Category: Traditional Seed Beads

If you’ve just stumbled upon the world of beading, then you’ve probably realised you have a lot of choices to make. And choices can be confusing. So, how do you know you’re making good choices? Well, that’s where My World of Beads comes in. In this section, I’m going to explain what traditional seed beads are and how to choose what is right for you.

What are traditional seed beads?

If you go back in time, you didn’t need to talk about ‘traditional’ when it comes to seed beads. There were basically just tiny round beads with a single hole through them. Yes, they varied in size, and we had a couple of choices of style, but that was about it. Now, we also have beads with multiple holes through them and beads in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

I would define seed beads as the kind of bead that is used for bead-weaving. (Yes, they are used in other projects too). So, the traditional seed beads are the varieties that have been around for years…thousands of years, actually.

Basically, they are small (anything from under 1mm to about 3mm), round, and have a single hole through them.

Traditionally, we had two basic choices: rocailles and cylinders.

Now, the rocailles are also commonly called seed beads (just to be confusing). They are manufactured in many parts of the world. But the best quality beads come from Japan and the Czech Republic. There are a lot of makers and different brands. So, that can seem very confusing at first.

Then, we have cylinder beads. You may know these as Delica beads. Delica is a specific brand, manufactured by the Miyuki company. The other common brand is AIKO. Cylinder beads are incredibly regular in size and shape, so they create beautiful, neat work.

So, it is all these differences and nuances that I am going to explain below. This will help you to understand what you’re buying and why it’s the best choice for your project.