Seed beads form an important finding in jewelry as they are available in abundance and very cheap. These beads are uniform in shape, mainly sphere, sometimes cylindrical or oval. Any beads small in size and uniform is named as seed beads. They vary is shape and size from millimeter to several millimeters. They are used for many purposes mainly for loom and off-loom bead weaving. Also they may find its use in stringing of jewelry findings or as a spacer material.
The smallest of the beads having a size of 15° are the most exclusive and antique. Beads are measured in aught. The largest size of a seed bead is 1° (“one-aught”, sometimes written 1/0). Pony seed beads are those having a size of 5° or 6°. The next class of 3° to 4° is usually called “trade beads”. The largest beads are 1°, 2° and usually referred to as “crow beads. In practical case for knitting, stringing or bead weaving, beads 6°, 8°, 11°, 12°, 13° and 15° sizes are primarily used. Among these for bead knitting, 6°, 8° and 11° are mostly used.
Things required for seed bead weaving;
There are penetrations allotted as small holes in the centers of most seed beads. For stringing them, a specialized long narrow needle called a beading needle, is usually required. A Beading Thread is used as the regular sewing thread for beading. Its quality must be slim and strong. It helps pass the beads through without any fuss. The material used as beading thread is nylon beading thread and polyethylene beading thread. Nymo and C-Lon are the brands for are nylon and FireLine and PowerPro are the brands for polyethylene. The Beading scissors are sharp and precise. They are small making clean cuts through the nylon beading thread. The cutting becomes a significant factor as it helps thread the needle.
A Thread conditioner is used for lubricating the Beading Thread in the process reducing tangles and easy pass of seed beads. Polyethylene threads do not require thread conditioner. A bead mat is a delicate and soft material over which the beading work is done. It eliminates the light from which may cause reflection on the beads. The most popular style of bead mat is a foam blanket material called Vellux. Other material required are Bead dishes (sometimes called “bead trays”) over which the beads are stocked. They are usually metal or ceramic trays. Magnifier, Task Light, Bead Scoops are other requirements.