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What are Drop Beads?
Drop Beads

Typical drop beads manufactured by Miyuki.

©Chris Franchetti Michaels


Drop beads, also called fringe beads, are small glass beads shaped like rounded teardrops. Their holes run horizontally (side-to-side) through their narrow ends. Drop beads are traditionally used as turning beads (beads that you pass through to change thread direction) at the ends of beaded fringe pieces. You can also string them onto beading wire, or stitch them into beadwork to create interesting textures.

Drop Beads Vs. Magatamas

Drop beads are slightly different than magatama beads. Standard magatamas have a more circular, donut-like shape and are not as tapered as drop beads. Long magatamas are more oval in shape than drop beads, and their sides are cut at distinct angles.

Availability and Sizes

Miyuki is the primary manufacturer of drop beads used in bead weaving. Miyuki drop beads are available in three sizes: 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm.

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