They come in glass, with a luster finish, or in iridescent form; in metal, bronze or brass. Seed beads have been used in embroidering for many years (the very small seed beads (micro beads) in 24/0 size are now usually replaced by 15/0 beads (approx 1 mm).There are different types of seed beads Japanese seed beads
(uniform in size and shape, usually supplied in size 15/0 ), charlotte-cut beads
(size 13/0) which are faceted for an extra sparkling effect, Delica
, cylindrical Japanese beads that are perfectly uniform in shape and which are ideal for woven seed bead designs (Delica was the name of the best-known brand). A range of surface finishes are available (iridescent, matte, satin finish, AB or lined...).
When working with beads
- Cloisonnée beads are made from copper and are coated in baked-on enamel, stained-glass window style. Most cloisonnée beads are made in China.
, you will need:
- a tray with very low edges: the tray will prevent any beads from being mislaid and the low edges will not hamper your movements.
- a pair of fine-tipped scissors for working with the nylon thread (which must be cleanly cut) or else wire cutters if you are using bead stringing wire (for making necklaces or bracelets with heavier beads)
- flat gripping pliers for crimp beads, which are indispensable accessories for holding a necklace or bracelet clasp firmly in place
- round nose/snub-nosed pliers are not recommended, except to fold or bend silver wire or metal eyepins.