Beading Term: Seed Bead Sizes

Typically, beads that do not fall into the "seed bead" category are sized by their diameter, such as 3 millimeter, 4 millimeter, 5 millimeter and so on.

With seed beads, size is roughly based on the number of beads in a line it would take to make an inch. Therefore, it would take about 11 size 11/0 seed beads to make an inch and 15 beads at size 15/0 to make an inch. The higher the number, the smaller the bead.

This is really just a rule of thumb, though, because size varies by style. For instance, a Delica size 11 is smaller than a size 11 Japanese seed bead. The size differences aren't huge, but they are noticeable, and should be taken into consideration when mapping out a design.

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