Japanese seed beads are made with precision technology to have the most uniform size and the most durable colors of all the seed beads in the world. The size of Japanese seed beads is incredibly constant, with softly rounded edges and large perfectly centered holes. Each tiny glass bead is uniform so you won't have to discard part of each package when working on your project. Seed beads are also made in the Czech Republic and India, but the quality is not comparable with those made in Japan.
Japanese seed beads are also manufactured with durability in mind. Special glass is made in a rainbow of colors, and then many different linings or coatings are applied to create hundreds of different colors of beads. Seed beads may be silver-lined, coated with an Aurora Borealis rainbow finish, treated with acid for a matte exterior, galvanized, faceted, or fashioned with a combination of several finishes. While these chemical processes are complex and difficult to control, the factories in Japan maintain state of the art facilities where worker safety is of primary importance.
The most popular size of Japanese seed beads is an 11/0 seed bead, which is available in the widest variety of colors. Smaller 15/0 seed beads, and larger 8/0 seed beads are the next closest in size. Also popular for knitting and other projects that require a larger size seed bead are the large 6/0 seed beads and 5/0 "E" beads. Japanese seed beads are also made in a variety of different shapes such as squares, drops and triangles. Unlike other seed beads, Japanese seed beads do not come pre-threaded on hanks but are sold loose in bags or tubes.
Japanese seed beads are popular with designers, craft jewelry makers and hobbyists. You will find Japanese seed beads on wedding gowns, couture clothing, handbags and shoes as well as in beaded jewelry. Manufacturers of clothing and accessories know that many colors of Japanese seed beads can be dry-cleaned, laundered or exposed to sunlight without problems of fading and color-loss. This extraordinary dedication to quality and long-term durability is what makes Japanese seed beads so special.
After investigating several different Japanese seed bead manufacturers we selected Miyuki beads as the most desirable Japanese seed beads for our customers, based on the exceptional high quality and reasonable price point. Miyuki makes an extraordinary range of colors, sizes and shapes, with unique finishes and a constant attention to maintaining the very best quality of production over time. Miyuki continues to improve their product line with the invention of their trademarked Duracoat finish which extends the lifespan of the difficult to manufacture galvanized and dyed colors.