Friday, October 27, 2017

New designs, a special offer and a comparison between Toho Demi Rounds and Miyuki Spacer beads.

Two new designs have been addedd to the shop. The Pinwheel cuff / bangle and the Florets Bracelet. You will love them for different reasons: the Pinwheel cuff has a fabulous texture, and the Florets bracelet is a dainty little sweetness that builds up so fast that you'll make one for all women and girls in your tribe in very little time.


Pinwheel Cuff - in "Academy" green

I just received the latest Miyuki seed beads called "spacers", said to measure 2.2x1mm and 3x1mm, which is equivalent to a size 11/0 and a size 8/0, but thinner. They are very similar to the Toho "demi-round" seed beads, which measure  2.2x0.9mm and 3x1.15mm.

Miyuki Spacer beads 11/0 and 8/0
I love to use these little seed beads instead of a soldered ring to attach to an earring finding, or to sandwich beads or pearls to fill spaces with just the right amount of material without taking the lead. They add a little bit more texture and I love their look in my Cosmic Spiral lariat where they sandwich the red pearls.

Cosmic Spiral lariat
I couldn't find  information about the exact size of the spacers on Miyuki's website. Not many vendors mention their height (1mm). In the photo below, you will see that they are bigger than the Toho Demi rounds. If you count the number of beads, you will see that for 1cm you need less Miyuki (iris gold) than Toho. The Toho size is accurate and so is the size of the Miyuki spacer 11/0, 2.2x1mm. However, I think that the Miyuki spacer 8/0 measures 3x1.25mm and not 3x1mm.

From left to right:  9 Toho Demi round size 8/0, 8 Miyuki spacer size 8/0
11 Toho Demi round size 11/0, 10 Miyuki spacer size 11/0

As you can see in the photo above, showing a card with seed beads printed for size reference (a Preciosa Ornela reference card), sizes are measured by their diameter. The Toho and the Miyuki correspond to the size, although the Toho, here again, seem to be a liiiiittle bit smaller. The hole in the Miyuki spacers also seems to be slightly bigger.

Left Toho Demi Round 11/0, right Miyuki Spacer beads 11/0
There is a more distinct difference between the two brands, and that is their shape: whereas the Toho demi-rounds have indeed round walls, the Miyuki spacer wall is nearly flat, and visually, this makes a difference. I'd say that seen from the side, Toho's offer an even shine, and a quite thin, very discreet surface, whereas the Miyuki's show a thicker and flat surface, which shines only when seen from one direction - eg. when the beadwork moves.

Both the demi rounds and the spacers are truly delightful, precise, thin beads.

Left Miyuki Spacer beads 8/0, right Toho Demi round 8/0 
Interestingly, the difference between the two brands in these thin beads is the contrary of the difference between their respective ordinary seed beads, where Miyuki seed beads 11/0 are smaller and slightly rounder than Toho seed beads 11/0.

VoilĂ , that's all.
Oh no that's not all. I also wanted to let you know that I have just listed a tutorial for this fantastic little skeleton - Elvis - in my shop. People who order a pattern for the same price as that one can get him for free until the 31st of October 2017. So if you buy a tutorial for the Pinwheel Cuff, you can get Elvis for free. Don't add him to your cart - just drop me a note that you want him too!

Happy beading!


  1. Love your work Cath, looking forward to being able to buy some of your patterns :) cheers Karen Morgan

  2. How intriguing! So the Miyuki version is both more square-shouldered, and larger. Usually I think of all Miyuki beads as generally more delicate, smaller, and with softer curvey edges. I know from chatting with my friends at Bobby Bead that making a bead as small as the Demi's is hard, and can only be done is certain kinds and colors of glass. I wonder if Miyuki will be able to offer a greater color range with their bigger, flatter bead. I know the intention of the Demi is to have an 11/0 the thickness of an 15/0 and an 8/0 the thickness of an 11/0 I have been able to use these beads as though that were true. I will have to hunt up some of the Miyuki Spacers and try them out. I suspect my Demi patterns would not work with them, but I certainly see uses for them. I love your delicate "Florets" bracelet, and your little skeleton is simply adorable! Thanks for a thoughtful, thought-provoking, and informative post.

    1. I was quite surprised myself. In some way, the two brands offer perfect complements to one another. I can't even start to imagine how these very small thin beads are made to such a high degree of consistency. It blows my mind. Thank you for your encouraging words, Marsha! I appreciate them very much, always!

  3. Super designs and technical bead information.. .Thank you for the effort you put into your blog.

    -Eva Maria

    1. Thank you for your kind words, dear Eva Maria!

  4. Very useful information and a great read. Thank you Cath. X

    1. Hi Jane! Thank you for reading me and for your comment!


Your comments are welcome!