The past year or so I’ve been exploring the exciting world of on and off loom bead work and how best to implement it into my designs. I’ve discovered that seed beads are by far the best type of beads to use when working with yarn.
But these look and work equally well with wire work creations. They’re particularly well suited to adding that extra bit of glam and sparkle to knitwear, with the Japanese seed beads Myuki, Matsuno and Toho coming out tops; being highly recommended by suppliers and fellow bead workers. Seed beads are mostly manufactured in Japan and the Czech republic. They originated in Italy with the Czechs entering the market in the 18th Century. They are tiny pieces of glass generally round in shape. The beads are constructed by putting a huge chunk of glass into a gather which is then heated in a long tube shape at high temperatures. This is then cooled, cut into rings and polished in a tumbler like you can do with beach pebbles and rocks to make gems.
Japanese beads are precision cut and have the largest holes (ideal for threading yarn through) and are much more uniform in size and shape than their Czech counterparts.
Size wise seems to be in mm, the higher the number the smaller the bead. Seed beads come in a plethora of colours and finishes and they really are the showy top coat to a fibre canvas. I just love obtaining a stash of beady beadies from the vintage shops in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire as well as choosing from the vast selection of new to purchase beads in the online marketplace! Am really looking forward to creating some more beautiful things with them…
X Della Marie.