Bracelets are worn on the arm and they are either in form of chains, hoops or bands. There are many bracelets in Uganda these are made from different materials like beads.
These are a bit different from bangles because they are not as rigid as bangles and can be more flexible. It should be noted that some materials used in making materials are imported to make wonderful bracelets whereas some are locally made.
Bracelets have special meanings according to the country and cultural traditions found in that country. Bracelets in Uganda are majorly made by the Karamojongs, the Acholi, Batoro, the Itesots and it should be noted that all these bracelets are used for different occasions and they have different meanings.
Materials used in making bracelets
The wood material is rarely used when it comes to making bracelets but once used it is one of the most beautiful pieces made. The wood material is curved according to the size and design that is needed to make the bracelet and then coloring or a cloth is added to the wood or designs drawn on it to complete the look.
Vanish is added to the wood to make sure it does not fade easily and that it continues having a shining look once bought.
There are different beads used in the making of bracelets and below is an example of those that are frequently used by the jeweler
- The specialized paper beads and these are made from special paper that is 50% hard and 50% soft and they are designed to look exactly like beads.
- Micro beads, these are tiny colored beads that are strung together on a string or sown on wood, metal or any other thing used to make bracelets and they come in different colors.
- Skinny long and oval beads which are put together on a string and joined at the end with a clasp. These can be got in the different shops in Kampala that sell these types of beads.
With the many beads used in making bracelets, below is a summarized step on how to make beaded bracelets.
- Purchase the beads in the different shapes and colors from the shops and the strings that will be used to make the bracelet.
- Pick out the colors that you are going to use and stat piecing them together on a string using needles or use glue to put them on the wood or metal.
- After putting them on a string, use clasps that will help you open and close the bracelet and they will be good to go for sale.
These are mostly African print and they are always made in different colorful prints and in different shades.
The colors normally used are bright though dull colors can also be used according to the customer’s preferences.
These clothes are normally sown onto the different materials like wood, plastic or metals and it is sown onto these materials according to the design that one wants, then clasps are normally put at the end to keep help the bracelet in one place and for easy tying. They are then taken to the market for sale.
- Sea shells
Sea sells can be used to make bracelets in Uganda. They can be bought in the shops in Uganda and they come in different shapes, sizes ranging from small to big and in different colors. Below is a process on how shells are used to make bracelets.
- The shells bought have openings that the strings are passed through using a needle.
- The strings should be stretch strings to allow easy movement while removing them from the wrist. The shells are placed on the strings and either tied at the end and the strings burnt off or clasps can be used for easy tying.
- After adding the clasps, the bracelets are ready for marketing.
Papers used in making bracelets are a bit unique since they are not the usual papers used in our day to day life and they can be purchased anywhere in town but mostly around Owino.
These papers are made of different colors and sizes and listed below is a step by step process on how to make paper bracelets:
- You need the purchase the different papers in town and start folding them according to the different sizes that you desire to make. The papers are cut into pieces and folded with a pin inside which leaves two ended holes where the strings will pass. The papers are glued together so that they do not open.
- After folding the papers, add a sealant to the folded papers. This makes the papers water resistant and after adding the sealant dry them in the sun.
- When the papers are dry, you can piece them on a string using a needle and tied at the end so that it does not become loose. After this, the paper beads are ready for sale.
Glass is majorly imported from outside Uganda and it is sold in the different shops around town. Some of the glass imported is cut whereas the other is not and it needs to be cut to match the designs that one needs to do to make the bracelet.
Glass can be used with any other material but it gives a fancier look when added to the porcelain pearls and pure diamonds. You should also note that glass is heavy and a transparent string is the best to use when making them so that they are not reflected.
- Curved or shaped iron
This is imported from outside Uganda and they come in different size rings that are joined to make charm bracelets. The iron is then joined to make a chain and then a few beads are added to make the chain colorful. A clasp is added at the end for easy tying.
These are used to make bones mostly in the different cultures and the bones are joined together on strings. The bracelets made out of bones are believed to ward off evil spirits when one puts them on and they are put on by the karimojongs more.
There are different types of bracelets that can be made in Uganda. Using the different material found on the local market one can make different beautiful bracelets and these include the following.
- Beaded bracelets
These are made from the different beads and they come in different shapes and sizes and colors. They can be made using one strip of beads or multiple strips depending on the design being made and what the customers want.
- Multi-strand bracelets
These are made from beads and gemstones and it has more than two strands or more and they are strung together on a piece of string. These are all connected using a single clasp.
- Charm bracelets
These are bracelets made from different materials of different shapes and sizes and they always have a significance importance to the person wearing them. You can use curved iron, beads, dolphin shaped plastic to complete the best look of a bracelet.
- Sports bracelets
These are majorly put on by the different sports men in the different sports departments like football, basketball. These are majorly made from porcelain plastic and have different engravings on them.
- Link bracelets
A link bracelet is made using porcelain beads which are linked together by twisting them on a chain. They are clasped at the end and they are made in different colors.
- Identification bracelets
These are bracelets that are made by joining a single chain and engraving it with either the name of the owner of the bracelet or any word that is significant to the owner of the bracelet. These are usually made after a client ordering for one.
- Diamond bracelets
These are made from diamonds which is exported into the country and they are sold in different shops in the country. The diamonds are cut according to the shape and size of the bracelet that you want to design and then add a stretchable string to join the bracelets. After clasping them, they are ready for sale.
- Cuff bracelets
This is majorly made using stones or glass and they are more decorated and wider than any other bracelets. These are normally put on a wrist in order to enhance and add beauty to the cloth that one is putting on.
- Chain bracelets
Chain links are used to form the chain bracelets and these are made in repetitive patterns looped together. They normally have a loose falling which adds to their beauty and you can also add a pendant if you want.
Bracelets made in Uganda are getting a bigger market as everyone is getting a piece because of the creativity that is being added by the different jewelers in the country and the bracelets can be bought at the different shops that sell African print in the country or jewelry shops.