Bead question


Other than price and quite likely quality, are there any differences in the
seed beads sold in the needlework department and those sold in the beading
department of craft stores?
Reply to
anne
If you're comparing Darice to Mill Hill, the number of available colors, for sure. I've found myself often wondering if Darice beads were glass or plastic, partly because of the colors themselves (to me they seemed more insense, and consistent through the entire ead), and that might account for the cost difference.
Jenn L. --
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projects: Nordic Needle Rose (Silver Lining) Starry Night (Vincent van Gogh via Cross Stitch Collectibles) Lady of the Flag (Mirabilia) Weight loss to date: 18.5 lbs
Reply to
Jenn Liace
Well, they all have a hole in the middle, or at least they should have a hole.
Some of the beads in the beading department will be of quite good quality and color variety, especially if they are Japanese. Some of them, on the other hand, will be plastic.
I think there are only a couple of brands which are sold as standardized color numbers, but that might be changing with the popularity of beading.
The most serious problem you might encounter in 'alternative' beads are rough edges to the hole, which can abrade your thread. This is most common with beads from India. The rough edge would cut through floss more quickly than beading thread.
Beading is becoming quite popular and there are getting to be more beading stores around. You should check them out. Dora album:
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Reply to
bungadora
usually the difference is plastic vs. glass which is more expensive. If the project is one that you are spending a lot of money on, I would go with glass beads.
Reply to
Anne M
The few times I've worked with craft store beads, I've come away disappointed and frustrated. Frustrated because I had to throw away so many of them because the holes were too small to stitch through. Disappointed because they didn't "brick" against each other very well and I ended up with a very inconsistent project.
Phyllis Maurer
Reply to
Phylis Maurer
Phylis Maurer said
Thanks, all, for the information. So far, I haven't used beads for anything other than mostly randomly placed embellishments.
Reply to
anne
I am actually a beader at heart so I may go into more detail than you want. It's worth using better quality beads from either a bead store or an on-line source such as Shipwreck Beads or Fire Mountain Gems. The main division in better-quality seed beads is their country of origin. The Czech Republic generally sells their seed beads on hanks or strings, and they have colors and finishes that are not available from other sources. However, the sizes can be somewhat irregular and the holes rather small. The typical size used is 11-o. Japanese seed beads, often (but not always) sold by the ounce, tend to have relatively larger holes and also come in a wide variety of colors and finishes. There are also Japanese size 15 seed beads that are very small and close in size to Czech size 13, but the holes are surprisingly large for such small beads. There are also what are generically called cylinder beads made by Japanese companies such as the Antique or Delica beads; they have a thin wall, large hole, and look like a piece of a tiny tube. I don't think you'd want to use them for embroidery, but you might like the look and the holes are relatively huge. I've seen the Darice and Mill Hill seed beads, and frankly, they are pretty darn pricey for the number of beads you get. If you get an ounce or a hank of Czech or Japanese seed beads you'd get several times the number of beads for about the same price or only slightly more.
Craft store seed beads have their place, but if you're going to the trouble of making something really nice, why not use the better beads? The glass craft store beads look to be about a size 9 or 10. The holes aren't that big for the size of the bead and the color selection is fairly limited. If going to a bead store, you can also ask the staff about color-fastness of the colors. Some colors are problematical (such as PINK!!!) and may fade after exposure to light. Or, they may be listed as dyed, but remain reasonably colorfast. Generally, you get what you pay for.
Reply to
Sue F
Thanks for the detailed information, Sue. It was greatly appreciated.
While I have y'alls attention, how the heck do you thread the teeny holes in beading needles? I've tried licking a single strand of floss but all I got was something wet that had to be snipped.
Ain't that the truth!
Reply to
anne
On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 09:23:09 -0500, anne muttered something like:
I found these neat beading needles at Michael's a while back; they've got a large eye that makes it easy to thread them, but it's a light, thin material that collapses easily so it can go through a tiny bead hole.
I have a hard time threading the regular ones, too.
-Bertha
Reply to
Bertha
I use an ultra-fine wire needle threader. I gave up trying to see that well years ago.
-- Brenda
Reply to
Brenda
anne ( snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net) writes:
I find that chewing the end, as well a licking, helps. You sort of make a piece that is extra thin at the end of the thread. HTH. -- Jim Cripwell. From Canada. Land of the Key Bird. This creature of doom flies over the frozen tundra in winter, shrieking its dreaded call; "Key, Key, Key, Key rist but it's cold!!"
Reply to
F.James Cripwell
I agree with Jim. I do a lot of beadwork using beading threads. The eyes of the beading needles are long narrow oblongs. So I chew the thread a bit and flatten it. To see my latest bead work got to.
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Ps Have you started my poncho yet Jim
In message , F.James Cripwell writes > >anne ( snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net) writes: >> Thanks for the detailed information, Sue. It was greatly appreciated. >> >> While I have y'alls attention, how the heck do you thread the teeny holes in >> beading needles? I've tried licking a single strand of floss but all >>I got was >> something wet that had to be snipped. > > I find that chewing the end, as well a licking, helps. You sort of >make a piece that is extra thin at the end of the thread. HTH. >-- >Jim Cripwell. > From Canada. Land of the Key Bird. > This creature of doom flies over the frozen tundra in winter, >shrieking its dreaded call; "Key, Key, Key, Key rist but it's cold!!"
Reply to
Shirley Shone
I love these answers (chomping on the thread to flatten them out) . When you want a finer needle, be it a tapestry, sharp, beading, or crewel, sometimes those round threads need human intervention to get through those "round peg in a square hole" situations. It's my method of choice.
Dianne
Reply to
Dianne Lewandowski
F.James Cripwell said
No offense, Jim, but I thought you were pulling my leg until someone else said the same thing. Perhaps the two of you are in cahoots to perpetrate a myth
Reply to
anne
anne ( snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net) writes:
We are not "perpetrating a myth". If you chew the thread, you will make the end considerably smaller, and longer. A sort of thin piece that extends from the end of the thread. This can be *much* easier to thread through the small eyes of some needles. Try it sometime. I can assure you that it really works. -- Jim Cripwell. From Canada. Land of the Key Bird. This creature of doom flies over the frozen tundra in winter, shrieking its dreaded call; "Key, Key, Key, Key rist but it's cold!!"
Reply to
F.James Cripwell
Bertha's right on the money with the twisted wire needles. Those are great for larger thread, and I use them a lot for my bead crochet as I'm putting beads on button-weight thread. Another product that Michael's stocks (and other places) are Big-Eye needles, which are like two thin needles soldered together at the end, and you pull the needle apart in the middle. The kind of beading needles craft stores tend to carry generally have a reasonably large eye, but may be too big to go through some of the bead holes when they're carrying thread. Maybe a different kind of beading needle, like a John James size 12...What kind of thread are you using? I assume you're using size 11 seed beads.
Reply to
Sue F
Frankly, the licking and trimming is what I usually do, but it may be the thickness of the thread relative to the needle size. A lot of the other beaders I know use beeswax or a product called Thread Heaven to help thread the needle and decrease tangling (but Thread Heaven may make a knot too slippery to stay closed) and perhaps cut the thread on the diagonal.
Reply to
Sue F

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