Facts About Seed Beads
Seed beads can be used in a variety of ways when it comes to jewelry making, accessorizing, embellishing and crafting. There are many projects posted on the internet that make use of these tiny beads. But, because using them can be really complicated, especially in jewelry designing, there have been a lot of questions about the sizes, shapes, styles and finishes of these beads. So if you are also looking to use seed beads in your creations, but don't have much information about their features, then here are some facts about seed beads. This piece of information is aimed to clarify your doubts about these beads so you can use them in your crafting and beading projects with ease.
These beads are available in a variety of finishes. Here's a look.
Standard - usually made from ordinary glass
Matte - finishing that does not reflect light
Transparent - allows light to pass through
Opaque - does not allow light to pass through the beads
Milky - allows some light to pass through
Iridescent - allows light to reflect in a variety of colors
Iris - similar to iridescent, but is more towards the bluer and metallic side
Metal lined - the hole is usually lined with a reflective metal such as copper, silver or gold
Color lined - the hole is given another color
Metallic - finishing that looks like metal such as gold or silver
Luster - pastel shades
Silky - finishing that appears that the beads are made from strands of silk. They are highly reflective
Sizing of these beads are based in imperial measurements meaning that they are measured on their side. Here is an example. If 10 of these beads when laid together on their sides fit one inch, then their measurement would be 10/0. Similarly if only 7 or 12 fit, then the measurement will be 7/0 and 12/0 respectively.
Seed beads are very tiny and their sizes range from 6/0 to 23/0. Very rarely you may also come across 30/0. But the most common size that is suitable for most beading and crafting projects is 11/0. Anything that is above 22/0 is considered as antique as manufacturers don't make these sizes anymore. To work with beads which are in this size range, you will have to become a serious collector.
Round or rocaille is the most common shape for these beads. They have a softer and more organic finish. Cylinder style beads are also very popular as they give a geometric finish. There are also bugle beads available, but their sizes tend to be very inconsistent. But, most of them are in the size range of 11/0. Bugle beads are available in round and twisted shapes. They are often gold or silver lined to make them stand out from the rest. With these beads, there is usually a limit on the color, finish and style that you can find. Teardrops, triangles and cubes are some other shapes that these beads are available in.