Wholesale Beads and Jewelry-Making Supplies for Designers
Whether you are an up and coming or seasoned, professional, jewelry-making designer, you are probably looking for quality wholesale beads and jewelry-making supplies at the best price. You may already have a game plan for success, along with the energy that is needed for your start-up or existing business, but where can you find the best materials possible to create your products at the best price possible? Whether you’re creating bead works with Bali spacers, pearls, sterling rounds, gemstones or glass beads, it is important to know how to choose the right material and supplies for your jewelry product and where to obtain these supplies at the right price. You want to make jewelry that will last forever and not be returned due to breakage from using inferior products or tools. Often designers have the right mindset but limited information on the resources that are available to them. We have all the information you need on wholesale beads, jewelry-making supplies, tools, Soft Flex Craft Wire, Soft Flex Beading Wire and findings in order to achieve maximum profit for your designs!
Here at Soft Flex® Company, we offer a tiered discount structure for jewelry-making designers and manufacturers. If you use our products in your designs and resell them as a business, you are considered a wholesale designer and after a few short steps, you will be able to purchase from us tax free and receive automatic wholesale designer discounts.
Discounts for Designers
Purchase an Assortment of Products from our online catalog and receive the following discounts:
20% off up to $249
30% off $250-$349
40% off $350+
No tax. Free Shipping on all online orders over $65 in the USA.
Click to download PDF of Wholesale Designer Information and Application
At Soft Flex Company, we have an impressive spectrum of beads. We offer high end gemstones and beads of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are designing for yourself or to sell, you will find the perfect match. Combine our high end stones and Extreme Flex Beading Wire and you have jewelry that is red carpet ready. If you sell to a clientele that loves simpler jewelry, we have some wonderful beads priced economically. These are just some of our collections available for wholesale purchasing: Artisan Lampwork Beads, Italian Glass Beads, Antler Beads, CZ Beads, Pearl and Faux Pearl Beads, Lava Rock Beads, Shell and Mother of Pearl Beads and Ceramic Beads. There is a great selection for every price range and customer.
Wholesale Gemstone Beads
Gemstone beads are the perfect way to add a special kind of natural beauty to any of your designs. Gemstones are fashioned into beads in a variety of shapes that will have you inspired to create for a variety of consumers. Wholesale gemstone beads include semi-precious and smooth stones that come in every size, texture, and color. From Amethyst, Aquamarine, Black Stone, Onyx, and Opal beads - the options available to wholesalers are endless. The type of beads you should purchase depends on the appearance you want in your jewelry. For example, a rose quartz heart-shaped bead drilled through the top can be used as a pendant when mixed with other quartz gemstones in a necklace, and a round pillow of golden Citrine with complementary gemstone beads would make a lovely bracelet.
Glass Beads Wholesale
Glass is one of the most versatile and widely used materials for the creation of beautiful beads for wholesale use. Beads made from glass come in all forms, shapes, colors, and sizes. There is a variety of techniques used to produce an endless diversity of glass bead types, including Venetian beads, cat-eye beads, crystals beads, glass pearls, bumpy beads, lampwork beads, and the like. Some glass beads can be a bit rough on the inside of the hole or at the edges. Using a strong wire like Soft Flex Beading Wire that is resistant to abrasion can assist when working with these beads. You can also use a bead reamer to smooth the edges and the inside of the hole.
Types of Glass Beads
Glass beads are normally categorized by the methods used to manipulate or create the glass. Most beads fall into three main categories:
- Wound beads
- Drawn beads
- Molded beads
There are also composites, such as Millefiori beads, where cross-sections of a drawn glass cane are applied to a wound glass core.
Artisan Lampwork Beads
Artisan Lampwork Glass is an exciting addition to any bead collection. Lampwork artistry takes its name from the oil lamps that were used to create the designs in the medium's infancy. Artists used the lamp's flame to mold the glass. Today, lampworkers use a torch in their studios. Artisan Lampwork Beads come in many forms. You can find lampwork pendants, belt buckles, beads and sculptures. At Soft Flex Company, we carry beads from talented artists like: George O' Grady, Eric Seydeaux, and Bernadette Fuentes.
