SMALL BEADS FOR EMBROIDERY AND EMBELLISHMENT
All you need to know about small beads for embroidery and embellishment on fabric.
You don’t have to be a couture designer to create beautiful beaded embroidery and embellishment. With a little help from small beads and stones you can create your own uniquely beaded designs on fabric. Since 2002 we have been selling Czech glass seed beads from our extraordinary online range to designers, makers and crafters.
Formerly buying from the Ornela factory nestled in the mountains of northern bohemia which distributed the beads by the state run distributor of Jablonex the factory was bought by the crystal company Preciosa, an established manufacturer of glass products for centuries north of Prague. Today we no longer have to surrender our passports as we checked in at the factory. Yes it is true! A hangover from the communist days but still practiced up until 2007.
We offer a wide range of colours, finishes (see the finishes glossary below) and stock sizes including 11/0 tiny 2mm , 8/0 medium 3.5mm and 5/0 a large 5mm.
Czech glass beads are distinguished by their high quality and regularity and are easily recognisable by their round doughnut shape. The symmetrical shape of the beads can be appreciated even more when beads are strung. Regularity and consistency of the shape set Czech seed beads apart not only from Chinese but also, contrary to popular belief, from Japanese seed beads. Whether you are a design student, DIY crafter, or jewellery designer you will discover just how versatile these beads are. Use in jewellery design, off loom stitching such as peyote, brick or lattice stitch, hand sewing for beaded embellishment for quilting and clothing plus much more.
How To Use Seed Beads
You can never have too many seed beads as the possibilities for their application is as numerous as the sizes and colours available. They are perfect fillers in jewellery design, allowing your feature beads to really stand out and they are useful to embellish your embroidery or a contemporary canvas artwork. They are used in bead weaving by the North American Indians, were the basis of the beaded purses and shift dresses worn by the 1920 flappers whilst Masai women still wear flat neck beaded collars as a form of symbolic adornment.
- we love to use them in beaded embellishment and embroidery on quilts and clothes which adds fabulous texture, detail and sparkle
- hand weave intricate beaded jewellery made from off loom stitches such as peyote, right angle weave and more!
- use as a “filler” bead between bigger beads on strung necklaces and bracelets to give a soft drape which gives it the best tension ever! Promise. Once you use them between strung beads you will be amazed at the dramatic difference it makes using seed beads for a beautiful drape like silk offers.
Sizes available in our Czech glass seed beads are:
- 15/0 approx 1.5mm
- 11/0 approx 2mm with almost 40 colours to choose from
- 8/0 approx 3mm with over 50 colours to choose from
- 5/0 approx 4.5mm with over 70 colours to choose from
The “0” known as the aught indicates the size of the glass rod used in the manufacture of glass beads.
Etelage is an Australian distributor and stockists of an extraordinary range of Czech glass seed beads which we buy directly from Preciosa (formerly Jablonex – the state run distributor of Czech glass beads and jewellery)
We sell Czech glass seed beads in small bags of 20grams. You can also buy at a discount 100grams or buy in bulk the factory packet of 500grams of loose beads.
How Are Czech Glass Seed Beads Made?
Through eight gaping gates, workers scoop molten glass out of red-hot pots in the brick furnace. The glowing ingots sink with an angry hiss into wooden tubs of water large enough to swallow an easy chair.
Glass rods are melted in a furnace, then, while still pliable, pulled through a machine that shapes them into a strawlike tube. The end result looks a bit like a cocktail straw, although there are 20 sizes, each creating its own size of bead, and 20 basic colours that can be mixed into an almost endless selection of tones and shades, some opaque, some transparent whilst others silver lined.
The holes in the straw can be round, triangular, star-shaped, even double-barreled, and a second colour can be used to accent the hole or create baked-in glass patterns on the bead’s face.
The glass straws are sent through a slicing machine that bites off bead-size lengths, which are then reheated gently and put into a spinning machine that shapes the pliable glass into perfectly round beads that are then sorted and polished.
And at the end of all that, all you have is one measly glass bead!