Currently, I’m using 24-gauge sterling. I bought 400 ft, so I’ll
use it up before i try some fine silver wire. Fine silver is
more tarnish resistent.
You can easily anneal the wire before working it. To do this,
wrap the wire in contiuous loops (like when you wrap up the
garden hose or a long extension cord). Then take the final end
bit and wrap some tight spirals all the way around the circle of
wire. It should be a nice tight, compact circle of silver.
Then use a very very bushy torch and slowly heat round and round
the circle until it is a dull orange color and annealed. Quench
immediately in cold water. If you do this slowly, you won’t melt
the wire. Pickle the silver and crochet up something pretty!
After you have crocheted the length that you want. Then anneal
and pickle it again. At this stage, twist the length so that all
the loops are in fairly straight lines. (When you crochet, the
loops naturally leave a spiral effect).
Now for the magic!! Run the length thru a draw plate a few
times–each time into a smaller hole-- until it is the width you
want. You may have to anneal it a time or 2 as you pull it thru
the holes. Depending on how many loops you started with, the
length will stretch 25-30% as you use the draw plate. 25-30%.
I use tabing and fabricate end caps when I’m done,