Crackle Glass Beads
Crackle beads are beautiful and vibrant. They add life and extra creativity to jewelry creations.
The crackle bead is made by immersing it in cold water while the glass is still molten hot. This causes the glass to crack, and then it is reheated, molded or hand-blown into the desired shape. It is the reheating of the glass after it is cracked which seals the glass and gives the surface a smooth feel.
Dichroic Glass Beads
Dichroic glass beads are used to produce high-end art beads. Dichroic means 'two-colored' in Greek. It has a thin film of metal fused to the surface of the glass, which results in a surface that has a metallic and multi-colored sheen. Dichroic beads can be made with traditional lampworking techniques. Dichroic glass originated over a thousand years ago. Last century, NASA revolutionized the process of manufacturing Dichroic glass. NASA began using Dichroic glass to shield it's astronauts and equipment from harmful radiation. It is a little amazing that the artistic creations we see today owe their technique to spaceflight and exploration.
Furnace Glass Beads
Italian glass blowing techniques such as Latticino and Zanfirico are adapted here to make these furnace beads. Furnace glass uses large decorated canes built up out of smaller canes, encased in clear glass and then extruded to form the beads with stripe patterns. These beads require a large-scale glass furnace and annealing kiln for manufacture. If you love these Italian artists, make sure you shop Sir Luigi Cattelan in our Artisan Lampwork Glass section. Luigi was knighted by the Italian government for his skill and achievements in his artistic medium. Luigi was born and raised in a city known for skilled glass artists – Murano, Italy.
Crystal Beads and CZ (Cubic Zirconia)
Crystal Beads are machine cut and polished. Their high lead content allows them to sparkle more than other glass. The most famous are produced by Swarovski, but there are other options on the market. CZs are a wonderful substitute for diamond lovers that do not have deep pockets. CZs are the synthesized form of Zirconium Dioxide. They are relatively new on the beading market. They were first mass produced in 1976. They are a great solution for jewelry designers that want to design stunning designs but keep cost down. They are also a fantastic alternative for buyers that are looking to avoid 'conflict diamonds'. Recent innovations have made CZ quality explode. Soft Flex Company CZs were hand selected by owner and founder Mike Sherman. Mike only sells beads that passes his scrutiny and approval.
Molded Glass Beads
Molded glass is rolled in hot sand to remove flashing and soften seam lines. By making canes (the glass rods that are fed into the machine) striped or patterned, the beads can be more elaborately colored than seed beads. A single operator can easily make thousands of these beads in a day.
Wound Glass Beads
Wound glass beads are the earliest true glass beads that were made by the 'winding' method. Glass at a high temperature is stretched around a solid core, such as a metal wire or mandrel. The wire is then treated with some compound to prevent the bead from sticking to it, called "bead release." The wound bead may be further shaped by manipulating it with tools and paddles, and by pressing or rolling it on a hard surface. While hot, or after reheating, the surface of the bead may be decorated with fine straws of colored glass.
Beading Wire Wholesale
Soft Flex® Beading Wire is a well-known brand of beading wire for stringing beads. Companies like HSN demand that their beaded jewelry manufacturers use only Soft Flex® beading wire in their designs in order to have fewer costly returns. It comes in lots of different brands, diameters, colors and lengths.
Brands of Beading Wire Made by Soft Flex® Company
Soft Flex® Company has a wide spectrum of options for beginners, crafters, wholesale jewelry-making designers and mass manufacturers working with QVC, HSN or large department stores. This micro-wire technology gives you the most flexible and knottable wire in the world. It is hypoallergenic, and since Soft Flex® Wire is marine quality, it can be worn in and out of salt and fresh water. We have the largest color assortment available! Here are the brands that are applicable to wholesale designers and manufacturers of quality jewelry.
Soft Flex® Beading Wire
Our original beading wire gives body and shape to a design. Soft Flex® Beading Wire is constructed of either 21 or 49 micro woven stainless steel wires, braided together and then nylon coated. Available in 3 diameters: Fine .014, Medium .019 and Heavy .024.
