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Glitter Powder: History and Uses

Glitter Powder: History and Uses

Glitter refers to a wide spectrum of small, reflective powder that can be found in a lot of different colors and shapes. Typically, glitter particles tend to reflect light at many different angles. Therefore, the surfaces they are pasted on tend to shimmer or sparkle. Basically, glitter is just like sequins, sparkles or confetti. The different is that the particles are relatively smaller. In this article, we are going to talk about the history and uses of glitter powder. Read on to find out more.

Since the ancient times, people have been using different materials to make glitter powder, such as mica, malachite, glass, and insects. Today, it’s is made from plastic. Also, it’s not recycled anymore.

Modern Glitter

For the first time, the production of the material started in 1934. Henry Ruschmann, the American machinist, came up with a method to cut plastic sheets like mylar into powder. During the Second World War, glass glitter was not available. Therefore, Ruschmann used scrap plastic as an alternative to glass.

The machinist founded a company named Meadowbrook Inventions Inc in New Jersey. Interestingly enough, the company still produces industrial glitter. A few decades later, the machinist filed a patent for the method he used for the production.

Now, we have more than 20,000 different types of glitter. You can find it in a lot of materials, sizes and colors. Aside from this, more than 4.5 million KGs of glitter powder was bought from 1989 to 2009. The size of commercial glitter is between.25 and.002 inches.

In the process, flat sheets of multiple layers are produced through a combination of color, plastic and reflective material like bismuth oxychloride, iron oxide, titanim dioxide, and aluminum. Then the sheets are cut into small particles of different shapes like hexagons, rectangles, triangles, and squares.


Before the making of fabrics with today’s glitter, manufacturers used sequins to achieve the same purpose. Also, gum Arabic and some other ingredients are used to make edible glitter.

In cosmetics, these reflective particles are used for making the nails and face sparkly or shiny. In addition, it’s used in the field of arts and crafts for adding color and texture to different items. Often, the tiny particles stick to skin, furniture and clothing. You may find it hard to remove it from your clotting. Often, the particles are pasted on different fishing lures in order to attract fish.

Since glitter powder has its own set of unique characteristics, it’s used in forensic labs as evidence. Investigators find them useful in order to find out if the suspect was present at the crime scene.

Edwin Jones, a Forensic scientist, has a large collection of glitter that comprises more than 1,000 samples. These particles move from one place to another through touch or air. Aside from this, they cling to your body parts and clothing without even getting noticed by anyone.

So, this was a brief introduction to the history of glitter powder and how it can be used in today’s world.