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Uses of Beads

10/8/2012 12:58:23 PM | by Anonymous


Beads are small decorative objects that usually have a hole in them to allow for threading or stringing, for the purpose of creating decorative ornaments. The size of beads can vary, with a variety of different styles and textures. Beads also don’t always have to be threaded or stringed, and can be used individually or in groups by being pasted onto a surface with adhesives. The decorative formations that can be formed using beads are unlimited and it all depends on an individual’s creativity as to what type of beadwork he or she wants to create. Some beadworks may be simple to create whereas some may require special skills and expertise in order to be created. Beadwork is popular throughout the world and is used by many designers to be used in their designs and artworks.


The size of beads can range from 1 millimeter to well over 1 centimeter in diameter. Beads are often used in jewelry, having been woven together with other beads through a specialized thread, string or wire. As beads are available in a vast variety of types and sizes, different materials are typically used to make these varieties. Some common materials that are used to make beads can be glass, wood, clay, plastic, metal, pearl and semi-precious stones. The material that is used would often determine the value of the ornament in which these beads are applied. Traditionally, beads were manufactured in a round shape. Today, beads often adorn various shapes; from oval to square, with one common feature amongst most beads, the hole in the centre which allows threading through them.


In many parts of the world, beads are often used in making symbolic objects such as rosary beads being used for prayer, worry beads that serve as anti-tension devices and Aggrey beads as currency in Ghana. Creating beadwork is usually more complex than creating simple strung pieces as it would require a higher level of skills. Simple strung pieces would only need a thread to be run through the holes in the beads whereas beadwork can have a complex nature, depending on the desired artwork intended to be created. Some skilled bead workers are even able to weave intricate illustrations or designs in the beadworks that they create. Beads can be sewn onto fabrics to compliment the design printed on them, used as jewelry, in the form of necklaces and bracelets.


As mentioned earlier, beadworks can also be created by gluing beads onto surfaces for the purpose of creating decorative patterns and beadworks. Examples of surfaces wherein beads can be attached to are vases and jewelry boxes. Beads attached to such surfaces are often used to create decorative pattern on them. Such beadwork can be done by anyone with little or no beading experience. However if complex patterns are desired, certain level of knowledge and skills are essential in creating those patterns. In these beadworks, the beads do not have to be threaded together as they are simply just glued onto the surface. One should be careful in selecting the surface onto which beads would be attached to as not all surface can hold the beads in place such as metal surfaces.


Types of beads

Some examples of beads can be the charlottes, crystal and donut beads. Charlottes are Czech seeds beads that have one or two small flat facets grounded onto their surfaces. Crystal beads are usually made of leaded glass which gives them a high shine. To increase the shine in these beads, manufacturers may even give these beads a facet. One of the most commonly known crystals is the Swarovski crystal, which is often embroidered onto wedding gowns to give the gown a more shiny and elegant look. Donut beads, as their name would suggest, adorn the shape of a donut, having a flat circular shape and generous centre holes. Such beads are often made out of semi-precious stones.

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