Not all Seed Beads are Created Equal
Beads are one of the oldest objects known to humankind. Excavations of ancient archeological sites reveal that beads were part of our ancestors' lives millennia ago. Throughout the ages, glass bead production, which originated in ancient Egypt, migrated to Venice and Murano. Then, about 300 years ago, bead production moved yet again to whatis today the Czech Republic. Local craftsmen have gradually perfected the production process and since the beginning of the last century have achieved world-class quality glass beads.
Today, this historical achievement is reflected in the unparalleled quality and durability of Czech seed beads. In a recent study seed beads from various countries were subjected to a systematic and rigorous quality testing. Samples of seed beads coming from 5 manufacturers - one Czech, three Japanese, and one Chinese manufacturer - were systematically studied, measured, and compared.
Comparing size and shape consistency
Size and Shape Variation test
The first test compared seed bead shape and uniformity across different manufacturers. Results show that Czech seed beads possess the highest level of shape and size consistency when compared to others. The following graph demonstrates these findings:
Czech seed beads are easily recognizable 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.
The test was performed on samples - 5 lots from each manufacturer - produced in both continuous melting tanks and separate ovens.
Dimensions, including diameter, height and hole size of 100 randomly selected seed beads per each sample and manufacturer, were measured. 11/0 beads were used in the Czech and Japanese samples and 10/0 beads in the Chinese samples. The standard deviation of measured dimensions was calculated for each sample of 100 beads. The variation coefficient is a ratio between standard deviation and averages of measured dimensions. Standard deviation reflects the average variation of beads in the sample. Variation coefficient compares variations of different sizes (e.g. 11/0 and 10/0 diameters or diameters vs. heights of beads). Czech seed beads came out as the most uniform in all aspects measured with a high statistical significance. Shape and size consistency are very important parameters of Seed Beads. They play an important role in the final look of any beading project be it a jewelry item, embroidery or home décor. Czech seed bead uniformity makes Czech seed beads a smart choice for any creative project. Czech seed beads, manufactured and distributed exclusively under the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads trademark, are the best choice, as clearly demonstrated by this rigorous study.
Strung Sead Beads
Assortment is King
How large is the seed bead assortment across different manufacturers?
Size, Color and Finish Assortment Test
In a recent study, Seed Beads from various countries were subjected to systematic and rigorous quality testing. One of the tests compared Seed Bead assortment across different manufacturers: from one Czech, three Japanese, and one Chinese manufacturer.
The results show that Czech seed beads come in the largest assortment of sizes, colors, and finishes available in the marketplace.
Due to the very limited assortment of Chinese Seed Beads, only an assortment of colors, sizes and finishes from one Czech and
three Japanese manufacturers were compared and tested. Czech seed beads come in 20 sizes with both square and round hole and in more than 1000 colors and finishes. This makes Czech seed bead assortment the widest seed bead program in the world, as demonstrated by the following table:
Seed Bead Size Comparison Chart
|Czech||Japanese 1||Japanese 2||Japanese 3|
|8,8 mm||0 x|
|8,3 mm||0 x|
|7,8 mm||0 x|
|7,3 mm||0 x|
|1/0 mm||0 x||0|
|2/0 mm||0 x||0|
|3/0 mm||0 x||0 x|
|4/0 mm||0 x|
|5/0 mm||0 x||0|
|6/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||0 x|
|7/0 mm||0 x||0 x|
|8/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||0 x|
|9/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||0 x|
|10/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||0 x|
|11/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||x|
|12/0 mm||0 x||0 x||0 x||0|
|13/0 mm||0 x|
|14/0 mm||0 x|
|15/0 mm||0||0 x||0|
0 - round hole, x - square hole
Seed Bead color / finish comparison chart (most common sizes)
|Czech||Japanese 1||Japanese 2||Japanese 3|
Extensive color and size assortment is extremely important as anyone in beading will readily attest. Finding the right size and color for the beading projects is half the success. Czech seed beads come in a vast assortment, so beaders do not need to spend time searching for the right bead and can instead concentrate on their creative work. Czech seed beads, manufactured and distributed exclusively under PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads trademark are the best choice, as clearly demnostrated by this rigorous study.
Keepsakes for Future Generations - How long does a seed bead last ?
Silver Lining Durability Test
A recent study compared the silver lining quality of five seed bead manufacturers (one from the Czech Republic, three from Japan and one from China). An independent, certified laboratory performed four separate tests of silver lining durability across these manufacturers. It found that silver lining might change color when exposed to substances containing sulfuric acid or chlorine. It decays when exposed to a large amount of these substances or if the silver lining surface is mechanically scratched. However, the quality and
durability of the silver lining of Czech Seed Beads far exceeds that of other manufacturers', as summarized in the following table:
|Type of test||Description|
General test of resistance against enviromental factors.
|Acid test||Test of resistance against sweat.|
|Chlorine test||Test of resistance against chlorine, which may be contained in bleach and dry cleaning agents|
|Heat and humidity test||Test of resistance against hot and humit weather|
|Type of test||Results|
|PRECIOSA||Japanese 1||Japenese 2||Japenese 3||Chinese|
|Corrosion test||light blackening||light blackening||light blackening||light blackening||light blackening|
|Acid test||no change||loss of silver lining||light blackening||light blackening||blackening|
|Chlorine test||light change of color||light change of color||change of color||change of color||change of color|
|Heat and humidity test||no change||no change||no change||no change||no change|
The durability of silver lining is an important parameter of seed bead quality. It provides for a long-lasting brilliance of the beads, regardless of the project the might be used in. Czcech seed beads are in a category of their own. THey represent a unique price value ratio. Production technology is constantly being refined, and several technological steps are carefully guarded secrets. Achieving superior quality is a compley and tricky task which involves many years of expereience as well as a thorough understading of the production process.
Czech seed beads' outstanding quality, near perfect uniformity, and exceptional product breadth make them a smart choice for any beading project. Czcech seed beads, manufactured a distributed exclusively under PRECIOSA Traditional CZech Beads trademark, are the best choice, as clearly demonstrated by this rigorous study.