RounTrio Beads: what are they?
RounTrio beads are an innovation from the Potomac bead company. The name really gives you all the clues you need. This is a round seed bead with three holes through it.
Description of RounTrio Beads
So, these round beads measure about 6mm in diameter. The three holes are placed symmetrically. So, you have one that passes through the centre, as with any normal round bead. Then you have two more that sit above and below that. Take a look at the photos to see what I mean.
Although I say they are placed symmetrically, the hole structure does mean the round bead now has a specific orientation. By which, I mean, if you look at it one way, the holes are above and below the centre. Turn it ninety degrees (still looking at the holes) and the additional two holes are now to the right and left of centre.
I will come on to why that may be relevant to you in just a minute. First, I have one final point to talk about in the description.
RounTrio beads are available in two types: ‘plain’ and ‘faceted’. The images you see here all show the plain RounTrios.
This image shows a faceted RounTrio bead.
So, when you are following a pattern or buying your beads, make sure you buy the right type. Or, you might deliberately change them if you want a particular look or finish to your design.
Where to buy RounTrio Beads
As with any bead, try your local bead shop! However, you have probably noticed that, with so many beads available these days, not all shops stock all beads.
So, you may end up buying online. If you live in the US, then just check out the Potomac Beads website (I linked to it at the start of this post).
If you live in the UK, then this website has a good range of colours to get you started.
Potomac Bead company also has an EU website now, so you can check that out as well.
Designing with RounTrio Beads
So, here I’ll come back to that issue of hole placement.
These beads are absolutely fascinating to use. For starters, you get all the benefits of a normal round bead. So, think about designs where you like to use this type of bead.
I’m guessing that you might string them. Or you might use them as an accent bead.
Well, when you have three holes to play with, instead of just one, the design potential expands.
So, if you are stringing them, you can add three tiny beads between each RounTrio. This creates a glamorous effect. It also gives your work more strength and stability as your beads are now linked in three places!
You can also use the additional holes to add extra embellishment around the beads. And you will create some fascinating thread paths.
What does this mean for following patterns?
Well, as you might imagine, this design potential can create more complexity. So, when you are following a pattern, you will need to be aware of the hole placement.
Every designer writes their patterns up differently. Hopefully, if the pattern is well written, the designer will have told you which hole you need to use as you work.
Be aware that they may refer to the holes in their vertical alignment (top, middle, bottom) or in their horizontal alignment (left, centre, right). So, you need to follow the instructions carefully. If you pass through the wrong hole, you may find the structure of your design then doesn’t work.
Top tip for using these beads
If you are used to bead-weaving, you may be used to sitting your beads on the mat, then picking them up on your needle. This could be quite an automatic process for you and it’s great when your bead only has one hole.
But, with these beads, you need to be aware of which hole you are passing through. And, if you’ve never used them before, it can be very easy to slip through the wrong hole by accident.
So, I strongly advise you to pick the bead up with your fingers, then watch as you pass your needle through the correct hole. This may feel a little more time-consuming at first. But in the long run, you will thank me for making you do this! …it is even more time-consuming if you have to keep undoing your work!
Patterns using RounTrio Beads
I have been sprinkling some pattern inspiration throughout this post. So, if you saw a photo you liked, then click on it to get the pattern for that project.
You can also find more patterns at this link. And just keep searching online to see more designers using these beads.
I hope this post has inspired you to try using some RounTrio beads. Or if you already have some in your stash, then maybe you have found a new project to inspire you.
If you like the idea of three-holed seed beads, then have you tried out the Arcos beads yet? Don’t know what they are?…well, this link will tell you all you need to know>>