Characteristics of Quality Stitching Wire

Used all over the commercial printing industry, stitching wire is present in saddle stitching, side stitching, loop stitching, booklet making, corner stitching, and inline press stitching. This wire is used for binding together magazines, catalogs, booklets, and other spine-stapled books.

Stitching wire usually comes in the form of galvanized or tin-coated, low-carbon steel. As the binding industry has evolved, so has the production of binding parts, and this includes stitching wire. Some factors that determine how stitching wire performs include quality of the wire, wire delivery, spool sizes, and de-spooling equipment. Below are a few characteristics that affect the quality of stitching wire:


Most wire appears chrome-like in its finish, with enough lubrication to avoid peeling and flaking from friction. This allows the wire to bend and twist without damage to the outer coating.


The tensile of stitching wire is its breaking tension, which is measured in pounds per inch. For the highest quality wire, a tensile range of 135,000 – 165,000 PSI is desired. While you want your stitching wire to have a higher breaking point for increased stiffness, wire that is too strong can cause damage to machines by wearing out stitching heads and trimmer knives. Anything below 135,000 PSI tensile will result in weak and soft wire, while anything above 165,000 PSI will be weathering to your stitching machine. Keeping within the desired tensile range will allow the wire to perform with strength without doing damage to machine parts.

Cast and Camber

The cast and camber of the wire, also known as helix, is another way to determine the quality of stitching wire. Stitching wire is naturally curved if commercially produced and the curvature can be measured by the wire’s cast and camber. The cast of stitching wire refers to the diameter of the natural curve of the wire. The camber of stitching wire is measured as the distance of the ends of one turn of freely hanging wire. For high-quality stitching wire, a large cast and small camber are ideal. The wire will go into the stitching head easier, allowing it to work more efficiently.

Path of Wire

In order for production to run smoothly, the stitching wire must run along a clear path in order to avoid the finish from chipping, scratching, or becoming damaged when traveling from the spool to the stitching head. Wire guides and felt pads should be checked and replaced often enough to remain in good shape for the wire to travel through with ease. If not taken care of, flaking from the wire can cause jams in the stitching head.

At Update Ltd, we keep all of the characteristics listed in mind for our stitching wire. For wire that is high quality and compatible with today’s stitching machines, we carry galvanized, tinned, high carbon, and colored stitching wire. Contact us today to purchase the best stitching wire for your production needs.