Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Planting Seed Beads

Image from ArtBeads.com

I know very little about seed beads, the different types, how they are numbered and what they mean. This seed has been rolling around in head for a while, so in my usual way, I took to the internet to find a basic explanation on seed beads.

I found this article on Street Directory by Paul Shane.

"Seed beads are tiny beads that are measured by a /0 numbering system. Higher the number, smaller the beads. Basically, the number indicates the approximate number of beads in every inch, when the beads are arranged in a linear manner on the ground. For instance, if you can lay 6 beads in a straight row within an inch's space, the beads would be numbered as 6/0.

The most famous of all types and kinds of seed beads are Czech and Japanese beads. While the Czech beads are famous for the uniformity in their sizes and shapes, the Japanese beads are known for the high precision in quality of the beads and beautiful and unique designs they are available in. Czech seed beads are shipped on hanks. (Hanks refer to a strung bunch of beads, where a standard hank contains 10 to 12 strings that are 20' long.)

Apart from jewellery, seed beads are also useful in art and craft projects, in decorating upholstery and tapestry, and in beautifying accessories to give them a funky fashionable look. If you are looking for good quality seed beads with nice designs and different colours, a good place to look for them is the Internet. There are many good websites that provide all the jewellery making materials, where you would get seed beads of your choice."

This article explained the mystery of seed beads to me. Like wire gauges the bigger the number the smaller the wire. I needed that info to help me understand this mystery.
Now that we've planted the seed beads, I can't wait to see what grows from your creativity!


Teresa said...

great...very interesting


Jeannie said...

I love seed beads, they fascinate me. I love patterned beadwork, it's like beading wizardry to me.
Thanks for this post

Beverly Herman said...

I love working with seed beads. It's a great media to showcase art beads.

The Bead Gypsy said...

Thanks so much for this in depth explanation! I learned long ago that seed beads are numbered so that the higher the number the smaller the bead, but this is the first time I learned of the *relationship* to the numbering! So, now when I forget if the beads I have are 5/0 or 6/0s and I am writing a pattern, I can line them up next to my ruler and see how many per inch :-) Thanks so much!