Tracking the history of seed beads in beaded jewelry has been an interesting journey from eighth century Murano to the current day, and it has brought us to the most fun part of all: the sizes, shapes, and uses of seed beads throughout time.
When you think about all the work that goes into creating seed beads, it's amazing they're as affordable as they are. Our first post about the history of seed beads in beaded jewelry looked at the way these tiny glass gems were made in Murano, Italy several centuries ago; now let's fast-forward to modern times to see what's changed - and what has stayed the same.
Did you know that the smallest seed beads are only the size of a grain of sand? Measured as "24 aught", this translates to only 0.91 mm round in size. Just to illustrate how small this actually is, most seed beads are no smaller than 15 aught - 1.3 mm round - and you can fit 25 of them along one inch of string. In bead measurements, the larger the number, the smaller the bead. So how was something so extremely small created before the invention of modern machinery?