Miyuk Seed Beads - Rocailles, Delicas, Cubes, Drops, Bugles & More!
Why would we create a whole page for Miyuki Seed Beads? Because they are one of our most popular products and they deserve special mention.
Miyuki Seed beads are made of glass and are great for jewellery making (bead stictching), embroidery and even for fly fishing lures! Here is a brief overview of how they are made:
The glass is melted in a furnace and then processed to form long thin hollow tubes of glass 'rope'. This rope is pulled - the faster the thinner the bead that is produced - until it is the cut into long lengths about a metre in length. Eventually they are cut further to form the different sizes of beads (15/0, 11/0, 8/0, etc.). The process is a business secret so we can only guess how such small beads are cut. Perhaps little elves or midges with a saw? The raw beads are mixed with carbon powder and then heated and this then turns them into delica beads or rocailles. The are washed and then heated again to polish them to their brilliant finish and quality. During the heating process coatings, dyes, or colour linings are applied with a final heating to set these into the bead. You can learn more and see photos of how Miyuki Seed Beads are made here: http://www.miyuki-beads.co.jp/english/seed/06.html
There are other brands or makes of beads - Toho, Matsuno, Czech seed beads, Indian or Chinese seed beads. However, Miyuki is the highest quality in our opinion and they are the trend setter and industry leader when it comes to seed beads.
The Bead Company stocks convenient 3 inch tubes of Miyuki seed beads. Depending on the coatings, the weight will vary but we estimate that each tube has 12-14 grams of beads. The quantity of beads will vary given their shape and size but here are some approximate numbers per tube and size given a 3 inch tube:
Size 6 - seed bead tubes will have approximately 160 beads/tube
Size 8 - 450 beads/tube
Size 11 - 1300 beads/tube and finally
Size 15 - will have appoximately 4000 per tube!
Like wire gauges, the smaller the number, the larger the Miyuki Seed Bead. For example: size 6/0 beads are about 4 times larger than size 11/0 beads and about 2 times larger than size 8/0 beads. The size used to indicate the number of beads per inch. This is no longer the case, but will still give you a fair approximation of the bead size. For example, if you set 11/0 beads down next to a ruler with the holes facing up, you will have 11 to 12 beads to the inch. Metric sizes are approximate but are as follows: Size 6/0 (4mm), Size 8/0 (3mm), Size 11/0 (2mm) and Size 15/0 (1.5mm).
If you have further questions feel free to ask and as always you can shop in our retail store or online for the amazing Miyuki Seed Beads!