Cuffs & Bracelets In Different Materials

Published: 22nd February 2012
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What Materials are Used to Make Bracelets?

Bracelets are a great way to add a splash of color or drama to an otherwise bland or sedate outfit. This can be done with a relatively inexpensive or simple plastic bracelet. Most inexpensive fashion-forward bracelets will be made out of plastic or glass beads that have been threaded onto a strand of thread, wire or elastic. Plastic is also used to make thick cuffs or stackable bangle bands. Bracelets that are comprised of one single piece have been molded out of melted plastic or resin and cooled into a circular shape that slides over the hand and rests comfortably on the wrist. Those who are seeking an edgier look can choose to wear cuffs made out of real or imitation leather. Leather cuffs are secured to the wrist with snaps or buckles. Sometimes they are accented with metal ornaments or studs. Sometimes an engraved metal plate will be screwed onto a leather cuff. The cuff may come with the plate already attached, or someone may choose to have a plate engraved with a meaningful image or phrase and have it attached to a plain cuff. Painted or glazed wood is sometimes used to make bracelets that have a tribal or natural appearance. The bracelet may be one singular wooden ring or a series of wooden beads strung together. Many women like to further emulate a tribal style by layering wooden and metal bangles. Some bracelets even alternate wooden and metal beads.

Different Kinds of Metal Bracelets

As a general rule of thumb, the less expensive a bracelet is the less likely it is to be made of a high-quality metal. There is nothing wrong with purchasing inexpensive alloy jewelry. In fact, women who pride themselves upon their ability to keep up with fashion trends may want to purchase a few new inexpensive pieces every season since there is no way to predict which styles will be long-lived. A piece that is not made entirely out of a pure precious metal may leave green or black markings on skin. Some people have allergic reactions to inexpensive alloys, so fashionistas should stop wearing any piece that causes rashes or itching. It is worth investing in a few classic bracelets made out of metal that looks like gold or silver to serve as foundation pieces for trendier bracelets that may be discarded after a few months. Most inexpensive metal bracelets and cuffs are made from a nickel alloy that has been plated with a shinier metal.

What Statements Can Be Made with Bracelets?

A creative way to add a surprising pop of color to an all-black outfit is to wear one large "statement" bracelet in a bold color. This look is best achieved with a plastic or painted wooden bracelet or a stack of bangles. A metal cuff with wood or jewel accents is also a good option for those who want to make a splash with one interesting bracelet. It is a good idea to buy two sets of bangles in complementary colors or materials and to wear them together. Experimenting with jewelry colors, textures and styles is a great way to practice before branching out and playing with clothing styles. A tough, industrial look can be achieved with a wide metal cuff. Some cuffs have intricate engraved designs carved into them. Others have stones or enamel embedded in them. Cuffs like this sometimes look like Medieval armor; the rest of the outfit should be minimalist because cuffs may be up to six inches long. Stacked bangles in disparate colors and styles should be worn by women who favor the bright, layered bohemian style.

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