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What is a Chevron Bead?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated May 17, 2024
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A chevron bead is a round, multi-colored glass bead. It was first produced in Italy in the 14th century, but is now manufactured in other parts of the world, such as India and China. Even though these beads are available in different sizes, each bead is typically wider than it is tall. There is a hole in the center of the bead for stringing wire, making it ideal for creating bracelets and necklaces. It may sometimes be called a rosetta or star bead.

Glass canes are used to create chevron beads. Anywhere from four to eight layers of glass can be used to manufacture them. Each layer might be a different color, or they layer may have multiple colors in itself. For this reason, most of these glass beads have bright, vivid patterns on them, and only a few are solid colored.

The color and design found on a chevron bead varies widely by manufacturer and region. Many from India may be made from bright-colored glass, while those from China could be pastel. Some beads may appear to have stripes or star-shaped patterns on them. The wide variety of styles contributes to the popularity of this type of bead in amateur jewelry making.

One of the characteristics of a chevron bead is its shape. It is a stocky round bead, somewhat flat on top and puffy on the sides. Generally, these beads are wide and circular rather than oval-shaped. There is usually a large hole running through the center of the bead so a crafter can string wire through it to create jewelry.

These glass beads are often used to make necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. Key chains and hair accessories could also be created with these. A single chevron bead could be placed on a bookmark as an accent.

Amateur crafters often enjoy creating things with these beads because they are easy to work with. Since they usually have a large hole at the top, they are typically easy to string together. Even though they are made of glass, chevron beads are very durable and do not break easily when they are dropped.

Chevron beads can be purchased at many craft and hobby stores. They typically come in one pound (.45 kg) packages. This means there are usually enough beads to create a necklace and bracelet set in each package. Choosing star beads and making custom jewelry from them can be a fun experience for people of all ages.

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Discussion Comments

By JessicaLynn — On Oct 15, 2011

@Monika - They do sound great for beginners.

I think it's cool that these beads have such a long history. Like the article said, people started making them in the 14th century! I feel like if you use chevron beads in your projects, it's almost like having a connection with the past.

I feel like that about most forms of handicrafts though. Most of them have such a long tradition that it's almost like taking a step back from modern life when you do a project!

By Monika — On Oct 14, 2011

I do a few different crafts, but I've never gotten into beading. Lately I've been thinking about changing that, so I've been doing some reading about the different bead types.

These chevron beads sound really neat. The multicolored look really appeals to me. Plus it sounds like they work well for beginners too.

There is a craft store near my apartment that has a pretty extensive bead section. I feel sure they probably have chevron beads, and I'm definitely going to look for them when I get my beading supplies.

By jonrss — On Oct 13, 2011

I once went to this tiny bead store in Mexico. They had all kinds of amazing beads that had been made by local artists using traditional practices. I saw beads in that shop that were unlike any other bead I have seen anywhere else.

But the one that really stole the show was this collection of chevron beads made of glass that were this incredible swirling crimson pattern. You stared into them and you thought that you were looking for miles. I bought as many as I could. They are the most beautiful beads I have ever seen and I have had to kind of ration them out between my various craft projects.

By gravois — On Oct 13, 2011

When my daughters were little they loved to make their own beaded jewelry. Predictably, they used a lot of chevron beads because they are so easy to work with. But another great thing about them is that you can find them in almost any color or pattern. They are so common that they have been made in tons of different ways.

Luckily I still have a lot of the jewelry my girls made. I fills up almost an entire box. I can remember times when there would be beads scattered into every corner of the living room, it was so slippery you could barely walk.

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