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Seed Beads

This section contains information to answer some frequently asked questions concerning our extensive line of beads, such as sizing and terminology.  To get back to the home page, please use the link in the upper-left corner of this page.  


2/0  6 mm 0.236"
3/0  5.5 mm 0.216"
4/0 5 mm 0.197"
5/0 4.5 mm 0.177"
6/0 3.7 mm 0.146"
7/0 3.4 mm 0.134"
8/0 3.0 mm 0.118"
9/0 2.6 mm 0.102"
10/0 2.3 mm 0.0905"
11/0 2.1 mm 0.083"
12/0 1.9 mm 0.075"
13/0 1.7 mm 0.067"
14/0 1.6 mm 0.063"
15/0 1.5 mm 0.059"
33 8 mm 0.315"

*Please note that we do not carry all of the above sizes.

Helpful Definitions

(This section is still in progress.)

Aurora Borealis: a treatment, primarily used on transparent beads, that produces a rainbow of colors (pastels).  The term Iridescent may aptly apply to this as well.

Hank: these are 12" - 20" strands of strung beads.  One wholesale hank generally consists of a group of ten retail hanks (sometimes referred to as a Bunch).

Iridescent: also called Iris, Oil Slick, Aurora Borealis, Scarabee, Rainbow.  Each of these terms refers to the same thing: the permanent "rainbow" finish which is applied while the bead is hot.  An iridescent finish can totally change the original color of the bead.  Iridescent beads blend subtly.  The rainbow finish sets the beads off and makes them come forward visually

Iris: a metallic-iridescent look given to an opaque bead.  Aurora Borealis is another term used to describe this finish.

Lustre: a reflective, high gloss coating.  Similar to the Aurora Borealis finish.  This finish is also at times called Coated.

Mass (M): a quantity of 1,200 beads.

Matte: a flat, velvety, muted look instead of a shiny or reflective surface.  Other terms for the same treatment are Frosted or Ghost.

Metallic: resembling the look and shine of metals.

Opaque: not transparent (i.e., you cannot see through it). Solid in color.

Roccailles: this term is sometimes used interchangeably with Seed Bead.  Ours are size 33/0 and made of glass. 

Silver-lined: the term used to describe beads with their openings and insides lined with silver. It will appear like a silver bar inside a clear bead when seen sideways.

Square Hole: the term used for beads with square-shaped openings.

Solgel (or Sol Gel): This is the name for a new specialized coated treatment that provides seed beads with longer lasting color.  It protects seed beads from exposure to sunlight, washing, cosmetic exposure, perspiration, hand perspiration, and lengthy storage.  The colors are fade-resistant - ideal for garment designers - and washable in temperatures below 40 degrees, even when using fabric softeners.

Translucent or Transparent: Light is able to pass through the bead since the color is not solid.  Compared to other treatments, these beads appear to sparkle.  It is possible to see through these beads, especially with those of a lighter color.

General Care

To protect beads, wash your hands frequently with a neutral PH soap and/or keep your hands well dusted with talc.  Handle the beads as little as possible. 3 or 4 coats of an artists' fixative will prolong their life.  Red, pink and purple metallic colors may fade with extended exposure to sunlight.