Seed Bead Comparison for Better Beading
I wrote this seed bead comparison to help you spend wisely and to achieve better results with your jewelry projects. Seed beads are the building blocks of bead stitched jewelry.
Chinese Seed Beads
Chinese seed beads are the least uniform in terms of size, shape, and opening. Being budget minded, I understand the lure of their lower price verses that of the other seed beads. If you are new to or interested in learning how to make jewelry using bead stitching, I highly recommend that you resist the temptation.
Japanese Seed Beads
Japanese seed beads are more uniformed than then the Chinese. The two brands that you are most likely to find at your local bead store are Miyuki and Toho. The two companies use different sizing conventions. Miyuki uses millimeters and Toho uses Aught. Miyuki’s 2mm are comparable to Toho’s 11/0.
Czech Seed Beads
Czech seed beads are another option. They the Aught sizing convention. The blue Czech seed bead shown is an 11/0 looks a slight bit smaller than the Japanese seed beads shown above. Based on my experience, the 10/0 shown in copper looks closer in size to the Japanese.
You might be wondering what impact could such a small difference make. The impact could come when you are seeking to achieve a specific measurement. Let’s say the first time you made a ring for yourself using the exact same beads listed in a pattern (11/0 Japanese) and you worked 25 rows for the band. However, the second time you decided use an 11/0 Czech bead. You might need to work a few extra rows to get the same size.
The cylinder seed bead (a type of Japanese seed bead) is the most uniformed and the most expensive seed bead. The picture below features the Delica (Miyuki) cylinder seed bead. Toho also make a cylinder bead. If your design requires a neat and tidy look, then the cylinder bead is the way to go. The consistency of this bead makes it easier to successfully create a beaded bezel. The consistent hole size also makes it easier to pass through a bead multiple times. This ability is necessary for some stitches or designs.