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Margaretologist 10(2) Issue 24 1997

Seed Bead Gallery - Introduction

Seed beads are small, usually mass-produced beads. They are meant to be sewn on or woven into patterns to give movement, and color to an object. Most are made of glass.

Czech, 1930s Donation: Nikki Stetson

Glass seed beads can be treated in many ways. These are clear beads with paint inside (lined beads). They are colorful, but the paint fades and wears out.

Czech, 1950s

These beads are made from colored glass. They are not reheated and left sharp on the ends. They are called "bugles," a word used by Spencer and Shakespeare.

Czech, 1950s

From Czech a sample card of the 1920s or 1930s.


The beads were sold in hanks, mounted on the cards.

The beads have six sides and are called two-cuts.


Their pastel colors are most pleasing, made by coloring or "dying" the glass. A close look will reveal patches of colors rather than a solid color.

Non-glass seed beads

Dating seed beads

Using seed beads

Special seed beads

Grandma's beading box


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