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
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