First encounter…

No, not with an alien. I’ve had my first encounter with non-colorfast beads. Must be I’ve just been lucky and all the beads I’ve purchased (or been given) have all been very colorfast. I know “they” always tell you to check for that, and when I have, the beads have been fine. So I got out of the habit of checking.

Non-colorfast beads 2

This luscious color is what I needed. It was perfect.

Non-colorfast beads 3

As I started adding the beads, my fingertips started getting a bit pinkish. The beads started getting a silver look to them–and it wasn’t just the reflection of the light!

Non-colorfast beads 1

I was about 1/3 of the way through the section and had to assess whether or not the variations would matter, or even if it would be all right if all the color came off and the beads looked silver.

Well, being the purist and the perfectionist that I am (NOT!), and lazy on top of it, I decided not to remove them and search for something else. I finished the section and the variations look nice. It will still work, even if all the color comes off. It is another reminder though, that we should always still be checking for colorfastness in our beads!


6 thoughts on “First encounter…

  1. Thanks for the warning. I’m new to beading and have never been told about the fact that beads may not be colorfast. Will have to keep my eyes open.


  2. The price of the beads should be a tip off. We have a reliable bead store in town, but from time to time they bring in some lower priced beads on special. I only buy them if they are clear or a type that I know won’t bleed color. Yes, I had some perfect color beads once, but had to throw them away. Learned my lesson.


    • Oh, I ‘m pretty sure where these beads came from and it’s a top notch store and they weren’t on special. They just happen to be non-colorfast. My bad for not checking, but it will all work out—in this case! I will always remember to check again!

      On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 5:55 PM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



  3. I’ve been preaching to students the need to check for bead colorfastness for years, and years. Although you’ve made your decision not to remove the offending beads……BEWARE……of using steam on the quilt during the rest of the construction process…….if the color transfers with just your fingers…..steam may have worse results. Darn it!!!


    • Hi Mary, I have been so fortunate not to have had this issue before. Part of my decision to not remove the beads is the nature of this particular piece. Even if I use steam and all the color comes off onto the fabric, it will not ruin the piece! And I know that I will be using steam when I’m adding the backing and binding.

      I guess I quit checking because I’ve only been buying from “good” bead stores lately. I guess that doesn’t really matter, though, because they don’t manufacture the beads, they only sell them! I am certainly going to remember to check from now on though.

      On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 4:01 PM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



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