Soft Touch Beading Wire
Our premium beading wire drapes like silk with the strength of stainless steel. The world's first stainless steel beading thread! Designed for Sewing, Crocheting and Knitting. Redefine flexibility with Soft Touch, our premium wire. Same performance as Soft Flex® Beading Wire with more supple flexibility and it’s easier to tie. Available in 4 diameters: Very Fine .010, Fine .014, Medium .019 and Heavy .024.
Extreme Beading Wire
This gorgeous beading wire comes in 3 metallic tones. Extreme wire is constructed of micro-woven strands of copper alloy wire sometimes plated in 24k gold and sterling silver. The wire is coated in a clear nylon coating, letting the beautiful metallic colors show through. Available in 3 diameters: Fine .014, Medium .019 and Heavy .024.
Diameters of Flexible Beading Wire
Choosing the right diameter of beading wire is very important for creating a quality product that you will feel comfortable selling. This will guarantee no costly returns!
- Very Fine .010 inch is constructed of 7 micro stainless steel wires. As soft as thread, with the strength of steel. This diameter is widely used for illusion style necklaces and bead weaving. The 1x1-mm Soft Flex® Crimp Tube is typically recommended for diameter .010 in Soft Touch and should be crimped with the Micro Crimping Pliers.
- Fine .014 inch is used for softer, less abrasive materials such as freshwater pearls and seed beads. Diameter .014 offers the softness and flexibility of pearl stringing threads yet has the strength of stainless steel. The 2x2-mm Soft Flex® Crimp Tube is typically recommended for this diameter and should be crimped with Magical Crimping Pliers or Regular Crimping Pliers.
- Medium .019 inch is our multi-purpose wire. This wire has a wide variety of uses. You can string small to medium glass beads, Austrian crystals, silver, pewter, 80% of freshwater pearls and seed beads. Recommended when you are designing with a variety of materials. The 2x2-mm Soft Flex® Crimp Tube is typically recommended for this diameter and should be crimped with Magical Crimping Pliers or Regular Crimping Pliers.
- Heavy .024 inch is used for abrasive beads and stone like Turquoise, Coral, and glass. It is used for designs that need to endure excessive movement and stress, such as watchbands, belts, lanyards and bracelets. It's great for multi-strand designs, African trade beads and large gemstone beads. The 2x3-mm Soft Flex® Crimp Tube is typically recommended for this diameter and should be crimped with Regular Crimping Pliers.
Largest Color Assortment of Beading Wire
Using color Soft Flex® Beading Wire should not be intimidating. A color can really liven up an average, ordinary design. Soft Flex® Beading Wire in colors has opened up a whole new world for designers as the wire itself can now be used as part of the design. A strand of colored Soft Flex® Beading Wire does not drastically change the coloring of a bead. However, it does add and enhance the color. Don't be afraid to leave a little wire showing, much like the invisible necklaces, but with a nice color of Soft Flex® Wire! We offer a rainbow of 24+ colors – most are based on gemstone tones.
Lengths of Wholesale Flex Wire
We offer lengths of 10 feet, 30 feet, 50 or 100 feet (depending on brand), 1000 feet and 5000 feet. 10 feet is a great length to try out a color or diameter and see how it looks and feels in person. Buying in bulk is the best way to keep your price low if you are using one specific brand, diameter and color of beading wire.
Craft Wire Wholesale
Soft Flex® Craft Wire is widely used in wholesale bead making so it is important to choose the proper craft wire for your applications. When choosing craft wires, what you must keep in mind are the wire gauge, the wire shape, and wire hardness.
Soft Flex® Craft Wire is a high quality, permanently colored copper wire. It is resistant to scratching, peeling and marring. This is due to the special enameling process used to coat the wire to produce the wide spectrum of colors we offer. After the enamel is applied, the wire is then clear coated to prevent tarnishing. Bare Copper is the only wire in the line that is not treated. If antiques and old findings are your medium, Bare Copper will patina - perfect for making that new project look like an heirloom.
Quality Soft Flex® Craft Wire is 100% lead and nickel free. There are no other metals used in the wire production other than copper and fine silver. An exceptional design idea deserves a professional craft wire.
It comes in a variety of lengths as shown on our website, but you can also special order wholesale sized quantities of Soft Flex® Craft Wire for mass jewelry-making manufacturing by contacting us.
