Japanese Glass: Miyuki Seed Beads

August 31, 2017

Japanese Glass: Miyuki Seed Beads

In anticipation of Island Cove's upcoming Japanese Twilight Garden Party event in October 2017, let me introduce you to the world of premium Japanese glass seed beads by Miyuki. 

Miyuki Seed Beads - The Basics

  • Did you know that the majority of seed beads stocked at Island Cove are Miyuki brand? These Japanese seed beads are sold by gram weight, seldom by the hank. At Island Cove, you'll find many of the seed beads packaged for sale in tubes.
  • The Miyuki seed bead collection at Island Cove includes 15s, 11s, delicas, 8s, 6s, long magatamas, drops, and bugles. We stock over 75 colors and the selection is ever growing. In the photo at the top of this blog post, you can see four common sizes of seed beads (all in Duracoat Galvanized coating) used by jewelry designers: (from top to bottom)
    • 6's in Muscat - a coppery shade
    • 8's in Dark Mint Green
    • 11's in Seafoam - an ocean blue
    • 15's in Eggplant - a medium purple
    • Miyuki seed beads are offered in a variety of finishes. In the photo below you can see seven different finishes on aqua hued beads, each with a different effect and unique personality. From top to bottom they include: 1) transparent, 2) silver-lined, 3) opaque, 4) transparent AB, 5) matte transparent AB, 6) luster, and 7) color-lined.

       Miyuki seed bead finishes

      Fun Facts about Japanese Miyuki Seed Beads:

      - Miyuki introduced Delica beads to the world market in 1982.

      They feature large holes that allow for multiple passes of thread.

      - The furnaces at Miyuki production plants are heated to 1400 degrees Celsius to melt the glass to create seed beads. The Miyuki factory has both automatic and manual furnaces operating 24 hours per day.

      - After dyeing or color-lining beads, Miyuki reheats them again to "set" the colors, a step skipped by some bead companies to reduce costs, according to Barry Kahn of Caravan Beads.

      "Beauty, our eternal wish, is something that has been valued in every culture since ancient times. It has the power to create dreams and to inspire." -- Miyuki President Masayoshi Katsuoka 

      Why do we love Miyuki Beads at Island Cove?

      • Sue says Miyuki beads are “the Cadillac of seed beads. Their consistent size is very important for pattern work, both on the outside of the bead and the inner hole size."
      • Colleen loves the high quality she's come to expect from Miyuki. "They have a wonderful selection of colors too, which our clients love when designing new pieces of jewelry."

        Sign Up for a Jewelry-Making Class and Start Practicing with Miyuki Seed Beads:

        Most any class you'd take at Island Cove includes using Miyuki seed beads - so you'll definitely be able to choose from our assortment of sizes, colors, and finishes. A few specific classes that we think you'll really enjoy if you're a seed beader:

        - Basic Bead Embroidery Sampler (this is a fun way to integrate unique bead shapes like bugles)

        - Bead Embroidered Cabochon (featured below)

        - Kumihimo with Beads

        - Sea Urchin Bracelet (featured below and uses long magatama beads)

        bead embroidery with Miyuki seed beads  sea urchin bracelet with Miyuki long magatama beads

        Other Japanese Jewelry-Making Essentials at Island Cove:





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