There are many types of beads available, and choosing the right beads for a project is essential. So, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of finding a good supplier who will be able to advise you on the best beads to use.
Most beads are sold either by weight (grams) or in hanks. It is impossible to mention every bead available, so I focus on the most common ones.
Seed beads are the most popular type of bead. There are two types of seed beads:
* Japanese beads are cylindrical in shape and range in size from 6 (the largest) to 22 (the smallest). They are thought to be more uniform in size and have larger holes than the equivalent size of Czech bead. They are ideal for all types of beadwork.
* Czech beads range in size from 7 to 20. They are usually more doughnut-shaped than Japanese beads, and are best used for off-loom beading and bead embroidery
Delica beads(antique beads)
These superior beads are perfectly cylindrical in shape and have thin walls and large holes. They are ideal for bead weaving where a very flat, smooth finish is required. There are only two sizes – size 11 and the larger size 8. Delica beads are more expensive than seed beads, but well worth using for that special project.
Bugle beads are long cylindrical beads available in a variety of colors, finishes and twists. They are sized in millimeters, the most common sizes being 2, 3, and 5mm. Take care when using them as they can have quite shape edges which could cut through thread. Bugle beads are mainly used for edgings and fringes.
Apart from the usual cylindrical shape, there are also other shapes of beads – triangles, squares and hexagonal (six sided) – which can give an unusual and different texture to your project. Shaped beads can be found in a variety of materials: metals, glass, plastic and wood.
A faceted bead has many flat surfaces (called faces or facets) cut into it that reflects light. Most common in gemstone jewelry but there are many different beads that are available faceted. Crystal beads are a good example of faceted beads. They are useful as accent or feature beads, and I use them quite frequently. They are sized in millimeters from 3 to 10mm.
These can be made from plastic, wood, glass or semi-precious stones. They are sized in millimeters from 2 to 10mm or even larger.