Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Word - Torsade

Today's vintage jewelry word is torsade - pronounced TORE -SAHD. Literally, torsade is a French word that means twisting of the points.

In jewelry design, the word is used for a design which has many strands of pearls, glass, or beads pulled together at a single clasp to form a very thick piece of jewelry. Sometimes the strands are twisted, almost in a braided style, and sometimes they just hang loosely in a bunch. Some designs will use a larger focal beads somewhere on the piece to give some extra detail and dimension.

The design technique is mainly used in the construction of necklaces, but I have also seen bracelets and earrings with the same technique. The finished product often has a Bohemian retro look to it. Torsade necklaces were very popular in the 1970s and continue in today's jewelry designs.

Here are a few examples of torsade necklaces and bracelets, showing both the tight twisted effect and the loose style of design.

What do you think of the look?

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