6 Secrets of Bead Weaving Art Maintenance

Patricia's Bubbe Pin™  ©Patricia C Vener, 2010 photographed with Sari

Patricia's Bubbe Pin™ ©Patricia C Vener, 2010

From a simple strand of plain beads to the most ornate and complex weavings, beads have long been part of humankind’s history of personal and environmental adornment. We treasure these as keepsakes and works of art and because they are so dear, we should be taking good care of them. Read on to learn some of the most important rules for doing this.

    Secrets and Tips You Should Know

  • Don’t wear it to bed. Even if you sleep alone. Because you probably don’t sleep as motionlessly as you think you do. You twist and turn and at some point that necklace is going to be pulled in two different directions. It could become stretched out of shape or even break.
  • Don’t wear it in the shower. It may be glass or stones but not all of the color and finishes are water resistant. And if the weaving material is silk or thread water can weaken the material and even sometimes stretch it out.
  • When not in use or on display, keep it tucked safely away. I like to keep my pieces in cloth bags or pouches. Pieces with a lot of silver should be kept airtight and out of the light. Some beads have finishes which fade or wear over time and these, too, are best stored in the dark.
  • Clean judiciously. Sooner or later you will probably feel the urge to clean your bead woven art. This is an undertaking that needs a light, careful touch. Most of the time all that needs doing is a light dusting with a soft cloth or a Swiffer duster. If your art has been exposed to body oils, perfumes, anything sprayed in the air, and suchlike, your cleaning is still a soft cloth but with slightly more pressure. Should the unthinkable happen and dirt gets dried on you can carefully work on it with a cotton swab dipped in soapy water.
  • It’s art, not a toy. Don’t let children play with it. Especially be wary of the little ones who shouldn’t even have those scissors in their hands!
  • Be careful who you loan it out to. Sad to say, sometimes things get lost or broken or simply maimed by people who don’t quite share your passion for your wearable work of art. On the other hand, a responsible kindred soul wearing it to her prom might make you smile “til it hurts.”

For more cleaning tips see my earlier post,

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