History of Sequins

Design Idea F62Q Doll
by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Wear ’em and walk like an Egyptian. Or, at least, like Michael Jackson.

Who knew people were sparkling with sequins all the way back in King Tut’s time?

Sequins and King Tut

Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, a historical textiles professor at the University of Copenhagen, researched and recreated clothing from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (unearthed in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter). She discovered clothing that was not just plain white, but also dyed bright colors and embellished with embroidery, beads and sequins. Yes, really!

These sequins were flat round pieces of gold, pierced with holes for sewing them onto fabric. How they must have flashed and shimmered in the Egyptian sun!

That wasn't something just the Egyptians liked. The people of the Indus valley (about 4,500 years ago) had a form of sequins, as did the Minoans, the ancient Greeks, our medieval ancestors (between bouts of Black Death, they liked to look pretty), all the way up through the 20th century to today!

Sequins (and their friends the paillettes, diamantes and spangles) have been worn by everyone from the King of Egypt to the King of Pop, from supreme warriors to the Supremes, from the flappers and the fops to the princesses and the playboys.

Sparkle and flash are universally loved.

Sequins

Sequin-tial Looks

Design Idea 98A3 Ornament

Czech These Out
Czech glass rhinestones with pierced centers are the ultimate in sparkle. Sew them onto soutache cord (another clothing component gone to the jewelry makers) in complex designs, string them on elastic for stretch bracelets that never leave the spotlight, add them as bead caps for dangles that just won't stop.
Sure, sequins traditionally look great on clothes, but what about jewelry?

Well, sod that for a game of soldiers, mate--we've got creativity!

The Usual Standards
Okay, okay, there's a place for the traditional standard sequins ... anywhere you want. Sure, stitch them on fabric! You also can string them on Powercord® for lightweight, sparkly fun. Use them in mermaid crowns, glue them on gift boxes, stack them with Swarovski flat backs in the center for even more sparkly goodness.

There are novelty shapes beyond the same-old, same-old round sequins, too: reindeer, stars, and others. Add them to Styrofoam balls using headpins for fabulous Christmas ornaments.

Czech Glass Rhinestone Flat Backs

Make Your Own!
If the sequins you're finding in the stores or online aren't what you want (you might be looking for the more old-fashioned paillettes), you can choose from metal blanks or make your own from metal sheet. Stamp them out flat using metalsmithing tools, or dome them using dapping blocks for added light reflection.

Add sequins to jewelry-making, surface embellishment and more!


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