Gauges of Soft Flex Craft Wire
We currently offer six of the most commonly used gauges in the jewelry industry and more are on the horizon. There are many different wire sizes. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the wire is in diameter. Our wire is measured in gauges 18-28.
- 18 gauge (1.02 mm) This is a medium thick wire. You can use it with regular jewelry tools. It can be used for wine charms, clasps, gift wrapping, decorations, wire wrapping beads with large holes, and chain making.
- 20 gauge (0.81 mm) This is a medium wire. You can use it with regular jewelry tools. It is a good general-purpose wire for making ear wires, headpins, and small wire clasps. Good for wire wrapping most glass beads, coiled beads, and eye pins.
- 22 gauge (0.64 mm) This is a medium thin wire, which can be used with regular jewelry tools. It is ideal for wire wrapping beads like Austrian Crystals or transparent semi-precious beads, scrap-booking, and paper crafts.
- 24 gauge (0.51 mm) This is a thin wire, which can be used with regular jewelry tools. It can be used for wire wrapping smaller crystals, semi-precious beads, and freshwater pearls to a chain, rubber-stamping, and delicate embellishments.
- 26 gauge (0.41 mm) This is a very thin wire. Tools with very fine tips should be used when working with this wire. It can be used for wire stitching, embroidery, and seed bead projects.
- 28 gauge (0.32 mm) This is a very, very fine wire. Tools with very fine tips should be used when working with this wire. This type of wire is perfect for wire weaving, crocheting, and free-form wire wrapping using small beads.
Soft Flex® Craft Wire comes in a variety of shapes. These are round, half-round and square. The round wire is the most versatile and widely used, although square and half-round wires are popular too. Half round wire is often wrapped around other pieces of wire to connect them, and the square craft wire is great for wire-wrapping projects.
The temper of Soft Flex® Craft Wire is soft. It is firmer than similar wire products offered on the market, which are typically only available in dead soft and can't be tempered to half hard. There are three different kinds of wire hardness across the wide spectrum of wire available on the jewelry-making market. They are known as dead soft, half-hard, and full-hard:
- Dead soft wire is extremely soft and can be bent with your hands. It is great for wire-sculpted designs and jewelry-making but must be work hardened to retain its shape.
- Half-hard wire is slightly harder than dead soft wire. This is because it has been pulled through a draw plate which has holes that are the same size and shape of the wire.
- Full-hard wire is pulled through the draw plate more times than the half-hard wire, making it stiffer and sturdier. The harder the wire, the more tools you will need to handle it.
How to Start Selling on Etsy
Before you create your shop, sign in or create an Etsy account. You’ll use this account for your shop, and to buy from other makers on Etsy. Then add info to a public profile and bio to let people know who you are.
To open your Etsy shop:
- Click Sell on Etsy at the top right of Etsy.com.
- Click Open your Etsy shop.
- Select your shop language, country, and currency, then click Save and continue.
- Choose your shop name, then click Save and continue.
- Your shop is ready!
Once your shop is open, you can continue to set up on the Etsy app. Once your shop is open, add your shop policies and figure out your plan for shipping your items. Upload a shop icon and cover photo. Craft your shop’s “About section”. Use the “Shop Sections” to organize your items so buyers can find their way around your shop.
Marketing, Branding, and Promotion
There are some useful steps for marketing a brand via Etsy from the company itself:
- Make sure you’re optimizing your shop for Etsy Search. Make sure to add your location so that your shop can be found in local searches.
- Offer discounts to your buyers with sales and coupons.
- Consider marketing your shop through paid advertising.
- Find a local craft fair or market where you can sell your goods.
- If you’re looking to expand your business by launching your own website for your shop, use Pattern by Etsy.
Manage Your Shop
Make sure you follow these best practices, so you’re qualified for Etsy’s Seller Protection Policy:
- Manage your shop on the go using the Sell on Etsy app.
- Take a break from your shop when needed.
- Connect with the Etsy community to get great tips and shop critiques from other Etsy sellers in the Forums or consider joining or starting a team.
For more information on wholesale beads and jewelry-making supplies, contact us today!
Click to download PDF of Wholesale Designer Information and Application