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An Introduction to Different Types of Natural Wood Beads

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The new wood beads are here!

I’m excited to present these beads to you. These particular wood beads are handcrafted in the Philippines, coming to you from a family that has 30 years of expertise in making wood beads. Each bead is cut, turned and polished in their backyard shop. All are natural wood, without any additional stain, so they will stay beautiful for years to come.

What are the advantages of using wood beads?

Even the largest wood bead is relatively light when compared to a gemstone bead of the same size. So wood beads are an easy way to add visual weight to a piece without extra weight on the body. Coming in many different colors, wood beads can look great with a wide variety of metals. Try pairing them with semiprecious stones, shell, bone, and other natural materials to enhance their organic appeal. Plus, many wood beads have larger holes making them perfect for wrap bracelets, macrame, crocheting, and craft projects.

Now, on with the line up…

Bayong

Bayong Wood Beads MixBayong is a hardwood that grows in the Philippines. It is durable, making it long wearing and suitable for jewelry. The natural color is a warm red-brown, with a lovely wood grain pattern that can be easily seen. You may pick up a soft sheen from the wood as the beads are rolled around in the light.

Ebony

Ebony Wood Beads Mix Ebony is a descriptive term that can refer to one of several varieties of dense, dark, or black, hardwoods. Characteristically, ebony woods have a fine, tight wood grain, that takes a very nice polish. Some ebony beads have a mix of dark brown and black shades that form a banded pattern, and are referred to as Tiger Ebony.  In the picture, you’ll see one strand of ebony wood beads has been embedded with beautiful shell/mother of pearl inlays.

Graywood

Graywood Beads

When rolled around in the light, graywood beads have a subtle, smoky gray, sheen. The term graywood can be used for one particular species of wood, or it is sometimes applied to a variety of woods that are gray in color. Graywood beads are lightweight and very smooth with a tight wood grain.

Magkuno

Magkuno Wood Beads MixMagkuno, also known in the Philippines as ironwood, is a very hard tropical wood that has the reputation of being the hardest wood in the world. This has quickly become one of my favorites as the color here is a rich, chocolate brown, that reminds me of M&M’s candy.  Magkuno beads are hard, super smooth, with a very nice wood grain. They take a nice  polish, giving them the look of fine furniture.

Nangka (Jackfruit Tree Wood)

Nangka (Jackfruit Tree) Wood Beads MixNangka is wood from the Jackfruit tree.  Besides being used for general house construction and furniture, it is commonly used to make musical instruments. It has a warm yellow brown or golden brown coloring. Nangka beads are hard, smooth, with a loose wood grain that can be easily seen in the beads.

Patikan and Palmwood

Patikan and Palmwood Mix BeadsPalmwood beads (round beads in picture) can be cut from one of a few varieties of palm trees, including coconut and date palms.  The natural grain of the wood has beautiful, parallel black grain markings, making the beads look as if they were decorated with a paintbrush.  Patikan (bicone beads in the picture) is a specific variety of hard palmwood that grows in the Philippines. It has the typical dark markings of palmwood. And, the older the tree, the darker the wood.

Robles

Robles Wood Bead MixRobles wood is a tropical hardwood.  The trees grow very tall and form part of the canopy in rainforest environments. It is light, but strong, with properties similar to teak. Like teak, it is commonly used in boatmaking. But, is also used to make hardwood cabinets. The visible wood grain also works nicely in wood veneers.  The grain looks like little waves that resemble a fingerprint. The natural color ranges from a light rose color (sap wood) to the darker, chestnut brown you’ll see in most of the beads, which comes from the heartwood.

Rosewood (Philippine)

Rosewood Beads MixRosewood from the Philippines is a hard wood, very strong, with pale coloring or pink overtones. The color here is a pale, very light brown, with a dusty pink overcast. Rosewood beads are hard, very smooth, with a nice, loose, wood grain.

Sibucao

Sibucao Wood Beads MixSibucao is a natural hard redwood with a bold and beautiful red-orange or orange colored wood. If used for jewelry, sibucao wood will darken and become even more beautiful with age as it absorbs oils from the skin.


Need beads?

To see all of the beads shown here, visit beadsandhoney.com

I hope you enjoy crafting with these as much as I enjoyed selecting them for you!

Lynnette

Copyright 2012 Beads and Honey – All content and images.  

About Lynnette

Lynnette is a self-taught jewelry artist and the owner and curator of Beads and Honey.

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