Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why Toho? Cubes!

Japanese seed beads are quickly becoming the standard seed bead of our industry because of their quality, variety, and color selection. Bead stores throughout the world are constantly expanding their selection to include not only rounds, but the more unique shapes such as triangles, cubes, cylinders and hexes. With all the different varieties of seed beads out there you would think that it would be impossible to tell the difference between manufacturers but it's not when you know what to look for. Toho Co. has created beads that stand out from the rest because of their continued determination to improve the production and design of quality beads. The latest example of this is the introduction of their line of permanent finish beads. Galvanized and ceylon silver-lined finishes are some of the more sought after colors on the market and have always sold incredibly well considering they have one major flaw - the colors will eventually fade or flake over time. Toho took their customer's requests seriously and came up with a solution that has the whole industry buzzing and pondering the many possibilities this new technology can create.

The first and easiest tip on how to spot a Toho bead is to examine the hole shape on the cubes. Toho prides itself on having the largest, most uniform holes of all seed bead manufacturers and it's most obvious on the larger sized cube beads. You can see below that the holes on the Toho cubes are not only larger, but shaped like a diamond. This design allows for maximum hole capacity while still maintaining bead integrity. Thread nestles into the corners of the hole, which can help keep the beads aligned in a pattern. And of course having a larger hole makes the beads lighter, which will get you more beads per kilo!

TOHO 4mm cubes with diamond shaped holes TOHO 4mm cubes with diamond shaped holes
Miyuki 4mm cubes with round holes <br />Miyuki 4mm cubes with round holes
Have fun re-exploring your own bead stash and check out your local bead store's selection. If they don't have diamond shaped holes then be sure to ask for TOHO by name! More colors and sizes coming soon!