It really amazed me to find, for the first time, jewelry beads made from carabao bones. More so, I learned how these are actually made from restaurant leftover soup bones. Local craftsmen have creatively recycled these waste materials into beautiful craft pieces such as beads.
In Cebu, Philippines, home of the majority of fashion accessories exporters, you’ll find some really good craftsmen especially skilled using bones as their base material.
So, how are bone beads made? To sum it up…
Bleaching. Having totally scraped off all remaining meat or dirt, the soup bones are washed thoroughly with a little bleaching agent.
Shaping. Bones are cut to specified shapes and sizes. Some bone beads have carved or etched patterns, most are plain and smooth.
Polishing. Bone bead strands are coated with wax, rubbed vigorously, and polished off clean with a soft cotton cloth. This helps retain the natural raw texture of “bones” and preserve their “earthy appeal”.
Bone beads look and feel like ivory but are more economical and green.
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