Seed Beads

Seed beads

"Seed Bead" is a generic term for any small bead. They are beads made of segments of drawn tubes of glass of various thicknesses, often slightly oval in shape due to tumbling and polishing, the shorter dimension being through the hole. The most common size to use is 11/0 but range in size from 8/0 to 24/0. The larger the number the smaller the bead. They are smaller than Pony beads. Check out our new seed beads in the shop.
Seed beads are most commonly used for loom and off-loom bead weaving. They may be used for simple stringing, or as spacers between other beads in jewelry. Larger seed beads are used in various fiber crafts for embellishment, or crochet with fiber or wire.
These are colourful and versatile beads, which can be transformed into elegant seed beaded creations by embroidering, weaving or stranding.
Ranging widely in shape and size, the most common seed beads are Czech, Japanese and the Delica and Antique brand cylindrical beads. Czech beads are very traditional, can be sold on hanks, are mostly round and can be uneven. Japanese seed beads are more uniform, come in many different colors and are usually sold loose in bags or tubes.

Delica
"Delica" is a trade mark of Miyuki Shoji Corp. The Toho Corp. manufactures similar beads named "Antiques".
Japanese seed beads are made of precisely cut glass, making them uniform in shape and size and color. They have large holes compared to their diameter. Their cylindrical shape lend them to many projects, especially loom work and Peyote stitch projects.

Antique Beads
"Antique" is a trade mark of Toho Corp. Miyuki Shoji Corp. manufactures similar beads named "Delicas". These beads are not old.
 Japanese seed beads made of precisely cut glass, making them uniform in shape and size and color. They have large holes compared to their diameter. Their cylindrical shape lend them to many projects, especially loom work and Peyote stitch projects.

Charlotte and True Cut Beads
The traditional Charlotte bead is a Czech made, size 13/0 smooth seed beads with a single flat side to it, causing it to sparkle and shine. These beads are often found in Native American beadwork, are available in a variety of colors and finishes, and are most often sold on short hanks with 12 stands per hank. Some older Charlotte beads are sold on long hanks, and can get pricey. They are also available in gold, silver and copper plate. True cut beads are simply other size beads with one or more flat cuts. Also known as "one-cut."
Pony
Pony beads are larger than seed beads and smaller than crows. Beads made of segments of drawn tubes of glass of various thicknesses, typically slightly oval in shape due to tumbling and polishing, with the shorter dimension being through the hole. Also known as "E" beads, sizes 5/0 or 6/0. Pony beads were made prior to seed beads and were used extensively during the 1830's to 1850's.
Crow
Crow beads are larger than Pony beads and Seed beads. The beads are made of segments of drawn tubes of glass of various thicknesses, typically slightly oval in shape due to tumbling and polishing, with the shorter dimension being through the hole. Size 33/0 (8mm, with a 2mm hole).
Bugle
Thin tubular shaped glass beads manufactured in lengths from 2 millimeters to 35 millimeters.
Drawn beads
Glass beads sliced from a long tube drawn while hot from a blob of glass with an air bubble to make the bead hole. The beads are then usually tumbled and/or reheated to soften the edges and give the beads a rounded appearance. Specifically designates seed, pony, crow and bugle beads.

 

Last updated 22-Dec-2005
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