Beading Terminology

Beading terminology is a resource guide to help you learn new words through you process of growing and developing your handmade bead jewelry skills.

In this process of learning about beaded jewelry you will come across new words, or trade jargon, that may not be familiar to you. This page is intended to help.

This quick reference is continually growing.  Refer to it often if you need a quick definition to a new word you come across.  

If you don't see it here then let's make sure it gets added for all to learn.  I invite you to contact me and make me aware.

I hope you find this helpful. Remember the beading terminology page stays in 'draft' form since this is a continually growing site.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Beading Teminology

A

  • AB [aurora borealis] - an iridescent coating on beads to enhance colors, light and texture creating a rainbow effect.

B

  • Bead - a component made of a variety of materials with a hole drilled through it.
  • Bent Nose Pliers - Jewelers tool pliers with a hooked nose. Similar to the chain nose pliers. 
  • Beading Board - A pre-shaped plastic rectangular board with grooved channels that assist laying out jewelry patterns providing small compartments to hold the additional jewelry making supplies.
  • Beading Mat - A soft piece of cloth used to cushion work area creating a resting place for beads and findings, preventing these components from rolling away around while project is in process.
  • Beading Wire is the strand, the thread, the wire, that the beads will be strung onto for necklaces and for bracelets.

C

  • Cabochon - a stone without a hole that is used to place in settings.  Sometimes cabochons have a flat surface on one side sometimes not.
  • Chain Nose Pliers - jewelry tool used to compress crimp beads and to work a variety of techniques involved in creating beaded jewelry.
  • Clasp - A finding, a component, a device for fastening together two or more things. 
  • Crimp Bead - A pliable bead intended to be compressed to hold stringing material to clasp. It is made from either precious metal or metal composite.
  • Crimp Pliers - Specialized pliers intended to crimp, bend and fold crimp beads.
  • Cutters - pliers tool used to cut wire.

D

  • Dangle - A beginning component  for earrings, charms or pendents.
  • Diameter - measurement of a bead or stone. 

E

  • Earring Wire - The finding used to convert dangles or drops into a pierced or post earring.

F

  • Fire Polish - process of polishing glass beads with fire.
  • Findings - a variety of components that either finishes and enhances jewelry.
  • Flat Nose Pliers - Jeweler pliers that strongly resembles the chain nose pliers. The difference is that the exterior of the nose is also flat and have a wider nose.
  • Flush Cutters - Wire cutters that provide a flush flat cut. 

G

  • Gauge - measurement of sculpting wire.

H

  • Hollow Nose Pliers - An unusual set of pliers that are used to create hoops in sculpting wire easily.

I

J

  • Jewelers Tools - Specific tools used by jewelry making or beading artist to aide in the construction of hand made jewelry.

K

L

  • Lapidary - The art of cutting, polishing and engraving precious stones.
  • Lapidary School - The teaching of precious stones.

Beading Terminology

M

  • Millimeters - Measurement standard of beads

N

  • Nippers - Sharp cutting pliers intended to cut wire.

O

P

  • Pliers - Variety hand jewelers tools used to create and finish all handmade beaded jewelry.

Q

R

  • Reamers - Jewelers tool used as files. Can be helpful to help clean out bead holes that may have been clogged during processing of coating or drilling.
  • Round Nose Pliers - Jewelers tool with rounded noses and used for creating loops.

S

  • Scrimpers -  A brand jewelers tool used for a specific technique of attaching a clasp to a necklace or bracelet.
  • Sculpting Wire - Soft, flexible wire to bend but stiff enough to hold it's shape. 
  • Side Cutters - Wire cutting pliers with a slight angle in the head of the tool. 
  • Split Ring Pliers - Pliers with a hooked nose intended to open a spring ring.
  • Spring Ring - A double coiled ring in a variety of sizes used to connect components together. Larger spring rings are commonly know as 'key rings'.

T

  • Toggle - A type of clasp styled with a hoop and bar. Variety of styles, colors and made of a variety of composites such as metal, glass and clay.

U

V

W

  • Wire Cutters - Jewelers tool used for cutting soft flexible beading wire or stiffer sculpting wire.

X, Y, Z

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