Beads for Bead Weaving

Last weekend I taught my first bead weaving class, and afterwards I asked for a little feedback on what they would want from future lessons. One of the suggestions was more of a description of the beads available, and I have to admit there was a great love of the idea, but it is also unrealistic in the time frame that I have for the lessons. So what would be a good alternative to get some of that information out there? Maybe the Blog is the way to go, I can at least dip a toe in the water right? I am going to focus today on only one hole beads and the small beads that are useful. There are so many different types of beads I could be here all day.

Rocaille/Round Beads – Rocailles and round style seed beads are more like little doughnut shapes. These beads are found in a variety of brands and are your typical small, round beads, these are mostly called seed beads in regular use and are 3mm or under.

Pondo Stitch.jpg
A bracelet made out of tiny seed beads.

Delica – Made by the Japanese brand Miyuki, these are small tubular beads, rather than round, this means they have flat edges and an even cut, available in 11/0 (1.6mm) and 8/0 (3mm) these small tubes are fantastic when working stitches such and peyote and brick stitch, or even on looms, as the come together neatly, with no gaps, and form a fabric of beads. These are a favourite of mine for working around cabochons.

A section of a choker made out of delica beads in peyote stitch for a commission.


Fringe Beads – These are tiny, perfect, drop shaped beads, with a hole at the top and are also made by Miyuki.Once again the quality is very high and this means the size consistency is perfect for bead weaving , they are 4mm or 3mm, and are great for edge work and fringes.

My Piece the Maleficent, the edging uses black fringe beads to give the pendant texture.

Magatama Beads – Also made by Miyuki, these are another fringe bead, though they are more angular and look like an oval from the top and a parallelogram from the side. These are larger and are 7mm long. Though fun to play with the top does not come together like the fringe bead drop shape, so it requires a little more play to hang correctly.

Hex Cut Beads – These are similar to delicas in that they are tubes, but they are also cut into an hexagonal shape. This gives the surfaces more texture and also causes light to reflect differently, adding a different look to your beadwork. The unusual shape also gives you an opportunity to play with the shape of your beadwork.

Triangle cut Beads – Again these are fairly self explanatory, they are small triangles with the hole in the middle of the triangle. Again these can be great for texture and added sparkle, and once more are fun to play with shape.

Bugle Beads – These are long tubular beads, unusually 6mm or longer, these are great for opening up a piece, creating netting work, and oh so much more.

This is just a very small dive into what beads are to play with, go have a browse, find out more and see what is out there beyond your usual small, round beads.


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