Logo Bead Netting History
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Bead netting can be traced back to Egyptian artifacts, New Kingdom, 664-525B.C. and is probably older in origin.  Bead netting can be found in most cultures around the world. Fiber netting is universal and has been used for fishing nets by fishermen since the earliest times of humankind. Some of the most exquisite bead netting was created in the 1800’s, especially during the Victorian period, many with pearls and jet beads. Bead netting was added as embellishment over fabric bags from 1850 through the early 1900’s.

Netted faience was created on mummy shrouds during the Egyptian New Kingdom period. Whole dress pieces were created in netting by Egyptians with faience bugle shaped beads.

Bead netting has been recorded as embellishment on ecclesiastical clothing as early as 1100AD.  Elaborate Native American bead netting, past and present, can be found in both North and Central America in the form of shoulder and chest ornaments, collars, capes, aprons and embellished head pieces. Some African artifacts include bead netting.  Bead netting still originates from areas in Africa today. Examples from the 1800's include Yoruba Headdreses with bead netting as embellishment.

Bead netting can form many shapes using variations of basic netting techniques. Different size and types of beads can be used for special effects. Even shells were used in the past to form netting patterns. As we continue our studies, we will make many different shaped samplers such as in the round, vertical, horizontal and twisted and learn more about bead netting history.

Historical References

Belle, Robinson, Editor, Priscilla Bead Work Book, The Priscilla Publishing Co., MA, 1912

Dubin, Lois Sherr, History of Beads from 30,000B.C. to the Present, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY, 1987

Ettinger, Roseann, Handbags, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, PA, 1991

Liu, Robert K., Ornament Magazine Vol 16(4), Royal Ontario Museum, CA, 1993

Meade, Mary Jo, Piecework Magazine Jan/Feb, Restoring a Nineteenth-Century Yoruba Headdress, CA, 1994

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