An Introduction to French Beaded Flowers
Beads have been around for thousands of years, dating way back to the first recorded civilisations. Throughout history, they have been created using mud, brick, glass, minerals and more to adorn a vast array of items. Throughout history, eye-catching beads have been symbolic statements of wealth and power – beaded clothing and jewellery has been worn by Pharaohs, Kings, Queens and Aristocracies for millennia.
In the present day, beads are easily accessible to people of all backgrounds and cultures and have now been used in just about all of the most imaginative ways you could think of! Just some of these fabulously creative creations, emerged as early as the 1500’s – Beaded Flowers.
Originating in Europe, discarded or damaged beads were foraged by peasants and then wrapped using inexpensive wires into a bloom of various flowers. Intricate beaded flowers became popular in France and Italy, before sweeping over England and the rest of Europe.
These delicate makes became highly sought after by the wealthy. Fresh flowers weren’t always available. After all, during the 1500’s, flowers couldn’t be flown in from warmer climates! Beaded flowers provided women with the perfect answer to their floral fancies. Bouquets, hair pieces and displays were all ways in which they were used.
Also, because beaded flowers never wilted, they were often given as gifts or laid at graves of loved ones. In France these became known as “immortelles” and are likely the reason this technique is now referred to as French. To this day, there are still many museums that have complex, antique beaded flowers on display. Fans of these flowers included Marie Antoinette, Princess Grace and Napoleon’s Josephine.
“In England, this craft became a way of creating flower displays for the
winter months as well as decorative pieces for the hair and clothes. By
the late 1800’s, Victorian women were creating an English style of
memorial wreaths. It is likely, that during a long period of mourning, a
greiving widow found this form of flower making comforting and friends
may have brought gifts of beads when they visited.”
– French Beading DVD excerpt. Available at Beads Direct.
Despite fresh flowers being readily available in the present day, beaded flowers are still a popular choice for long lasting gifts, homeware and holiday decoration. They are by far the easiest flowers to look after, looking beautiful for a lifetime! Check out Sarah’s video at the bottom of this post for even more inspiration.
What are your thoughts on French Beaded Flowers? Make sure to drop a comment at the bottom of this post and let us know. Have you made some beaded flowers? Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might publish your photos!
Speak to you all soon,
Check out Sarah’s quick introduction to the art in our latest video tutorial and learn about some of the tips and tools she uses when creating beaded flowers. When you’re finished why not click here to explore our gorgeous NEW French Beaded Flowers Kits!