Almost two years ago I made the decision to add natural wood beads to our collection. I’m happy to say that the wood beads have been warmly received! All of our natural wood beads are handcrafted in the Philippines by a family with more than 30 years of expertise in making wood beads. The collection has grown from just plain round wood beads to beautiful artisan wood beads embellished with natural shells such as the colorful abalone.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to the newest member of the collection, Narra wood beads.
What is Narra wood?
Narra is wood from the national tree of the Philippines, also referred to as the Ancient tree. It is a very large and stately tree that grows throughout the Philippines. Unfortunately, now, the large older trees are rare and found primarily in areas away from the big cities. In these areas you may also old homes where the closets or furniture are crafted from narra wood. I’m betting that this is because the wood is strong and termite resistant.
Our Narra wood beads are cut from carefully sourced branches from the Narra tree. In this way the large trunk is preserved and the tree continues to grow. At the same time, whenever Narra wood is cut, a new crop of Narra trees are planted.
The color of narra can vary greatly, from pale yellow sapwood to the darker heartwood which can even be purplish or reddish brown. The heartwood may also have a rose scent. Depending on how the wood is cut, the appearance of the grain can vary.
Fun fact: When wood is cut from knots on a tree, a burl pattern with interesting curves, waves, and knots is revealed. Narra wood burl (Amboyna) is coveted and sought after by furniture makers. Large high quality specimens can be some of the most expensive wood in the world.
True to form, our Narra wood beads display a range of colors from pale to golden yellow, often with some darker mottling, to rich deep browns. The wood grain is light, but visible and the beads are smooth. This gives them an aged look, as though they’ve been worn a bit by the weather. Lighter colored beads appear more rustic, while the darker beads tend to have more natural sheen. Try mixing beads of different colors and size for a great look and a little old world charm!
All of the beads shown here can be found in the online store. I hope you enjoy crafting with these as much as I enjoyed selecting them for you!
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