Thursday, January 27, 2011

All About Seed Beads...

Seed beads are a fun medium to work in. They allow for a beadweaver to create a very detailed image or pattern in their work. However, many people are unsure of the difference in the types of seed beads available. Here is my breakdown:

Cylindar beads (Delicas, Toho Treasures, Aikos) provide a very even fabric when woven. Because the sides are straight and not curved, they fit together well with little space between the beads.
Czech seed beads provide a more textured fabric. The beads are more rounded on the outside and thus show more space between the beads.
Miyuki, Matsuno, and Toho are Japanese manufacturers of seed beads. They make both the rounded seed beads similiar to Czech seed beads and cylindar beads.
Delicas are made by Miyuki. Most people find that Miyuki beads have a better consistancy of size and shape than Toho or Matsuno, and thus require less culling. The exception would the the Toho Aiko line - they are as consistant as they get, no culling needed.
Culling - almost all seed beads will require culling. This is the process of going through the beads and seperating those that are too big, too small, or mishapen. Some people keep these and use them to assist with shaping the beadwork when doing more complicated work, others just throw them out.

So, what beads you use depends on what effect you want. It is entirely
a matter of personal preference and the effect you are going for.

Quote: Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.
Lois McMaster Bujold, "A Civil Campaign", 1999
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