Frequently Asked Questions About Japanese Cylinder Beads

About Japanese Cylinder Beads

  • 01 of 10

    What are Japanese Cylinder Beads?

    Flat even count peyote made with Japanese cylinder beads. Lisa Yang

    Japanese cylinder beads are a favorite for many beaders, especially those who do loom bead weaving or like to do peyote stitch and brick stitch. Their amazing range of colors and precise uniform shape and size create a beaded fabric unlike anything else.

    Japanese cylinder beads are seed beads made from glass that are very even in shape and size.  Cylinder beads generally have square sides and a more geometric cylinder shape than other types of seed beads.

  • 02 of 10

    Who Manfactures Japanese Cylinder Beads?

    Miyuki Delica beads are a popular Japanese cylinder bead.

    Lisa Yang

    There are several companies that manufacture Japanese cylinder beads. A few of them are Miyuki Co., LTD, Toho Co., LTD, and Matsuno Glass Beads (MGB).

  • 03 of 10

    What Do Japanese Cylinder Beads Look Like?

    Japanese cylinder beads are very uniform in shape and resemble small cylinders or tubes. Because they are the same size, they stack together neatly to give a very polished and tailored look to beading stitches. They have large holes that allow for many thread passes.

    As with most types and brands of beads, the more expensive Japanese cylinder beads are more uniform in size and require less culling to remove larger and smaller beads.

  • 04 of 10

    What Sizes Are Japanese Cylinder Beads Available In?

    Cylinder beads in size 8, size 10 and size 11. Lisa Yang

    The most common size of Japanese cylinder beads is 11/0, but they are also available in 15/0, 11/0, 10/0 and 8/0.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    What Colors of Japanese Cylinder Beads are Available?

    DELICA Luminous beads size 11/0.

    Little Spirit Beads 

    As with other Japanese seed beads, cylinder beads are available in thousands of colors and finishes. There are metallics, transparent, opaque, gold-luster and color-lined varieties available. Japanese cylinder beads also come in a range of precious-metal plated colors.

  • 06 of 10

    How Are Japanese Cylinder Beads Sold?

    Seed bead display


    Japanese cylinder beads are sold in tubes, boxes or bags. They are usually sold in packages of 5 to 10 grams of beads, but can often be purchased in larger bags of 40 grams or more for larger projects.

    Some of the precious metal plated beads are sold in smaller quantities to make them more affordable.

  • 07 of 10

    Where Can I Buy Japanese Cylinder Beads?

    TOHO Treasure 11/0 Frosted Gold-Lined Lt Sapphire Rainbow Seed Bead 2.5-Inch Tube. 

    Cylinder beads are available in a limited size and color range in retail craft stores. Larger varieties of colors and sizes of Japanese cylinder beads can be found in local bead shops. The largest variety can be found at internet bead stores. Internet bead stores will also offer the largest variety of beads from the different vendors of Japanese cylinder beads.

  • 08 of 10

    What Stitches Work Best With Japanese Cylinder Beads?

    Tubular herringbone comparison cylinder vs. Czech beads
    Tubular herringbone looks very different when made with cylinder beads vs. Czech seed beads. © Lisa Yang

    The holes on Japanese cylinder beads are very large.  Consequently, they can accommodate many thread passes.

    Cylinder beads work well with most beading stitches, but in particular work well with square stitch, flat peyote stitch, and ladder stitch.  In addition, cylinder beads can be used to make beaded ropes. They can also be used in bead crochet.

    Cylinder beads are the preferred seed bead for people who do loom beading because it results in an even beadwork cloth. The large variety of bead colors means that pictures and artwork can be precisely rendered using Japanese cylinder beads.

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  • 09 of 10

    What Else Can I Use Japanese Cylinder Beads For?

    KB7 Japanese Kimono Clutch Bag Fabric Beads Purse Silver Mirror. 

    Japanese cylinder beads can be used in most beaded jewelry projects. They work well in strung jewelry to add tiny accents of color and can be used as spacer beads between semi-precious stones and pearls. They work very well for projects where a uniform size and shape is preferred.

    Japanese cylinder beads are generally a little too square on the edges to look good in bead embroidery because they leave larger gaps between beads on curves. They can be used to fill in spaces and add dimension to embroidered beadwork though.

    Likewise, cylinder beads can look jagged instead of smooth compared to round beads when used in tassels.

  • 10 of 10

    How Much Do Japanese Cylinder Beads Cost?

    Lapis Tube cylinder beads 5x14mm 15" strands.

    US Bead Warehouse 

    Japanese cylinder beads cost more than other types of seed beads. The additional cost is due to the precise techniques used to create uniform shaped beads.

    A 7-gram tube of a basic color (transparent or opaque) averages $2.50. The precious metal and metallic matte varieties often cost significantly more than other types of seed beads and will depend on the cost of precious metals at the time.