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How to figure how many beads. Please!

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  • How to figure how many beads. Please!

    I've been planning a full Mens tradish outfit for myself for about a year now. All of my patterns are on backing and I plan to mass order my beads for the sake of matching. Now I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW MANY HANKS TO ORDER. I am in great need of some "Old Indian Tricks". I plan to use size 11s if that helps any. I'm doing a vest, aprin, side drops, cuffs and collar. But I'll need Xtra for some staffs and mocs later.
    Any advice from you beautiful atrists out there! Please!
    Or is this a guessing game?

  • #2
    A lot of it is kind of guessing. You say you're going to use 11/0. Well I have somethng like 5 different brands of 11/0s in my bead stash and they are ALL different sizes in length/width. Not a big difference, unless you are looking at that difference spread over 2-3 feet of material!!

    Besides beading manufacturing differences, the beader and the beading style you are using can influence how much area you can cover with a given amount o' beads. Width of thread can make a difference - - so does how tightly you pack the beads together (whether on a loom OR applique OR whatever).

    11/0 refers to the size of the hole in the bead, I do believe. While it does somewhat influence bead size it is not like buying wire in a specific gauge. My rule of thumb to figure is this - Ming Co 11/0's seem to work out for me doing applique at 16 x 16 to the square inch. Delica 11/0's are around 18 x 18 to the square inch. I have some no-name hank beads that are 18 x 16 to the inch (yup they are fat and short).

    I don't mind the variation in sizes since I mostly do applique work and the differences in sizes can add texture and depth to the kind of work that I do.

    YMMV (your milaeage may vary) in all of this, of course.

    Of course I don't worry about having beads left over, so I figure out how many I think I will need and then buy 20% more. Who knows I might find something else I want to do that will need a little of that color.

    A suggestion I would make - if you still feel safer being scientific about it - is to order a small quantity of the brand of bead you are thinking about using and do a test piece. It would help in nailing down some of the variables in beading.

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    • #3
      Czech 11/0's run about 180 sq inches per hank. I agree with Between2worlds about the 20% extra.

      The amounts can be quite large. I'm doing a northern buckskin dress and have used 2.5 kg of background color on the yoke
      Last edited by OLChemist; 12-20-2006, 06:05 AM. Reason: Missed the discussion of color in first post

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      • #4
        Yep, I think you need to be thinking in KILOS instead of hanks. There are 24 hanks of 11's in a kilo. I think OLChemist made a typo and she means you can get 18 square inches from a hank.

        I bought a kilo for the background color and made my daughter mocs, fully beaded leggings, barrettes and hair ties. And I RAN OUT! And blues are TERRIBLE to try to match.

        Some places will let you order 1/2 kilos. Depending on the colors and how your design is, you'll probably want to order 1/2 kilos of your design colors (or even a kilo, depending). And a few kilos of your background color.

        I assume you already have your pattern pieces for your stuff. Measure and estimate the square inches and go from there.

        Remember it's always good to have extra!!
        ...it is what it is...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wyo_rose
          I think OLChemist made a typo and she means you can get 18 square inches from a hank.

          I bought a kilo for the background color and made my daughter mocs, fully beaded leggings, barrettes and hair ties. And I RAN OUT! And blues are TERRIBLE to try to match.
          Ouch, I sure did. 18 sq inches. (No more posting at 4am.)

          Blues are wretched. Cobalt is very very strong pigment in glass. I have long suspected that the mass is so small per batch that it is hard to control. Also, maganese (OK I can't spell element names despite being a chemist. Given my choice I'd just write Mn and be done with it.) and iron can shift the tones achieved.

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          • #6
            Lemlemsh, (thank you) I am suprised to see that there are people on this site later then me. I thank you for taking the time to give your input. Yes that is one huge detail in which I forgot to mention. I am appliquing with the two needle style. One of my biggest fears was to not have enough and so the detail that stood out to me was the 20% over need. Thank you so much for the sq. inch details that saves me from loads of sample work!

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            • #7
              Well I Just think that is wonderfull. This entire outfits background is in navy BLUE. JUST MY LUCK!

