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Bead Torture

Apr 24, 2009
Views: 40,515
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Author: Sandi Graves
Published: April 24, 2009

How can you tell which beads will fade, tarnish, or change over time? The author exposed a number of beads to light, chemicals (perfume, detergent, nail polish remover, etc.), and friction and reports her results. Includes tips on what to expect with certain types of beads from opaque seed beads to gemstones. This article was originally published in the Winter 2000 issue of Beadwork.

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Suz27 wrote
on Apr 24, 2009 12:26 PM
This should prove very informative. Thank you.
TubaishiR wrote
on Apr 26, 2009 12:41 PM
thank u!!!!!!!!!!!
AndreaM226 wrote
on Apr 26, 2009 2:05 PM
More things to worry about! I would, obviously, rather know in advance if my beads are'nt stable - I had an unfortunate experience with some "ruby jade" I knew it had to be dyed but foolishly I didn't test how colorfast it was until after I had finished a complicated necklace and I was polishing the beads with a soft, untreated cloth and my cloth turned pink! The question then becomes, to sell or not to sell - I think I will try your suggestion of spraying the piece with Krylon and include a note in the description that the "jade" has been dyed and is not colorfast - sure wish I could ask someone about this. I haven't put it up for sale yet, I'm conflicted - it's such a pretty piece and with gentle care could, the operative word here being COULD last a normal lifespan. I tried rubbing the beads against my skin to see if any of the color came off, it didn't, but that doesn't mean that perspiration won't make the beads bleed. I think this one is a loss and a learning experience, thank you for the additional testing options that I should put beads through before I use them. Very helpful.
on May 11, 2009 10:37 AM
I had a green necklace bleed all over a white blouse on IrishFest weekend. I had made the necklaces with some really beautiful green beads with matching earrings and bracelets and was wearing one set in hopes of selling them. The color bled from my perspiration. What a drag! I didn't like the idea of spraying with Krylon BUT I DO NOW!!!! And I do mark them with the warning that these beads are sprayed because of bleeding problems.
on Jul 26, 2009 4:10 PM
I think its a shame that the manufactor's can't make a dye bead that won't bleed. After all, they even charge more just because they are dyed. We purchase the beads because we like the color. Why do we have to go the extra mile just to avoid this problem? Sometimes you can't even tell that a bead is dyed to begin with. Especially when shopping online. What good is testing after you get them home. Your already stuck with the merchandise. I'm trying out all the suggestions that I can get my hands on , on how to preserve the color. Thanks for your help!