Stainless steel picture wire is made up of individual strands of stainless wire that are twisted together like a steel cable. This design gives stainless picture wire excellent breaking strength.
Each wire size contains seven individual strands. As the numerical sizes of stainless steel picture wire go up, the diameter of the individual strands is greater and the finished wire is heavier and stronger.
Each picture you intend to hang will require a length of picture wire approximately 1 1/2 times the width of the picture.
Stainless Steel Picture Wire Maximum Picture Weight
Please note that each stainless steel picture wire size carries a Maximum Picture Weight designation. There is general consensus among professional picture framers that this number represents the maximum amount of weight that can be safely carried by a given wire size.
In the case of stainless steel picture wire, the Maximum Picture Weight is set at around 35% of the Wire Breaking Point (the point at which the wire, under ideal test conditions, will fail).
If these Maximum Picture Weight designations seem overly conservative, keep in mind that pictures are often left hanging on walls for years, even decades, under all sorts of conditions, and the picture wire must continue to do its job.
When hanging pictures, DO NOT exceed the specified Maximum Picture Weight for the picture wire you are using.