Find great suppliers of seed beads for sale in RitzyToo’s free magazine. To many, handcrafted jewelry enthusiasts seed beads are their choice for many of their projects. These glass beads are actually tiny pieces of cane tubes heated until they are smooth and their uses are seemingly endless.
Sized by number with the higher the number, the smaller the bead. For instance size 8º is larger than a size 15º. Most are manufactured in Japan and the Czech Republic with subtle differences between the two. Ones from Japan are typically more consistent in shape and have larger holes which allows more passes of thread when needed. Popular manufacturers are TOHO, Miyuki and Matsuno.
Those made in India, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China tend to be poorer quality, less uniform in shape, hole size and finish. Ones that are dyed may bleed dye onto your clothing or skin and the external coating may rub away revealing a completely different color underneath.
Larger sizes are sometimes referred to as Pony beads with the larger still being called Trade beads, and the largest are called Crow beads. The smallest are about the size of a grain of sand.
Sizes sometimes vary between manufacturers and some manufacturer’s quality is more consistent. So, if a consistent size is important choosing a Delica bead manufactured by Miyuki of Japan is probably your best choice. You will find Delicas for sale from top companies in our free RitzyToo Magazine. Also offered are seed beaks in bulk and wholesale.
Stitches, Colors, and Finishes
Weaving stitches are often used with needle and thread to create stitches such as peyote stitch, brick stitch, right-angle weave, herringbone stitch and netting. Kumihimo is also done using these tiny beads that come in a myriad of colors.
Some of the colors and finishes include transparent, translucent, opaque, matte, silver lined, copper lined, bronze lined, pearl lustre and aurora borealis. Manufacturers guard their color and finish formulas carefully so as to avoid duplication by a competitor.
If you are looking for colors to repair or repurpose antique jewelry pieces look for ones made in France.