Manik Jepun FotoPage
Supplier of Japanese Seed beads and beads embroidery supply
By: Zai Manik

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Wednesday, 25-Mar-2009 07:42 Email | Share | Bookmark
Beads FYI

YH455 - opaque sample
YH8 - silverline sample
YH207 - color lined luster sample
YH453 - metallic sample
YH1348 - dyed silverlined sample
YH1017 - silverlined AB sample
(1) Beads Finishes

Opaque: Light cannot pass through it.

Transparent : Light can pass through it. Often referred to as glass.

Translucent : Allows partial transmission of light through it.

Matte : Dull appearance. Achieved by tumbling beads or dipping them in a glass etching solution.

Silver Lined: Mirror-like finish inside the bead which adds sparkle to it.

Color Lined: Usually seen in a two-color mix with an opaque color inside of a transparent bead.

Luster: Very shiny finish which covers the entire outer layer of the bead.

Ceylon: Translucent bead with a luster finish.

Dyed: A process of surface color dying often seen in Japanese beads. Color will come off if not protected. Clear spray paint may be used. Do not dry clean as the dry cleaning chemical might react with the surface color.

Metallic : Bead surface has a fired-on, metal-like finish which adds shine to it.

AB (Aurora Borealis) A rainbow-like surface which has been fired onto the bead.

(2) Beads Sizes

11/0, 12/0 or 15/0 are some of the example of round seed beads' sizes. It's pronounced as "eleven ough" or "twelve ough".
What 11/0 means is that 11 beads can be lined in 1 inch. So, 15/0 beads can line 15 beads in 1 inch.
The bigger the number, the smaller the physical beads. 15/0 is the smallest size beads.11/0 and 12/0 are the standard sizes used to embroider clothes. Other sizes are widely used in jewelry making.

(3) Japanese Bead Brands

There are 2\3 main Japanese glass beads suppliers

(1) Toho : re-branded to Apple Beads in Malaysia
(2) Miyuki : re-branded to Miyuku in Malaysia
(3) MGB or Matsuno

Since each company has their own technology and machines to produce the beads, the shape and dimension of the beads are slightly different even for the same size. However, any of these Japanese brands are a lot better than China made seed beads due to size consistency, bigger hole and shine durability.

Round bead for MGB look like a cylinder. For Toho, the round bead look like a doughnut. And Miyuki round shape falls in between the two.

In term of quality-wise, I reserve my comment since it depends on the user perspective. You will know once you've tried all 3 brands, which I did for the past 4 years, starting with Toho, followed by MGB and lastly Miyuki. However make sure you based your judgment on the original beads of each brands. There are so many shops pass off their China/Taiwan beads to be the original Japanease brands especially for MGB, and to a small extend Miyuki. MGB is the most copied bead brand, to the extend that even the original color numbering and catalog is copied.

In term of wholesale price in Malaysia, MGB has the lowest wholesale price, followed by Miyuki and Toho is the most expensive. Retail price can be varied depending on the shops and distributors.

(4)What is the difference between Miyuki and Miyuku?

Miyuku is the re-branded of Japan's Miyuki beads. It has to be re-branded in Malaysia because the name Miyuki has been trademarked in Malaysia by another company that also sells beads but it's not actually original Miyuki beads. They sells other brand of Japan's beads but re-brand it to Miyuki. So, when Miyuki stated to be imported to Malaysia, the imported found out that the word"Miyuki" can't be used to market it. Thus, Miyuku was conceived.

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