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Acrylic beads are a form of plastic beads, along with Lucite beads, resin beads, and bakelite beads. Of all these beads, the acrylic items are the most commonly used in making jewelry pieces.
Bead making began using naturally available materials like metal, stone, wood, Glass, and gems. These were termed findings in jewelry parlance. Slowly the demand for beads began to rise. It was due mainly to the rise of international trade and acceptance of bead jewelry by masses. Acrylic became the next material for beads. The name Acrylic Beads refers to beads made from synthetic material.
Acrylic is a derivative of acrylonitrile discovered in 1893 and much later synthesized with different chemicals. The manufactured substance was a rubbery material which could be used for making fabrics, faux wood, and textiles. This was when the bead makers began to use it.
Since Acrylic is a lab synthesized material, it gives several options of products that can be made from the substance. It can be given diverse shapes and mixed with durable colors. The Acrylic beads can be mass-produced to make them cost-effective and affordable. These are durable because of the strength of the material.
Acrylic and Other Beads
People confuse between the term plastic beads and acrylic beads. The fact is that the name Acrylic is an all-encompassing term used for the polymer, resin, and some other plastic substances used to make beads.
There is another term called Lucite beads. Is there some fundamental difference between the two beads? No. Both Acrylic and Lucite are products of the same chemical ingredients. Both are basically plastic. Lucite is actually the name patented for the acrylic beads made by the famous brand DuPont.
Glass and Acrylic have a substantially different composition. Acrylic is a derivative of polymethyl methacrylate. Glass is separate. It is derived mainly from silica, mixing it with thousands of other materials to make it shiny and transparent.
Shoppers of Acrylic beads look for various things while buying it. A variety of form, shape, size, and colors are available. The different types are known as spacer beads, accent beads, end beads, pendants, etc.
Spacers have geometrical shapes, eye-catching colors and are less expensive than other types. These are used to give length to a jewelry project.
End beads are those that are used for finishing a project. These are mainly used by jewelry makers. These beads are more malleable than other acrylic beads to solidly secure the ends of a piece properly.
Accent beads are larger in size, have attractive coloring, and liked for their unique shapes. These differ from the spacers in price also. Accent beads are more expensive.
Pendant beads are unique in nature. These are designed to hang down, making them bigger in size and shape. A pendant bead becomes the most prominent aspect of a piece of jewelry. The string from which it hangs may have different colors and sizes to give it the main focus.
The appearance of Acrylic beads is also an important consideration. Solid colors see-through beads that are transparent and sparkling shine like stardust, miracle beads, etc. are very popular for appearance. Different shapes like balls, barrels cubes and flower-shaped hearts are some of the varieties in presence.