How To Identify Acrylic Beads
Acrylic beads have the same look and appearance as the glass beads, but they are made from plastic material which is called acrylic. While these beads resemble glass in many ways, there are some qualities that make acrylic beads advantageous over glass beads.
The Beads made of any type of synthetic material are termed acrylic. These were traditionally called plastic beads. Acrylic is the new name for the polymer, resin and other synthetic material used to make beads. The resin beads are mixed with fabric and other substances which are basically plastic. The mix gives them different sheen and texture. Lucite and acrylic are sometimes confused but both are plastic beads. Thus Acrylic is the one cover-all term for all beads prepared with polymers and resin.
Lucite and acrylic
Both types have the same chemical ingredients. The difference seen in acrylic is the quality, markings, burrs around holes and seamlessly smooth texture. These do not differ from Lucite in many ways. In fact, the term Lucite is the patent name given to its acrylic range of beads by DuPont. In short Lucite beads are just a brand name for acrylic which in turn is the umbrella name for all kinds of mixed and fabricated plastic beads.
Acrylic beads are more transparent, stronger and more rigid than glass. It is to be remembered that the acrylic is derived from polymethyl methacrylate chemical available in the market by several names like Plexiglas, Lucite, Perspex and Crystallite. The formulation of these plastics enables the cutting through easy. It makes it ideal for making beads.
How to recognise Acrylic beads
There are several varieties of acrylic beads in the market. The form and the use for which the beads are to be used are the first criteria for shopping. These beads are variously called Spacers, Accents, Ends and Pendants etc.
Spacers are geometric in shapes. These, as the name suggests, are used to lengthen and finish the spaces in a jewelry piece. End Beads are typically used to secure the ends of the piece of jewelry. Accent beads are large and have better colours. These are in demand for the main body of a project. Pendants are used along with strings and spacer beads to make a necklace designs. These are bigger and more expensive than other types of acrylic beads.
Basic criteria for shopping Acrylics
A buyer may find all the available variety of these beads confusing. Texture and appearance, colour, sheen, shape, size, transparency, the size of the hole as per project are some of the basics by which the acrylic beads are purchased.
The texture of the beads is important as it gives it the look or the appearance on which the quality of the final project rests. This texture comes from the human endeavour on them by way of designs, shapes and printing etc..
Colour of the beads is obviously the most important factor while shopping for acrylic beads. The attraction of colours is checked from the fudging or clarity, faded or solidity and the sheen that is awarded to the bead by a good colouring.
Acrylic beads are in demand for use in jewelry making and several other preparations. The reason for the popularity of the acrylic beads is their being less expensive than the found material generally used for jewelry.
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