Miyuki beading tools and material guideWhether you are a beginner or a confirmed Miyuki delica bead lover, this guide will help you choose the right beading equipment and discover great tips for your beading activity.  I wanted this guide to be as exhaustive as possible so I have also added a little glossary with the description of each type of Miyuki delica 11/0  you can find.

Here we are mainly talking about beading with a needle using the brick stitch or the peyote stitch but this also applies to the bead loom technique apart from the loom.

You can find more info about these various beading techniques with Miyuki delicas in my previous posts:

This post is the result of a great & fruitful discussion between my Instagram community of bead lovers. I would like to thank all the participants for sharing their tips.

The very essentials

Beading thread

The thread is made of 100% nylon filaments and is pre-waxed, strong, non-stretchy, tangle and fray resistant.
These great properties allow you to cut the thread and the cut end will stay together so it is easier to thread your needle.
Also, in the past I have tried to use normal nylon thread but it was stretchy and the result on the beadwork was not regular and flat.

Miyuki, sono and KO beading threads

SONO thread 100m – 0.20mm – 4 colours
K.O. thread 50m – 0.25mm 18 colours available
Miyuki thread 50m – 0.25mm 18 colours available

Beading needles

Beading needles Miyuki brand   0.4mm diameter needles around 50mm long – You can start with this affordable  small set of 6 needles.

Beading needles - miyuki set

Miyuki delica seed beads 11/0 (DB)

These Japanese beads are known to be the finest glass seed beads for their extreme regularity. Their quality and extensive colour palette is simply extraordinary. They are the ideal beads for any peyote, brick stitch or loom project requiring consistency in the beads size.  The large diameter of the center hole enables you to pass your needle and thread through the bead up to 5 times without breaking it.

There are more than one thousand references of colours of Miyuki delica. Perlesandco.com has a great selection of these beads.


miyuki delica


  • 1.60mm Outside Bead Diameter
  •  1.35mm Long (hole to hole)
  • 0.80mm Inside Hole Diameter
The name of the bead colour will  give you an indication on its appearance as the pictures does not always reflect the real colour of the beads. Here is a little guide or glossary to understand the different types of Miyuki delica beads:
  • opaque: solid colour => light is not going through the bead

    DB 0793 Turquoise Opaque
    DB 0793 Turquoise Opaque
  • transparent: allows light to shine through

    DB0786 Tranparent matte turquoise
    DB0786 Transparent matte turquoise
  • AB: light rainbow reflects finish
    DB 0166 Opaque green light AB
    DB 0166 Opaque green light AB

    DB 1283 Transparent AB Matte tropical teal
    DB 1283 Transparent AB Matte tropical teal
  • luster: shiny white finish
  • matte: does not reflect the light, finish is less shiny
  • inside colour (colour-lined): colour is applied inside the hole of the beads and the surface layer is clear
  • silver-lined: silver plated inside the hole of the beads with a transparent coloured or clear outer layer => these are among my favorites to give a chic finish to your creations

    DB1342 Dyed silver lined raspberry
    DB1342 Dyed silver lined raspberry
  • dyed: dyed colour is applied on the surface of beads => vivid and bright colours

    Dyed opaque bright purple
    Dyed opaque bright purple
  • galvanized: plating applied on the surface of beads => duracoat galvanized are better to protect the coating and keep the beads aspect longer.

    DB 1839 Duracoat galvanized dark coral
    DB 1839 Duracoat galvanized dark coral
  • silk: satin white finish => pale colours palette with satin finish

    DB0635 White satin delicas
    DB0635 White satin
  • ceylon: opalescent beads with a pearl luster finish or inside colour

    DB 0249 Purple ceylon
    DB 0249 Purple ceylon
  • duracoat: durable clear coating for outside dyed or galvanized beads. It is thicker and stronger coating than traditional one
  • metallic: iris coating or bronzed luster glazed which gives a very reflective coating

The essentials

Beading mat ( foam), felt sheet, or a fabric placemat

These options should prevent your beads from rolling everywhere.

Bead mat from Beadalon A4 format – set of 3
Bead mats 9 in x 12 in (22.9 cm x 30.4 cm) x3

But if you are moving to different locations during your beading time, you also need a rigid support. This can be a simple tray, a shoe or scarf box lid, or even an ikea breakfast tray which is a great option apparently for beading in bed or in your sofa!

Storage boxes

Many options are available: circular boxes, tic tac rectangular boxes, tubes… I personally  prefer circular boxes which I find prettier and allow easy trials of colours matching thanks to their transparent lids.

You can find the one I use : a  rectangular transparent box of 24 small circular boxes in my Etsy shop, here.

Circular transparent storage boxes for miyuki beads

One advantage of the “tic tac” boxes is that they are rectangular in shape and therefore will take less space for storage. You can even use a small briefcase to store them and bring them with you on the go.
Flip-top box model 1 x20

Transparent jewellery glue

Hasulith brand is a well known one. Use it to fix your beadwork on a support (cuff bracelet or brooch support for example) or fix knots on a clasp ends.
Jewel Glue Hasulith 31ml

The other useful beading material list:

Tri_Trays x12

Minishovel 55x19x8 mm x1

    • Small thin blade scissors or even a scalpel to cut the excess of thread close to the beads
    • A satin varnish to protect the colours in time and make them more rigid so they break less (as they are glass beads, they can break in case of a choc for example)

Vintaj Glaze Gloss x59ml

    • Jewellery pliers set – i use mine all the time to fix my beadwork on a chain or on earwires. It is made of some flat nose pliers, round nose pliers and cutter pliers.Storage case with 6 pliers and 3 tools x1
    • A blank beading grid and coloring pens to prepare your designs: see my tutorial to create your own beading grid notepads.Bead loom and brick stitch grid notepad

For the beaders on the go:

This special briefcase style beading mat & trays from Bead buddy is ideal to keep your beadwork and beads in place from one location to another.

Bead Buddy Design Save'n Go Junior

This post contains affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through these links that goes towards the support of this blog and provide useful and free info to you. This material list would be the same with or without compensation and comes from my own experience and judgment.

I hope this guide will be helpful to you. I have tried to gather all my knowledge  on the subject here. I am willing to add more info here according to your comments and suggestions so please share your own experiences and feedback below in the comments!

Please visit the “beading” category to discover my tutorials and free beading grids.

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  1. Robin Gillett Reply

    I have a couple of questions. When you speak of “normal” beading thread, what are you referring to? Products like Fireline ? What about Nymo?
    Also, I love silver lined beads as well, but I’m worried about them tarnishing. How do you prevent that? And is there a way to clean them if they do tarnish?
    Thank you for your wonderful website. I’m bookmarking it for future reference.

    • Estelle Reply

      Hi Robin, I am actually referring to Miyuki beading thread or Sono beading thread which are waxed nylon beadstrings.
      I haven’t find yet a way to prevent silver lined beads from tarnishing unfortunately.
      Thanks for kind words and sorry for my late reply.

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