Needle Felting Wire – Plus wire size guide, how to use, and video tutorial

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Needle felting armatures are typically used in the creation of needle-felted sculptures to provide structure and support to the final piece. The choice of wire gauge for the armature depends on the size and weight of the sculpture you are creating. See description below for guidance on choosing the most common wire gauges for needle felting armatures.

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Description

WIRE SIZES AND USES – Lengths are 5 metres. Copper is 10 metres. Details below.

12-Gauge Wire(2mm) Length 5 metres: This is a thicker and stronger wire, suitable for heavier and larger needle-felted sculptures. It provides excellent support for larger pieces and helps maintain their shape and stability. You might use 12-gauge wire for larger animals or sculptures with thicker limbs and bodies.
14-Gauge Wire(1.5mm) Length 5 metres: Slightly thinner than 12-gauge wire, 14-gauge wire can also be used for medium-sized sculptures. It’s a good compromise between strength and flexibility and works well for armatures that need to support moderate weight.
16-Gauge Wire(1.3mm): This gauge is suitable for medium-sized sculptures or pieces that require a balance between strength and flexibility. It’s often used for sculptures that have both delicate and thicker elements.
18-Gauge Wire(1mm) Length 5 metres: Thinner than the previous gauges, 18-gauge wire is appropriate for small to medium-sized sculptures and armatures that need more flexibility. It’s often used for creating finer details in the sculpture.
20-Gauge Wire(0.8mm) Length 5 metres: The thinnest commonly used gauge, 20-gauge wire is suitable for very small sculptures or for adding delicate features like fingers and toes. It offers the most flexibility but may not provide as much support for heavier elements.
You may also use a combination of gauges in a single armature to achieve the desired balance of strength and flexibility for different parts of the sculpture.
24-Gauge Copper Wire(0.5mm) Length 10 metres: The thinnest commonly used gauge, 25-gauge wire is suitable for very small sculptures or for adding delicate features like fingers and toes. It offers the most flexibility but may not provide as much support for heavier elements.
You may also use a combination of gauges in a single armature to achieve the desired balance of strength and flexibility for different parts of the sculpture.
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WATCH VIDEO TUTORIAL

HOW TO CONVERT ARMATURE WIRE GAUGE TO MILLIMETRES

This table should help you quickly convert wire gauge measurements to their approximate millimetre equivalents. American and British gauges are slightly different so here are both for you.

AWG (American Wire Gauge) to Millimetres:

AWG Gauge Approximate Diameter (mm)
10 2.588 mm
12 2.053 mm
14 1.628 mm
16 1.291 mm
18 1.024 mm
20 0.8128 mm
22 0.6442 mm
24 0.5117 mm
26 0.4039 mm
28 0.3211 mm
30 0.254 mm

SWG (Standard British Wire Gauge) to Millimetres:

SWG Gauge Approximate Diameter (mm)
6 4.877 mm
8 4.191 mm
10 3.251 mm
12 2.947 mm
14 2.108 mm
16 1.628 mm
18 1.219 mm
20 0.9144 mm
22 0.7112 mm
24 0.5599 mm
26 0.4572 mm
28 0.3765 mm
30 0.315 mm

 

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