A bead is a small, decorative object that is pierced for threading or stringing. As an alternative to piercing, plastic beads may be Moulded Onto a Thread during manufacturing; these MOT beads are often used for the throw necklaces worn at Mardi Gras. Beads range in size from under a millimeter to over a centimeter or sometimes several centimeters in diameter. Glass, plastic, and stone are probably the most common materials, but beads are also made from bone, horn, ivory, metal, shell, pearl, coral, gemstones, polymer clay, metal clay, resin, synthetic minerals, wood, ceramic, fiber, paper, and the seeds of the Bead tree and other trees. A pair of beads made from Nassarius shells that are approximately 100,000 years old are thought to be the first known examples of jewellery.
Beadwork is the craft of making things with beads. Beads can be woven together with specialized thread, strung onto thread or wire, or adhered to a surface (e.g. fabric, clay)... more
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