Types Of Beads

Fashion Accessories

types of beads

The world of beads could instantly make you dizzy and get you confused. There are a gazillion varieties of beads found in the market today. How could you possibly differentiate one from another? It would probably be a lifetime before you could identify the different bead types to create your own jewelery masterpieces with them. However, with a write-up like this, it is definitely not that complicated. Big, small, fat, thin, oval and circular; the plethora of beads available is sure to leave you feeling woozy. If you wish to create your own jewelry or you just have a passion for beads, brushing up on your knowledge of the different types and the sizes available might be helpful while choosing them. If you are thinking of hand-crafting a gift for a friend or a loved one, beads are the best way to do it. They look elegant and can add a dash of rainbow colors, making any boring outfit stand out. Scroll down to know more about the different types of beads.

Different Types Of Beads

Seed Beads
Seed beads are some of the most popular types of beads found in the market today. They are circular, smaller than most beads and come in two types. The types are known as the Japanese and Czech beads. Japanese beads have a cylindrical shape and come with large holes that suit the requirements of every type of bead work. Czech beads are slightly circular and have smaller holes that are perfect for embroidery work. Japanese beads usually come in sizes ranging from 6 (the largest) to 22-23 (the smallest). Czech beads, on the other hand, range between sizes 7 and 20. Seed beads are perfect for embroidery, patch work and bracelet designs. These are the most common types of beads that are easy to work with and are commonly made out of glass.

Skull Beads
Skull beads are some of the oldest forms of beads and the oldest, recorded skull bead dates back to 1000 BC. These are typically made of clay and are popularly used for making a skull bead necklace or bracelet. These have a very interesting history of being used even by the first hunting civilization, several centuries ago. These add to a dash of Gothic style that was popularised by the heavy rock-metal culture. Skull beads are fun to work with, especially if you want to create something spooky for a friend or a loved one.

Wood Beads
Wood beads are typically made out of the bark and the stems of trees that are found in abundance. They are made out of natural materials and have also been in use for centuries. These look great with casual wear and since wood can absorb color very well, there can make for magnificently colored, wood beads with small, intricate designs that look great. These beads come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and are created with some of the finest wood types such as Brazilian mahogany. The best part about wooden beads is that inlays can be created using other materials that complement wood very well. These beads are inexpensive and look delicate with casual attire.

Bugle Beads
Bugle beads are some of the thinnest beads found in the market today; they come in a long, cylindrical shape. These are delicate beads made of a variety of materials, popular ones being glass and clay. These beads are not used for bracelets and necklaces. They look great on intricate patch work and embroidery. Bugle beads have been popular ever since the Victorian and Edwardian era, where these were delicately attached to the hems of formal and semi-formal wear. These beads are only a few millimeters long with common sizes being 2, 3 and 5 millimeters.

Gemstone Beads
Most gemstones come in the form of beads of various shapes, colors and cuts. Some of these beads are even hand cut or machine-cut and are slightly more expensive than the normal beads. Before purchasing these beads, research on the type and cut you will be requiring for your bead project, because this will require some investment of money.

Metal Beads
Metal beads are some of the most expensive beads in the world. They come in silver, gold and titanium and have different shapes and prices. These can be used for making expensive jewelry and even on expensive looking clothes. Before deciding to invest on these, see whether these beads match any of your criteria. They are found in unique patterns and designs in different parts of the world.

Faceted Beads
Faceted beads, or ‘crystal’ beads, have various cut surfaces or ‘facets’ that allow light to penetrate through them. These are very popular in gemstone jewelery and beading processes. These can add a whole new dimension of glimmer and shine to a colorful beading project; their sizes range between 2-10 millimeters.

Troll Beads
Troll beads are unique and popular when it comes to handicrafts and beading. These beads come in unique ‘lampshade’, ‘fusible’ and ‘dichroic’ styles that make them stand out from the rest of the beads available in the market today. They come in various colours, patterns and designs and can be easily personalized. These are prime staples for every bead collector and come in a variety of materials such as steel, silver, gold and glass.

Lac Beads
Lac beads are extremely unique and are made of an eco-friendly material called ‘Lac’. Working with these requires expert craftsmanship and they come in a myriad of colors and patterns. Lac beads come with mirrors, extensions, cut work and are bio-degradable in nature. Apart from being used for jewelry, these beads look great in home décor also and add to the glitz and elegance to interiors. Rings, necklaces and bracelets are popularly made out of ‘Lac’ and are high-end, popular choices for all bead lovers.

‘Other’ Beads
Apart from these broad categorizations of beads, there are other high-end, art beads that make jewelery or embroidery look classy and sophisticated. Some of these are handmade, are made out of colorful plastic and have a large variety of detailing on them. Some of the other popular categories of beads are pony beads, cut beads and lamp work beads.

Articles made up of beads can look dazzling and add to all the fun. Most of the time, beads are inexpensive materials but their end results are priceless. They are colorful, in vogue and definitely enhance the overall appeal and look of a person by ten-fold. Beads are found in abundant designs, shapes and materials, so go ahead and take your pick for that exciting bead project!