The first beads were made of glass. Ancient Egyptians decorated with it clothes and dishes. They made bracelets, earrings, necklaces and other jewelry of colorful beads. So soon it became a trend. Even Pharaohs wore it. «The beads» means«artificial pearls» from the Arabic language. These small treasureslooked stunning and took no need to dive into the dangerous sea depths in order to get it. Thanks to its practicality and brightness, beads quickly became popular outside of Ancient Egypt and Syria.
About the 1st century BC glass products, including beads began to producing in the Roman Empire. Here was invented own blowing-way of glass making.The master took a thin tube and blew various glass objects out of it. Here appeared bugles - a kind of beads in the form of oblong tubules.
In the beginning of our era, Venice became the center of bead production. The secret of making glass here was equated with state secrets. For it disclosure, the glass-masters had been sentenced to death. In 1221, glass production moved from the city of Venice to the island of Murano. Making glass was very honorable and cushy job. Daughters of the Murano masters were allowed to marry the aristocracy and their children were considered aristocrats.
But already from the end of the 13th century the Venetian monopoly on the manufacture of glass began to disintegrate, like the Beatles did. Many masters dispersed through Italian cities and opened their own workshops with beads and bugles. In the XV century such workshops appears in Germany and France. To preserve the monopoly in 1490, the Senate of the Republic Venice gives up the production of glass under the protection of the Council of Ten.That was force organization kind of secret police. They did not subordinate to anyone and acted quite harshly.They opened the hunt for escaped glass-masters. At disobedience, relatives and friends of glassmakers were imprisoned. If the master continued to persist, they sent murderers and only after master’s death they released his relatives. This brutal massacre of glassmakers continued until the 18th century.
Venice for a long time remained the center of beads production. They traded beads to the West, East and Africa. For the beads other countries paid with gold, silk and spices. In Europe were held whole beads fairs.
The Czech treasure
Not only Venetians knew the secret of making glass. Already in the 13-18 centuries, Czech masters overtook the Venetian colleagues, created their own glass-making technology.Also beads productions Czechs put on streamquickly. And to gain popularity, they began to make on it enamel coating. Then they learned to sculpt the beads of different shapes, added juicy colors and shades. As a result,Czech beads pushed out the Venetian beads from the European market.
This trend continues today. Accurate, bright Czech beads are have an excellent quality. The most famousmodern Czech producers of beads are Preciosa, Jablonex,K+M — Komada Vaclav, JM KORAL, Estrela E S-PRESS and other.
Preciosa – the biggest Czech company producing the high quality beads that can compete with Japanese beads.
Beads in Japan
The real fans of beadsare the Japanese. In 1949 the company Miyuki was founded, and in 1951 the company TOHO appeared. Both manufacturers produce premium quality beads and constantly replenish their assortment with new shapes and shades of beads. In addition to the usual round beads and glass beads, Japanese firms produce beads of complex shapes: drops, triangular, cubic and hexagonal beads.
One of the oldest and popular uses of beads in Japan - is the pictures embroidery. But this kind of art became popular all over the world just in last 20 years. A lot of modern embroiderslive in Eastern Europe, includingUkraine. Masters create not only authentic paintings, but also art objects and decor elements that fit to any actual interior.
Metal and enamel
Beads are made from different materials, not only glass. For the first time metal beads are being produced in France. It was gold, silver, bronze and tin material. Metal beads were also produced in England.The beads of glass and metal were widely used in Kiev Rus. Jewelers knew the secrets of making multi-colored enamels, which are a certain category of low-melting transparent or muffled glasses. Of the beads they made ornaments, decorated dishes and clothes. After a thousand years, everyone can easily decorate own house and clothes with the beads. Today, bead products reflect the tradition but have a modern face.
Types of beads
Considered thatthe best quality beads producing in the Czech Republic or Japan. Beads differ in shape and color.