Plastic Imitations of Bead Necklaces

There are necklaces which look like bead necklaces, but they are not. They are made of plastic blobs mechanically attached to a thread.

Have a look at the following examples:

Necklace made of a combination of green plastic imitation beads and real beads, with clasp, 1970's, length 28'' 70cm. Vintage multi strand plastic imitation bead necklace made in different hues of green, with clasp, 1960's, length 25'' 64cm. Graduated bright blue plastic imitation bead necklace, with clasp, 1970's, length 24'' 60cm. Pink color long plastic imitation bead necklace, 1980's, length 47'' 120cm. Long yellow amber color plastic imitation bead necklace, length 49'' 124cm. Very long flapper style elegant soft pink color pearlized plastic imitation bead necklace, length 59'' 150cm.


These imitations of beads do not have a hole, they can not move nor can be removed and you can not string them. They are not beads! These necklaces can break but at least can not shatter in the midst of the street.

They exist, with or without a clasp, in a great variety of colors and forms. They are very cheap and often very decorative. Especially in the Seventies and the Eighties they were part of the costume jewelry fashion and among many of us they still fill a part of our jewelry box. During the Seventies, short pieces of these plastic imitation necklaces were used to make long necklaces together with real beads of the same material and the same or different colors. These necklaces were often of surprising innovative designs.

If you would like to buy some of these imitation bead necklaces and do not know where, wait until next December, they are still used every year as Christmas tree decorations.
If you happen to be at New Orleans (USA) during carnival time:
These are the kind of necklaces which are thrown to the crowds by the kilos, together with other inexpensive trinkets and baubles, from the beautiful decorated floats during the Mardi Gras Parade. The specific Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold which are repeated in these necklaces.
In earlier times Mardi Gras Parade necklaces were made of real glass beads imported from Czech (Bohemian) bead makers, nowadays the plastic necklaces are "Made in China".

Plastic imitation bead necklace in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold, Mardi Gras Parade 1996, New Orleans, length 49'' 124cm. Richly beaded jester necklace made of plastic beads in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, gold, Mardi Gras Parade 1996, New Orleans, length 37'' 94cm. Hand painted lady face beads necklace made of plastic beads, Mardi Gras Parade 1996, New Orleans, made in China, length 50'' 126cm. Art Deco necklace made of Czech press molded Rosaline and Cherry red glass beads thrown to the public during the Mardi Gras Parade, 1930's, length 16'' 44cm.

If they get dirty, no problem. These plastic imitation bead necklaces can be cleaned easily. By using a damp cloth or by soaking them in a lukewarm (not hot!) soapy solution for about 20 minutes (washing them gently between your hands), and rinsing them thoroughly in clean water. Dry them lying flat on a towel for at least 24 hours.




© 2009 Tsipporah Sofer. All Rights Reserved
Bead Necklace