Glass bead making is a very old technique. It has existed during Roman times and can be found in Egyptian faience beads. Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh, is the glass city of the country where artisans work and toil to develop newer forms of intricate glassworks.
Glass beads are of three types- wound beads, drawn beads and moulded beads.
Wound beads- These are the earliest glass beads made by winding method. Glass at very temperature is wound at around a steel wire and shaped by manipulating with graphite, wood, steel, etc.
Drawn Beads – This are also known as indo-pacific beads because of its trade presence in the indo-pacific region from ancient times. Evidence of drawing glass beads were found in Arekmedu in India, dating to 2ndcentury BC.
Moulded Beads- This technique is predominate in Czech Republic. It requires cheap labour and is easy to produce. In this method, thick rods are heated to molten and fed into a complex apparatus that stamps the glass, including a needle that pierces a hole. The beads again are rolled in hot sand to remove flashing and soften seam lines. By making canes (the glass rods fed into the machine) striped or otherwise patterned, the resulting beads can be more elaborately colored than seed beads. One `feed' of a hot rod might result in 10–20 beads, and a single operator can make thousands in a day. Glass beads are also manufactured or moulded using a rotary machine where molten glass is fed in to the centre of a rotary mould and solid or hollow glass beads are formed.This glass industry could easily copy expensive beads, and had produced molded glass "lion's teeth", "coral", and "shells", which were popular in the 19th and early 20th century Africa trade.