Miyuki beads come in so many styles, sizes, and shapes they deserve their own Primer! We've created this reference for the types we carry at beadshop.com. This page will evolve along with our Miyuki offerings, as we are always adding more to the collection! Find all the basics on sizing, project ideas, and more right here.
Rocailles are also commonly called "seed beads." They are almost round and come in a number of sizes. We currently carry 6/0, 8/0, 11/0, and 15/0 sizes. These size names refer to how many beads fit in an inch, for example there are eight 8/0s to an inch. The zero is an "aught," though different people pronounce this differently, and you may hear or say "eight-oh," "size eight," or simply "eights." Don't mistake these numbers for millimeter size: an 8/0 is not 8mm!
6/0 Round Rocailles
Projects: Tahoe, Stackable Ladder, 3D Macramé
6/0s are fabulous for larger beadweaving projects as well as stringing. Their larger size makes them easy to work with, and special finishes like Picasso or AB Coatings really shine.
8/0 Round Rocailles
Projects: The Dancer Earrings, Tricks to Looming, Square Stitch
8/0 seed beads are a go-to size for beadweaving, bead looming, off loom, laddering, and stringing. They are "not too big" and "not too small," they are just right! They mix well with Czech glass for stringing projects and come in an amazing array of colors and coatings.
11/0 Round Rocailles
Projects: Beaded Beads, Brick Stitch Bracelets and Earrings, Daisy Chains, Netted Collars
11/0 is the most-loved size of bead weavers. It's small but gives you quick results. Peyote, Brick Stitch, Right Angle and other bead weaving stitches favor 11/0s. They are also perfect for bead stringing, especially as spacers between glass or pearl beads.
15/0 Round Rocailles
Projects: Brick Stitch and Tassels, Spiral Rope, Soft Flex Earrings
Tiny 15/0s are not for the faint of heart and definitely not for beginners. They are great for all the beadweaving stitches and wonderful as spacer beads for glass and pearls.
A cylindrical shape versus the roundness of Rocailles, a Delica is a neat little tube. A great choice for beadweaving, the rigidity helps with structure immensely. Delicas are the only Miyukis to vary their color codes...so while a "401" will denote black for all other shapes and sizes, Delicas use a different system and you'll find black under "0010." We carry Delicas in two sizes:
Projects: Standard Peyote, Loom Work
8/0 Delicas have the advantage of working up very quickly due to their larger size. The holes are quite large and can accommodate a variety of larger cords and threads up to 1.5mm.
Projects: Odd Count Peyote, Brick Stitch Earrings
When used in projects, 11/0 Delicas create a smooth and uniform texture that is perfect for simple to intricate patterning. They work better for the body of the piece than for the fringe because of their shape, see Brick Stitch Earrings in Subway and Patchwork.
Similar to Delicas, Hexes have a cylindrical tube shape, but instead of a rounded outside they have been "cut" to have a hexagonal shape. The six sides form sparkly facets, and they are stunning. We carry both 8/0 and 11/0 Cuts.
8/0 Hex Cuts
Projects: The Dancer Earrings, The Zen of Stringing, Adventure Bracelets
8/0 Hex beads are the star of any project. Not only do these beads look terrific in traditional seed bead projects, like looming, they also look great in stringing projects such as Odyssey.
11/0 Hex Cuts
Projects: Bead Embroidery, St. Petersburg Stitch, Brick Stitch Earrings
11/0 Hex cuts add the perfect glint of sparkle and shine. This gem of a bead lends and air of vintage flair to projects.
Baroque Pearls lend an air of vintage flair to projects, combining glamor and practicality in one bead. These glass pearls with subtle texture come in a variety of colors. Due to their uniform size and shape they are terrific for seed bead stitches like netting, but also may be incorporated in strung necklaces and bracelets. Use anytime a pearl is desired in a design. We carry in 6/0s, plus one lone 5/0 (all the beauty of the 6/0 Baroque Pearls in a slightly larger bead).
Projects: Right Angle Weave, Odyssey, Textured Bead Fringe
5/0 Baroque Pearls
We love using Bugles to start out a row of brick stitch, in tassels, or to use as spacers in strung projects. Size 1 Bugles, denoted with "BGL1" name, are tiny treasures at 3mm in length. Using "BGL2" in the name lets you know this is a "size 2" Bugle, or 6mm in length. At twice the size of 3mm Bugles, they're fun for stacking in laddering projects and also look a little like Bamboo when strung with 8/0 Round Roacilles in between, as seen in our Memory Wire projects.
Projects: Brick Stitch Tassel Earrings, Heart On My Sleeve, Tricks to Looming
Cubes are so hip to be square! These tiny bead building blocks add texture and interest to strung projects, and stability to beadweaving projects.
Projects: Odyssey, Bits & Pieces, Brick Stitch Tassel Earrings
Size: 1.8mm square
Small but mighty, this smallest size of cube is of course a shoo-in for a spacer, but also is a workhorse for projects like the Adventure Bracelet, when you need a flat and sturdy bead to make up the back side of your beaded tube!
Size: 3mm square
One of our first projects using Cubes was Odyssey, and they're still a go-to for us! Try them in Bead Crochet as well, they're a nice way of adding texture to a piece.
Size: 4mm square
Another great starter bead for a row of brick stitch is our largest cube, the 4mm. The shape creates a great structure and supports the rest of your surrounding stitching.
Tilas have long been the star of the show for Mosaic Wraps, a beadshop classic. Wrap bracelets are almost a given, but there's so much more these two-holed beads can do. Just as their names imply, the Full Tilas are 5mm square, just like tiny square tiles. Half Tilas and 2.5mm, and Quarter Tilas are 1.25mm. Patterning is a breeze when stringing (try with Stretch Magic or on Fine Line Chain), and using on Memory Wire brings out fun skinny cuffs.
Projects: Bargello Wrap, Pathways, Color Study,
Just like the name implies, a spacer! But so much more, too! They are wonderful for adding tiny pops of color when used alongside 8/0s (they are about half the height of an 8/0 Rocaille) and on their own they create beautiful patterns with ease. The large hole size means they even fit on skinny cords.
Projects: Textured Bead Fringe, Brick Stitch Tassel Earrings
3mm drops are gorgeous for ending fringe or edging a Dancer Earring (add a Spacer on either side!). We even like them laddered for fabulous texture, as seen Janice's Hydria sample in Color Study, linked below!
Projects: Kumihimo, Color Study, Brick Stitch Tassel Earrings