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              • #8
                THANK YOU FOR THAT CORRECTION. Thinking in kilos is new to me. But how do I figure out how much area a kilo will cover. Or do I figure out how many beads in a hank and then times by 24 (for #of hanks in a kilo) then see how many inches that covers by useing that nomber? That sounds about right; or does anyone know already how many inches a kilo will cover? I hope......

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                • #9
                  Actually, TR - if the company you are dealing with is a good one, they should be able to answer questions like "how many beads in a ________(fill in the quantity)" as well as a general idea of how many beads laid end-to-end will equal an inch.

                  Again, beads vary a LOT by manufacturer in their outter diameter. They also can vary within a single package of beads in length -and- breadth between one bead and the next. Delicas are the most uniform (other people have other opinions of which type of seed bead has the most uniformity, of course). I do double needle applique too. I don't throw beads away just because they aren't uniform though.... and it comes in handy a lot. Sometimes it is nice to have a little skinny bead or one that is one and a half beads long - it fills the gap just exactly.

                  The great thing is that, unless you are buying gold coated beads or some kind of exotic, beads aren't horribly expensive. Most online sellers (the large sites like fire mountain gems or crazy crow for instance) give discounts for ordering in quantity. So what's an extra 1/4 lb of beads?? At fire mountain, depending on the quantity purchased at one time - the econo seed beads are less than ordering a meal deal at Mickey D's at most or just a bit over the dollar menu burger in a large quantity order.

                  Good luck with your project -- and post pics ok? I like seeing the stuff other people have done; gives me encouragement to get my own stuff finished!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Traditional Rally
                    THANK YOU FOR THAT CORRECTION. Thinking in kilos is new to me. But how do I figure out how much area a kilo will cover. Or do I figure out how many beads in a hank and then times by 24 (for #of hanks in a kilo) then see how many inches that covers by useing that nomber? That sounds about right; or does anyone know already how many inches a kilo will cover? I hope......
                    I have beade one men's traditional vest in lazy stitch and I used approximatley 1 1/2 Kilos for the background color alone. I have four other colors besides the background color and I would say tha if I were to ge set to do another Men's set (someday I will) I will probably start with 3 kilos of background and one kilo each of the other colors unless I know one of the colors will be used sparingly. Dye lots play into this too. Unless its an easy color to match, I would say its better to have too much than not enough...
                    Randy

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                    • #11
                      The biggest problem I've been having with navy beads of late is excessive thickness variation. Then there was the vendor who'd send navy or royal for the same color number....

                      Just to give you a feel for the amounts involved: For a fully beaded competion-style northern dress (for a big lady) in 13/0's, I ordered 6 kg of beads in 10 colors. And the design was very tolerant of color drift.

                      Don't sweat over-estimating. First, compared to the time and energy you are going to invest, the cost of the beads is minimal. Second, it will give you supplies for new moccs when they wear-out and matching colors for repairs. (For the stuff I did for my cousin's kids, I kept some of the excess stashed away for repairs and growing feet and was glad I had done so.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One of the things I do when I do a bulk order for something like a background color is I dump -all- the beads into a big coffee can and shake 'em up. That way if I did happen to get 1/4 lb or two that are slightly different due to something like being from a different dye-lot the effect is scattered through-out the work.

                        I am in agreement with Ol'Chemist - you can never have enough beads. Having more is better than having less. You might decide in a while that there is another "something" you want to make... if only you had some more of that (fill in the color name here) to match what you already have.

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                        • #13
                          Hmmm....let's see.....24 hanks of size 11's in a kilo. 18 square inches covered by a hank. 24 x 18= 432 square inches per kilo. That's about 20x20 area.
                          ...it is what it is...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I will, thank you so much for your help. And this is to all posters:I honestly can't believe how I can post a thread two nights ago and now I have enough info for this outfit. It's awsome! I've been to every local shop and I have seen no help like this.
                            Lemlemsh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have had relatively good luck with color matching ordering kilos from Shipwreck in WA. Write down the color code number or save the package label in case you need to re-order. Again, royal and navy vary a bit, so order a bunch. One thought, if you end up ordering too much, see if you can sell or trade the unused amount. Don't know how often you get to the western part of the state, but you are close enough that you can probably go in person to the fabulous Shipwreck store in Olympia and match for yourself.

                              Good luck.

                              Comment

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