Monday, January 11, 2016

Beginner Series: More About Seed Beads (Part 2)

Cylinder Seed Beads

The cylinder seed beads are made of glass and they have a geometric cylinder shape, resembling tiny little tubes. They are more consistent in size and shape, and their hole is larger than the round seed beads. These qualities make the cylindrical beads excellent for projects where precision is the key. They are widely used in techniques like peyote stitch, brick stitch and loom bead weaving.

The two main manufacturers are Miuki and Toho. The cylindrical beads produced by Miyuki are called Delica beads. Toho has two lines: Treasures (used to be called "Antiques") and Aiko - between the two of them, Aiko is the best one.

Here is a picture where you can see better the difference between round seed beads and cylinder seed beads:

Photo Credit: eco's bead box

And in the picture below you can see the difference between the three major lines of cylinder seed beads (click on the image to see it larger):

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Delica beads:

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Toho Treasure:

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I found this picture on Toho website where they compare the Aiko seed beads with cylinder seed beads from other brands:

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I never used the Aiko beads before, so I don’t know if they are better than the Delica beads. But from what I researched, Aiko seems to be more consistent in size an shape:

Photo Credit: eco's bead box


Their size is also defined by a number, in the same way the round seed beads are: 15/0, 11/0, etc. The higher the number, the smaller the size.

However the definition of the cylinder 11/0 for example doesn't mean that eleven beads aligned will measure one inch. Actually, because the cylinder beads are smaller than the round seed beads, in one inch will fit 17 to 22 cylinder seed beads size 11/0. It will depend on the brand.

The Delica beads from Miyuki are available in the sizes 15/0, 10/0, 11/0 and 8/0. The Treasure seed beads from Toho are available only in sizes 11/0 and 8/0. And the Aiko has only one size: 10.5/0. Yes, that's right - they're a bit larger than the cylinder size 11/0 and smaller than the 10/0. And due to this unusual size, you may not be able to combine Aikos and Delicas or Aikos and Treasures in a same project.


Due to their high quality, the cylinder seed beads are more expansive than the other seed beads. They are usually sold in small packages or tubes of 5 to 10 grams. But in some stores like auracrystals and shipwreckbeads it's possible to buy in larger quantities.

And here are some designs I googled to help you be inspired (the first picture is a tutorial that I made - you can find it on my Youtube channel):

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: I B Beading

Photo Credit: contemporary geometric beadwork

Photo Credit: SandFibers etsy

Photo Credit: the beaded carpet

Photo Credit: SandFibers


  1. The aiko beads are a delight to work with! They're all the same size.

    1. That's what I heard! I need to try the aikos! Where do you buy them?


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