Druk beads are smooth, spherical, pressed glass beads made in the Czech Republic. These beads are made by hand from traditional Bohemian glass. Druk beads are available in many different colors and range in size from 3mm to 18mm. The thread hole is approximately 1mm and smooth for better wear on the thread.
Druk beads are available in a variety of colors and finishes. They can be purchased in opaque or solids, transparent, metallic and two-tone. Red druk beads are more costly to produce than other colors and more expensive to buy.
Because of the way they are constructed, different batches of druk beads may be slightly different colors.
Pressing and Molding
Pressed glass bead-making has been traced back more than 300 years. Glass cane rods are heated to a molten level and put into a pressing machine. The hot glass is then pressed into molds. A needle is inserted at the same time to produce the thread hole of the bead. With the glass rod cooling after pressing a few molds, it must be reheated. To keep continuously pressing, the glass worker will be heating a separate glass rod as he molds the first one.
After the pressed glass is molded it slowly cools as it slides into a holding area. At this point, the beads are connected by excess glass around the edges. The pressed glass beads are placed into a tumbling cycle that will break off the excess glass. The beads will then be sent through another tumbling process that will smooth out imperfections and polish the beads.
Usage and Availability
Druk beads can be used in a variety of crafts. Most druk beads are used in small craft or jewelry projects, therefore the larger beads aren't as popular because of their bulkiness and weight. Most sellers stocks are usually smaller on larger druk beads and it can take some time for them to restock, since they have to be imported from the Czech Republic and the production is geared to the smaller sizes.
Based in Kentucky, Lavonda Abney has been writing professionally since 2010. She covers do-it-yourself projects for several online publications.