Bead Care for Bead Knitting or Crochet

Renee Gomez Smith

A note to those who create beaded knit or crochet purses, embroidery with beads and other beaded items which may need laundering or cleaning: not all beads react well to detergents or dry-cleaning solution.

Note that color and metal-lined beads in particular may be damaged by contact with certain chemicals, or even by direct contact with your skin oils. For example, I made a lovely knitted purse with black diamond (grey)/copper lined beads. The strap around the neck is now discolored (none of the copper lining remains) due to contact with my skin.

Other beads may loose color simply by being exposed to the light. I have noted that "Ceylon" and "Color Lined" beads are particularly vulnerable to this. Some beads have a metallic finish (metalized plastic beads) or seed beads that are "metallic". Over time, this metallic finish will eventually wear off.

Sterling silver beads are lovely, but tarnish. Consider this carefully before using them on applique or knit/crochet beadwork.