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Before You Buy Delica Beads


Before you shop for Delica beads, read this to find out more about prices, finishes, new colors and what quantities to look for. remember, Delica beads are a specific brand of bead made by the Miyuki Company in Japan.

What is a Delica Bead?

Delica beads are cylindrical in shape and have very thin walls, as opposed to the rounder, thick-walled seed bead. They line up perfectly in loom and in off-loom stitches such as Brick or Peyote, with the thin walls and large holes allowing for multiple thread passes through each bead. Delicas give curved stitches such as a Spiral or Rosette a more angular shape and lend good definition to Herringbone weave projects.

Why use them?

Delica beads are an excellent choice in any Loom, Peyote or Brick project because they are so precise. They make any pattern line up perfectly and give a clean, crisp finish to any project. The beads are usually of excellent quality, creating fewer culls when you are working and therefore are cost effective. The color and finish ranges are fantastic to the point that some have become collector's items!

How much do Delica Beads cost?

Bead for bead, Delica's average cost is about twice as much as most seed beads, but truly are worth it. Some colors are priced higher, since they contain either precious metals or use advanced glass making techniques, while other Delica beads prices are compatible with seed beads. When Delica beads are purchased a few at a time, the prices tend to even out to close to what you would spend on similar seed beads, due to the cull rate and the durability of the Delica beads over regular seed beads. Save purchasing the higher-end Delica colors for special occasions and you'll scarcely notice the priced difference.

How do they make so many colors?

Delica colors are legendary. Many of the variations are obtained by specific glass treatments, including basic transparent glass, basic opaque glass, etched glass for a matte effect, a clear "rainbow" finish, an "oil slick" finish, a galvanized metal coat, colored dyes, sometime on top, sometimes within the hole of a transparent bead, silver lined holes under colored or clear glass, and other treatments. Some Delica beads have more than one glass treatment applied to them for effect. Some Delica beads are also treated with precious metals, such as 24K Gold, Sterling Silver, Palladium, Bronze and other metals.

So what are "treatments" And what do they mean by "dyed"?

The word "treatment" refers to something done to the surface of the colored glass bead to add an effect; sparkle, sheen, rainbow effects, metallic coating or etching the bead to create a matte finish. Most colors can be enhanced by treatments and are durable, but some are not. Dyed Delica beads and galvanized Delica beads tend to fade and chip over time, so if you have a concern, ask your vendor, as any reputable vendor will share this information. In fact, bead seller Out On A Whim, also known as Whimbeads.com, states this information in the description of each Delica bead they offer.

Why are some of the gold and silver ones so expensive?

There are several metallic coated Delicas that seem to cost a whole lot more than any of the other colors. On these beads, the glass has been coated with actual precious metal by a method that makes them very durable and they come in a variety of metal types such as 24K yellow gold, silver, 24K white gold, and palladium. Because of the pricing on these beads, always buy them from a reputable dealer. Take care purchasing from dealers you do not know, and, in general, it is not recommended that you purchase Delica beads labelled as precious metals from an on-line auction.

So who are the "reputable dealers"?

All of the links below will send you to an excellent, trustworthy resource for Delica beads. These vendors will share information with you regarding surface treatments, can advise you on other options if you had planned to purchase a bead that may fade or flake, and can give you great advice on how to begin a Delica collection, which shades are preferable, and which are fun but not so long-lived. Your Guide had worked with each of these sellers and can fully recommend them, personally and professionally. Each have excellent customer service and always have fair prices.

So what can I make once I buy some Delica beads?

Just about anything! Pretty much any design you can make with regular seed beads can be made with Delica beads. They are especially cool in knitting and crochet and as I said above, are the best for Peyote stitch. In fact, Delica beads were actually invented for loom weaving so they look great in woven designs. So go buy a few colors and make yourself something gorgeous!
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