20 Different types of {BEADS} for bead embroidery and jewelry making

Do you know that beads have been found in graves of men who died a long time ago – like thousands of  years ago. Check out a recent report here in Huffingtonpost.com – Researchers have discovered three glass beads from a Fifth Century burial site in Japan. In Africa glass beads have been found which dates back to 300 BC. Beads are always in fashion.

Even today one way or the other designers try to incorporate the incandescence of beads into their creations. Bead embellishments are done on Bags, jackets, tops , brooches, pendants, purses belts,hats and even shoes – you name a clothing / accessory and you will find beads decorating it, making it look special.

It is not only the top couture designers who are fascinated by beads. Ordinary men and women like you and me have been attempting to make beautiful creations – jewellery and embellishments as per their imagination and creativity, on their own. 

Beads come in different types, sizes and materials. They are made of wood, shell, plastic, ceramics, metal and even bone

Beads can be categorized according to their surface finish as well as the type of materials they are made of.

The different finishes of the beads are.

Transparent beads – clear or colored glass beads that allow light to pass through the surface

Opaque beads – Beads that do not allow light to pass through

Lustre finish – This is a high gloss finish on a transparent bead

Matte finish – This is a non-shiny texture. It has a smooth velvety finish

Satin finish – A shimmery finish

Silver lined – Beads with a mirror-like lining inside

Supra finish – frosted looking finish

Firepolish finish – Heat treated beads with a glossy finish

Galvanised finish – A metallic finish that can get a worn-off look after sometime

Iris finish – This finish gives beads an iridescent coating. Called Aurora Borealis finish when one side has this finish

Ghost finish – A matt finish with a rainbow effect

Colour lined beads – Two-toned beads with one color on the outside and another on the inside

Ceylon finish – A pearly finish mostly in a soft pastel color, usually on an opaque bead

Check out the different types of beads we popularly use .

Types of Beads

1 Seed Beads

These are small round shaped beads which are made of glass. They come in a wide variety of colours, clear, iridescent or silver lined. They are regularly used for making jewelry and also for needle work. ( also called rocaille)

3X (3 cuts) Beads are seed beads that are multi-faceted; they have an extra sparkle glitter and shine due to the cut of the bead.

2 Cylinder bead 

This is a tube-shaped bead with a large hole; Also goes by  names Toho bead, Delica bead

3 Crystal Beads

These are cut glass beads made with approximately 30% lead, giving it a highly refractive quality.

Swarovski crystal beads are the finest cut (precision cut) crystal beads you can get for beads work. They were originally made in Austria and are renowned for their brilliance and quality. They come in a variety of sizes shapes and colors ( more than 50 colors and 15 effects) ; They can be made into fine jewelry as well as sewn into fabric as an embellishment

Rhinestones which are made of crystals / glass but are not Swarovski are generally called Austrian crystals.

4 Bugle Beads

These are long glass beads which are shaped like a tube. They are either smooth or with 6 sides. The sizes of bugle beads range from 2mm to 40mm.

5 Roundel beads

Roundel beads are flat donut shaped beads usually used as a spacer bead . Glass Roundel (also called roundelle) usually come with many faces but some are available smooth too.

6 Bali Beads

Bail beads are hand made, sterling silver made originally in Bali, Indonesia. They are often used as spacers when making jewelry. These beads are intricately worked in silver and are beautiful.

many kinds of beads for jewelry

7 Drop Beads

Drop beads are shaped like a pear or raindrop; they have a hole through the bead or at times at the narrow end of the bead.

types of different beads

8 Faceted Beads

They are faceted on all sides and because of this catch light on all sides which makes it luminous.Hex beads are faceted seed beads with 6 faces . 

how many kinds of beads

9 Lampwork Beads

Lampwork beads are handcrafted glass beads which are exquisitely beautiful. They are made by melting  glass with a torch. The process of making the lampwork beads is very labourous ; different colours of glass are melted to gether to form the patterns visible on the surface of the beads.

beads for beading

10 Pony Beads

Pony beads are inexpensive large beads mostly made of plastic . They are generally used in craft projects and for kids to make jewellery. These beads are available as a single colour or in a mixed set. These beads are sometimes called an “E” bead; Most are sized about 3-1/2 to 4mm.

11 Acrylic fancy beads

These are plastic beads available in many shapes and colours -round, flat,  oval, tube. They are lightweight . These beads also come electroplated metallic silver, copper or gunmetal colors

12 Ceramic Beads

13 Wood beads

14 Semi precious beads 

kinds of beads for beading

15 Cultured  pearls

These are fine quality pearls harvested from farmed mussles. Cultured pearls may be bred freshwater or saltwater; The term covers all pearls on the market today like  Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian,and freshwater pearls. Pearls cultured in saltwater are more valued than freshwater pearls. But freshwater pearls are moderately priced and hence much in demand

types of beads

16 Costume pearls

Also known as faux pearls or plastic pearls or imitation . They can be made of glass, plastic or fish-scales which are coated with a material which makes them look like pearl. They lack the depth of colour and beauty of the original pearl. These pearls are inexpensive, lightweight and hence used in beading on fabric.

The plastic pearls can be of many shapes. Round shaped pearls are the most common. Oat pearls are oblong in shape; then there are teardrop shaped pearls and pear-shaped pearls, which are tapered on one end

17 Sequins

Sequins are available in any number of shapes , sizes and colours. They are mostly round in shape with a bowl like center with a hole. Some are flat. Paillets are very big sequins which have hole near the edge rather than the center. These sequins are used to embellish fabric edges ; they are frequently used in dance costumes. Checkout the different ways to stitch sequins on to your clothes.

18 Metal Beads

many kinds of beads

Out of all metal beads, silver is very popular. If you want pure silver beads you will have to look for beads marked as Sterling silver – the purity of silver can be tested with an ammonia test. 

19 Rhinestones

These are flat back crystal beads with holes , through which you can sew to attach them to fabric. There are rhinestones which can be glued onto fabric as well. They have many facets and the light reflected on them make them look like diamonds. Checkout this post on many ways to fix rhinestones on your fabric

different types of beads

 20 Charlotte beads 

Charlotte beads are a type of seed beads that have one flat surface cut into them.Cut of this bead is distinctive.

Related posts

  make beaded tassels

how do do bead work  how to sew bead buttons



Comments 6

    1. Post
  1. Who knew there were so many different types of beads that are made and that you can make jewelry from amazing too know .

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