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Rocailles

PRECIOSA rocailles are the most used type of glass seed beads. They were created in Venice, Italy in the 15th century. These beads have been produced industrially in Bohemia since the 18th century.

These round-shaped seed beads are manufactured using unique technology for cutting glass tubes with round or square holes into various sized pieces which are then rounded and polished when hot and subsequently classed by size and shape.

The PRECIOSA seed beads are produced in sizes from 1.5 mm to 8 mm and the sizes of the Czech PRECIOSA seed beads are stated using the traditional so-called zero series. The regular sizes range from the smallest 16/0 through to the largest 1/0, while rarities also include the four large sizes of 31/0, 32/0, 33/0 and 34/0, known colloquially as potatoes.

We divide the PRECIOSA seed beads into so-called uncoated and coated rocailles according to the level of their subsequent finish. Whereas uncoated rocailles are left with the pure glass finish, a coated rocaille is given a further surface finish, for example colouring, galvanising or other types of decoration.

Short Name / ArticlesProfileImages
SizesHole
Rocailles-RH
311 19 001, 331 19 001
round
1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 11/0, 12/0, 13/0, 14/0, 15/0, 16/0, 31, 32, 33, 34round
Rocailles-SH
311 29 001, 331 29 001
round
1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 11/0, 12/0, 13/0, 14/0, 31, 32, 33, 34square
Cut Rocailles-RH
361 11 001
round, cut
8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 11/0, 15/0round
Charlottes-RH
361 11 001
round, cut
13/0round

Cut PRECIOSA seed beads are a special type of PRECIOSA seed bead on which 2-3 small facets are cut on a special cutting wheel. This makes the PRECIOSA rocaille sparkle and it acquires exceptional optical properties in combination with some other surface finishes. The most popular size of these cut PRECIOSA seed beads is the 13/0 size, traditionally known as Charlotte beads.

Czech PRECIOSA seed beads are often compared with other well-known Japanese seed beads (for example, the Miyuki brand). You will also come across them in many places throughout the world and in many contexts: in costume jewellery, hobby articles, Christmas decorations, clothing and shoe embroidery and appliqués and fashion and home accessories or in the most traditional of seed bead products, i.e. ethnic souvenirs made by the Indians of both Americas, African tribes or a number of Asian nations.