Seed beads are increasingly becoming popular. This is because of their versatility and endless possibilities. These beads include basic shapes like daggers, drops, rondels and also unique abstract and novelty shapes. Glass beads have over 1,500 inventoried seed beads to choose from. New technology in glass beads making has made it possible for manufacturers to combine glass colors in innovative ways. Seed beads production takes the following steps:
Step One: The needed raw materials and the recycled glass of the similar color are collected, mixed and melted in the furnace. Automatic and manual furnaces can be used in the melting process.
Step Two: After melting, molten glass is collected through a hole. Compressed air is then used to hit the center of the glass column to turn it into a hollow tube of glass.
Step Three: The cooled glass tubes are then sorted to ensure that they have the right diameter of the beads being produced. If there are any tubes which are not the correct size, they will be collected recycled and re-melted to make new glass tubes.
Step Four: The tubes are then cut into beads. The cutting process is done using special machines that cut them evenly. The cutting process is done under the watchful eyes of skilled artisans. Different shapes are cut to meet the un-ever ending demand of customers.
Step Five: The cut beads are mixed with black carbon and reheated to make them round. Round beads are heated more while others are slightly heated.
Step Six: The beads are washed. Glass beads have its own on-site water equipment used for washing and cleaning seed beads.
Step Seven: After cleaning, the glass beads are heated again to give them a glossy surface polish. The basic colored beads are now ready to pack and be delivered to various clients or customers. However, beads that need unique colors or textures will have to go through multiple treatments to give them their unique colors.
Step eight: For fancier beads, for example, unique colored beads, silver and color-lined or metallic, they will have to go through various treatments where dyes and other color coatings are applied. It is important to point out that certain beads require multiple treatments which directly influence their final cost. After the dying process or color-lining the beads, producer reheats them again to set the required colors, this is a step that some bead making companies skip to reduce costs.