Cotton Pearls

One of our most talked-about components in the line has got to be the Cotton Pearl. Not only because it is beautiful and fashionable, but also because of it’s light weight feel. Many people ask what they are made of or how they are made, so we’re answering all your questions today along with sharing some photos of our favorite cotton pearl pieces.cottonpearl2

Paper Mache products, also known as Cotton Pearl, were first produced in the early 1900s in Germany. Cotton Pearls today are made of the base material called Cellulose, the same as used for paper towels and tissues. It arrives raw from the paper mill on a huge roll.

The paper is fitted into an mold with multiple cavities with some glue, which contains a special needle . The needle rotates in the soft paper and forms into a round bead, drop, or another shape.


 When the bead fills the mold cavity to the correct size, the needle stops rotating and it falls out of the cavity when the mold is opened. Now you have the very soft raw beads with the needles inside.

The trays of beads are dipped in special chemicals to harden them, and then dyed in special baths. To get the beads to the color shade wanted requires multiple dips in the dye baths, with a dry time of 3- 5 hours each coat. The average amount of dips is about 5-9 times, in order to get the proper finish.


The bead coating is finished around 12 hours after the last bath, when it is 100% dry. Only now do you see the final color product and surface quality.

Next step is to cut off the needle and start drilling the hole using a sharp needle. A normal drill bit would catch the inside of the bead, and unwind the paper.


Now the beads are ready for sale! With every step of the production done by hand, you will find our cotton pearls to be very high quality. They are perfect for mixing with other types of pearls you may have too!

Our cotton pearls mix well with smaller glass pearls

The best thing about the cotton pearl is you have the look of a large pearl without any of the weight!

So next time someone asks you about your cotton pearl jewelry, you’ll know exactly what to say.


Susan Shaw Jewelry

5 thoughts on “Cotton Pearls

  1. I love the look of cotton pearls, and it is so interesting to read about how they are made! Great post!

  2. So, I am curious….is there any animal product used in the process? looking for vegan friendly products. Thanks.

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