Metal/Steel Wire

How is Metal/Steel Wire made?

Metal wire fabrics are basically fabrics that have been made either incorporating metal wire or made entirely out of metal or steel wire. These can be woven or knitted.

Metal/Steel Wire production

Metal wire is a single, flexible, cylindrical length of metal. In textile uses, this is usually made from steel. This is usually created by dragging the molten metal through holes; these can be of varying diameters, depending on the thickness of wire required. Once the metal has cooled, these wires can be used in textiles. Some fabrics can be made entirely from metal wire. Depending on the thickness of the wire, different effects can be created, and also depending on the weave or knit technique. Sometimes only small sections of fabric use metal wire, and sometimes patterns are created with it, for decoration. Metal wire fabrics usually use an open weave and are used as screens.

Metal wire can also be coated to enhance its properties. Most commonly it is coated with plastic to make it more comfortable to wear or to stop it from tarnishing, but like metallic fibres it can also be coated with polyester and acetate. This wire can also be covered in cotton to minimise its conductive properties. Another way to enhance steel wires properties is to twist two or more wires together. This makes a stronger fibre and means that it doesn’t break as easily. It does however make it heavier and less flexible.

Metal/Steel Wire properties

  • Flexibility
  • Excellent resilience
  • Mechanical damping
  • Noise filtration
  • Excellent strength
  • Can be subjected to high temperatures
  • Able to withstand extreme environmental conditions
  • Conducts Electricity
  • Ductile
  • Can get kinks in
  • Can break easily
  • Much stronger when two or more wires are twisted together

End uses of Metal/Steel Wire

  • Telecommunications
  • Performance Apparel
  • Jewellery
  • Window Screens
  • Electrical Wiring
  • Sifting Machinery
  • Wire netting
  • Wire rope

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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