire for the weaving as this helps to keep the weaving neat. Don’t forget, practice makes perfect!

Designer tips:

Tension is important when weaving. Too tight and you will pull your frame wires out of shape, but too loose and your weaving will be uneven.

When you have finished weaving, trim the weaving wire at the back of the piece, and secure by pressing firmly against a frame wire with flat nose pliers.

Avoid kinks in your weaving wire by catching them before they form. Gently untwist the wire before it is pulled tight.

Materials:

0.9mm gunmetal coloured copper wire

0.315mm gunmetal coloured copper wire

 

TWO-WIRE WEAVE

2 Wire

STEP 1 START THE WEAVE

Pic 1
This weave works with parallel frame wires, any distance apart that you need. To prepare the wires, lay them parallel at the required distance apart and use small pieces of low tack masking tape to maintain the gap. You can also prepare frames for a graduated shape by taping one end together. The weave also works with curved wires, by weaving an extra coil around the larger curved frame wire.

STEP 2 ACHIEVING THE WEAVE

Pic 2 (1)
Coil the weaving wire once around the lower frame wire, coiling away from you. Pass the wire in front of the lower wire and behind the upper wire and coil twice around the upper wire, towards you. Pass the wire in front of the upper wire, behind the lower wire and coil twice, away from you. Continue this pattern until you have the length of woven wire you require.

STEP 3 VARYING THE LOOK

Pic 3 (1)
The look of this weave is easily varied by increasing the number of coils between each pass of the weave. The first section of weaving in the picture above is made with two coils between each pass. The centre section is achieved by coiling five times between passes. The widest section uses 10 coils between each pass of the weave.

THREE-WIRE WEAVE

3 Wire (1)

STEP 1 START THE WEAVE

 

 

Pic 4 (1)

Begin with two of the three straight frame wires, parallel and adjacent to each other. Use your weaving wire to coil around both of these wires together, three times, then bring the weaving wire between the two frame wires, ready to continue the weave.

STEP 2 ADD THE THIRD WIRE

Pic 5 (1)
Lay the third straight frame wire above the two previously coiled wires. Coil the weaving wire around this wire, and the centre wire together, three times. After the third coil, take the weaving wire behind all three of your frame wires and continue to weave, alternating coiling three times around the lower and the centre wires together and the centre and the upper wires together.

STEP 3 CONTINUE THE WEAVE

Pic 6 (1)
Continue weaving in this way until you have the length required for your project. Basket weave is particularly good for making shapes, as it bends well and holds a shape. It works equally well with curves and circular shapes, as it does with angular shapes. I find it easier to weave with the wires straight, and then form the woven wires into the required shape, rather than to weave shaped wires.

FOUR-WIRE WEAVE

4 Wire

STEP 1 START THE WEAVE

Pic 7 (1)
Line the frame wires up parallel and weave away from yourself as follows: coil once around wire 1, pass the wire across wire 2, then coil once around it, across wire 3 and once around it, across wire 4 and once around it, then once more around wire 4.

STEP 2 REVERSE THE WEAVE

Pic 8 (1)
As you come back down the wires, weave towards yourself now, around wire four, then (passing behind each wire before you coil) around wires 3, 2 and 1 respectively, finishing with one more coil around wire 1. You can use as many frame wires with this weave as you need to achieve the width required for your project. Four have been used here as an example.

STEP 3 THE COMPLETED WEAVE

Pic 9
Continue weaving until you have the length required for your project. This is a very sturdy weave, and is great for making bracelets and cuffs as the close weave holds the frame wires rigid. It is also particularly effective if you use coloured wire on a plain base, such as copper or gunmetal, as this shows the pattern of the weave up well. The weave works best for straight designs.

 

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