An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Friday, November 6, 2009

Size 11/0 seed beads aught to be same, but they're not

Thanks to an EBW team member I've discovered that despite aughts providing a uniform way of measuring seed beads there is much more to size 11/0 than meets the eye. It depends on who you buy your 11/0 beads from what size they are. Here's what I've found from my web search. They can vary from 1.6 mm (Delica 11/0) to 2.2 mm (Toho 11/0). So, whilst an aught aught to tell us how big our beads are clearly seed bead manufacturers have their own view. For those of us who who are beaders this might just explain why working with seed beads brings challenges to create even weaves. So, now we need to match more than colours to ensure our beads match - we need to know who made them!


Carol Dean said...

This may be why some say that delicas are more like size 12s in reality than 11s.

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

I've seen photos and listed to a lecture given by Doris Coghill (who leads European bead tours) about the making of beads in the Czech Republic, and it's amazing to me that things made by multiple artisans in their barns and garages and chicken coops can be as reliably sized as they are. Even in the factories, my understanding is that glass is pulled into a long, hollow tube and sliced into beads, with each end of the tube being less perfect than the center. Diane
Fitzgerald said that those center-cut, most perfect beads in Japan become Aikos, which are named after the manufacturer's wife, as she is also perfect! Ladies, there's a guy who understands who his clients are! I've done a couple rainbow projects with Czech 8/0s and 11/0s and each COLOR was a different size. SO, I suppose it depends who made the bead and where it was made, and maybe what day it was and how the artisan was feeling, how much quality and size control there is. I count myself lucky to have easy local access to Aikos and delicas!

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op