Seed Bead Shapes

29 June 2013 Bead information


Check out this new document showing diagrams of the shapes and sizes carried by Cranberry.


Seed Bead Shapes

Check out this new document showing diagrams of the shapes and sizes carried by Cranberry, Click to open as a PDF

Shapes, the most common shape of seed bead is round, like a miniature donut. There are slight variations in the shape of round seed bead – some have squarer corners than others, this depends on the finishing process and the manufacturer.

Some round bead have an irregular cut on one side – this adds sparkle to the bead, these are known as Charlottes.

Cylinder beads are also round, but tubular rather than donut shaped. Cylinder beads are sold under the brand name of Delica, made by Miyuki or Treasures/Aikos made by Toho. Cylinder beads are the most uniform of all seed beads and when used in flat Peyote or loom work create a fabulous fabric like feel to beadwork.

Seed beads are also available in triangles, cubes, hex (6 sided), twisted hex and drops.

Bugle beads are long tubular beads.

Experiment with shapes seed beads to get some great effects. Try doing peyote stitch with hex beads, brick stitch with triangles and Ndebele stitch  with cubes, or mix shapes and see what you get.

Hex beads – 6 sided beads available in size 8 or 11.

Hex twist beads– as above but twisted in size 10

Drops – tiny tear shaped beads, comes in two sizes, 3.4mm or 2.8mm.

Magatama – drop shaped, but more of a round bead with an offset hole, come in 3 mm or 4mm

Cubes – 1.8mm, 3mm or 4mm cubes are the popular sizes. Some have rounded corners, others are squarer.

Triangles – size 5, 8, 10 or 11, again, some have rounded corners, others squarer corners.

Bugels – these are long seed beads, up to 30mm long as short as 3mm. These are sometimes twisted.