Where Do Seed Beads Originate From?

Seed beads have been around for about 500 years. They are the most changeable beads ever developed, and are used for jewelry, bead bracelets, clothing, purses, sculpture, textile and a lot more. Seed beads were first created in Italy for use in beaded purses, but were mostly used as trade beads, especially by the French fur merchants who gathered them to trade seed beads for pelts. They are very fashionable because of their sizes, finishes, price and shapes. They have found their way into a lot of cultures and traditional costumes.

Widely treasured among bead weavers, they are used to make amazing jewelry and bead embroidered collars and bead bracelets. These alluring beads are made of glass. The Italians proceeded to make seed beads in the 15th century, but seed beads can be found in graves in Egypt, and also in Nigeria and Spain, dating back 4,000 years.

The mass production of seed beadsstarted in Italy. Murano in Italy was a main producer in the 19th century, but no longer make seed beads today. Italy still creates them in Venice but in a smaller amounts. Their beads are cut by hand, and the lengths of the beads aren’t even.

The Italians did not only produce the traditional round small bead, the Rocaille, but began developing bugle beads in the end of the 15th century in Venice. It took Bohemia a couple of hundred years before they followed their competitors and took up producing bugle beads first in the 18th century.

You view them in all cultures, in ancient graves and in museums, in traditional costumes, high fashion clothing and a lot more. They have been found in decorations and for trading for hundreds of years. Today they are used in all different kinds of beading techniques, and are the most used bead type in bead weaving, bead embroidery and loom work.

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