Published on Jul 30, 2020

Glitter Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC
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Glitter describes an assortment of small, reflective particles that come in a variety of shapes and colors. Glitter particles reflect light at different angles, causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer. Glitter is similar to confetti, sparkles, or sequins, but somewhat smaller.

Since prehistoric times, glitter has been made from many different materials including stones such as malachite, and mica, as well as insects and glass. Modern glitter is usually manufactured from plastic and is rarely recycled leading to calls from scientists for bans on plastic glitter.

The first production of modern plastic glitter is credited to the American machinist Henry Ruschmann, who found a way to cut sheets of plastic such as mylar into glitter in 1934. During World War II, glass glitter became unavailable so Ruschmann found a market for scrap plastics, which were ground into glitter. He founded Meadowbrook Inventions, Inc., in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and the company is still a producer of industrial glitter. Decades later he filed a patent for a mechanism for cross-cutting films as well as other related inventions.

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Today over 20,000 varieties of glitter are manufactured in a vast number of different colors, sizes, and materials. Over 10 million pounds (4.5 million kilograms) of glitter were purchased between the years of 1989 and 2009 alone. Commercial glitter ranges in size from 0.002 to .25 inches (0.05 to 6.35 mm) a side. First, flat multi-layered sheets are produced combining plastic, coloring, and reflective material such as aluminium, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and bismuth oxychloride. These sheets are then cut into tiny particles of many shapes including squares, triangles, rectangles, and hexagons.

Prior to fabrics made with modern glitter, sequins were sewn or woven on to fabric to give it a glittering appearance. Edible glitter made from gum arabic and other ingredients is even used by culinary artists.

Glitter is used in cosmetics to make the face and nails shiny or sparkly. Additionally, it is commonly used in arts and crafts to color, accessorise and texture items. The small, brightly colored particles often stick to clothing, skin, and furniture, and can be difficult to remove. It is also used on optically variable inks.

Glitter coatings or finishes are frequently used on fishing lures to draw attention by simulating the scales of prey fish.

Due to its unique characteristics, glitter has also proven to be useful forensic evidence. Because of the tens of thousands of different commercial glitters, identical glitter particles can be compelling evidence that a suspect has been at a crime scene. Forensic scientist Edwin Jones has one of the largest collections of glitter consisting of over 1,000 different samples used in comparison of samples taken from crime scenes. Glitter particles are easily transferred through the air or by touch, yet cling to bodies and clothing, often unnoticed by suspects.

Glitter Background images gallery for free download

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