Glossary of Beading Terms

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Macrame

Macrame

A technique of knotting cords that produces a rough lace-like fabric. Believed to be Arabic in origin. The basic knots are the half hitch, full hitch, square knot, and double half hitch. Check out our tutorial to learn these knots.

Mala beads

Traditionally strung on a necklace and used for meditation or prayer, mala beads are used to count meditations (or prayers) in a mantra-like, rhythmic fashion. They can be made of many materials, including rosewood, sandalwood, ebony, crystal and more. They often have a specific number of beads attached that represents a particular meaning for the user. Compare to rosary.

Memory Wire

Memory Wire

Memory wire holds its circular shape. Cut a length of it, string on some beads, and bend the ends in a loop. It should stay on your neck or wrist without a clasp. Comes in sizes to fit your neck, wrist, or even finger.

Miracle beads

These unique beads have a lucite (acrylic) core which is coated with a silver mirror-plated layer and finished with several layers of colored lacquer. The result is an illusion of depth or a “bead within a bead”. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a miracle, but they do look pretty cool.

Mohs Scale

Also known as the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, it was invented in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. It is a way to rate the hardness of a gemstone or mineral as compared to other stones and minerals. The Mohs scale ranges from one to ten, one being the softest, ten being the hardest. Diamond, the hardest natural substance rates as a ten, while talc rates as a one. It should be noted that the Mohs scale does not deal with the absolute hardness of a substance, just its hardness as related to the ten readily available minerals Friedrich Mohs initially analyzed.

Mosaic

An image or picture created by the arrangement of many separate and smaller colored pieces. Mosaic designs are often made of tiles, stones or glass beads set in mortar. A mosaic effect can be created using a pattern that emulates this type of art by using patches of different colors in a picture. Beaded mosaic artwork is created using bead looms, bead embroidery, or other beadweaving techniques. You can find beaded mosaics on clothing, handbags, tapestries and many other types of accessories or decor.

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl

Also known as nacre, mother of pearl is an inner shell layer produced by some mollusks. It is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is iridescent, and typically a milky white with shimmery pastel yellows, blues, and greens. photo credit