Popular Varieties of Seed Beads

By: Paul Shane

Speaking in lay terms, seed beads are spheroidal beads that come in a variety of sizes. Mostly rounded in shape, these beads can range from one millimetre to several millimetres in size.

Generally used for loom and off-loom bead weaving, they make for amazing jewellery material. A number of artisans use large-sized beads in fibre crafts for the purpose of decoration. You can also string these beads into multiple strands to form chic junk jewellery.

Seed beads are available in a wide variety. Most of them are classified in accordance with their nation of origin. Some of the best beads are made in Japan and the Czech Republic. The ones coming from Japan are more uniform in terms of shape, size and finish. The beads from Czech Republic have smaller holes in comparison to the Japanese beads.

France is renowned for manufacturing beads that resemble historic times, and are therefore commonly used in repairing antiques. Taiwan, China and India are also popular makers of beads. Be careful when using dyed Chinese beads as there is a possibility of the dye wearing off to your clothing or skin.

Seed beads can also be categorised on the basis of their transparency or finishing. The transparent beads have glass that is completely see-through. In the translucent ones, you can see diffused light through the bead. As far as finishing is concerned, they are available in silver, copper and bronze coatings.

Cylinder beads have gained immense popularity in the last few years. Uniform in shape and size, they have large holes and flat ends. This ensures that jewellery made of them has a flat and smooth texture. Even the pattern work made of these has an accurate and uniform finish. Just another form of the Japanese bead, cylinder beads are being increasingly used by jewellers all over the world.

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