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Are Delica Beads a Good Idea?

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  • Are Delica Beads a Good Idea?

    Long time since I've been able to post anything to Powwows :-)

    I'm relatively new to beading, and have decided to fully bead my next fancy feather cape/apron/sidetab/cuff set. I'll be appliqueing [sp?] the entire thing because a.) the design is fairly intricate and b.) two-needle applique is the only technique I know :-P

    Seems like most people are using Czech beads for applique, but I like the look of Delicas better. Is there a particular reason that Czech beads are typically used instead of Delicas (e.g. is applique extremely difficult to do with Delica, or are Delicas incredibly expensive, etc.), or is there really not that much of a difference?

    Also - I have no clue how many beads to buy! I'm a pretty big guy at 6'4", so I'm looking at a total beaded surface area of about 8' sq. If I'm using size 11, what kinda quantities am I looking at?

    I appreciate your insight!
    This is the worst signature ever.

  • #2
    I don't use Czech beads... nothing wrong with them, I've just never had the opportunity. I know people who use Czech beads think the world of them. I like Delica's because they are a nice uniform size beads (at least the ones I've gotten) and if the design I'm doing is intricate - Delica's are what I use.

    Background beads I just use the "by the 1/4 pound" from firemountaingems if they have the colors that I need. Those are about 15 to the inch (and they are 11's too - but 11 just refers to the hole in the center - not what's coated on the outside). Besides being slightly larger, the 1/4 pound specials are also not very uniform.... so you'll spend sometime picking out the irregularly shaped ones. In doing applique though, I've always found a place for that slightly shorter (or longer) bead so for me having the beads not all the same actually works.

    How many you need depends on how closely you stitch your beads together. Some people put down two beads then a stitch, some people put three beads and then a stitch. I was taught one bead - one stitch and lock a stitch with the needle your beads are threaded to every 7. Delica's work out to 17 to the inch (longways) for me. Widthways - again it depends on how close your rows are together and how big around the bead is.

    From experience - buy at least 25% more than you think you will need - ESPECIALLY background colors. Dye lots are almost impossible to match and, when you find out you didn't get enough of that killer sky blue background bead, it usually is when you're beading like mad on the last bit - which also happens to be the most obvious spot on the set.

    My suggestion on the best way to figure it out is to do a test piece. Buy a sampling of some different beads, put your design on some scrap material similar to the weight of what you will be beading on and see how the different beads look, how tight or loose you are comfortable making your work. You may find you like one kind of bead for doing one thing (like the design) and another size/brand for doing another (like the background).

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      B2W is a phenominal craftsman, yet I have to respectfully voice my opinion as well. I do not use Delicas, but only use Czech. They are inexpensive and I think they make the best "Indian" look. Delicas in that quantity will cost you a fortune. I don't think the actual technique is any different with either. As for consistency in bead size, for what you are doing Czech will be perfectly fine for both fill and background.

      Quantity. I would get 1kilo of background and 1/2 kilo per design color, at least. I have found that Shipwreck beads is a good source for large orders like this.

      So there you go, two diametrically opposed opinions. You are no better off now than you were before, ha ha!

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses, guys.

        I've been saving up for the outfit for awhile, but I'll check into the price difference between the two to make sure I don't have to start selling blood just to get my materials :-)
        This is the worst signature ever.

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        • #5
          I've used both in appilque. Personally, I have three issues with delicas.

          1) There are a lot of not too colorfast colors in delicas.

          2) It takes a ton of thread and wax to get a good fill with those huge holes.

          3) When you are doing curved lines they can be a bit funky because of their square shape.

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          • #6
            I used delicas for my grass dance set. only purple ones since they were the only bead in the color i wanted. everything else is Czech or Dyna-Mites from fire mountain gems.

            If you are looking for the new style of intricate beadwork then Delicas are your bead.

            The only problem I see is that the edges are a sorta sharp and I would worry about thread getting cut after much use.
            There are 2 types of people in the world...
            Really stupid people who think they are smart
            and
            Really smart people who think they are smart.

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            • #7
              Delicas are beautiful, but I agree with the above: they tend to have sharp edges, the finish can wear off, they have huge holes, AND they're more expensive.

              I always go with seed beads, which I think hold up better and don't fade. But I have to say, I see an outfit around made years ago from delicas and it still looks GREAT from a distance.

              If you're stuck on delicas, for 10 square inches (1"x10") it will take about 15 grams (2850 beads). For 1152 square inches (8 sq feet), it will take 1728 grams or about 173 10-gram tubes!!!!!!
              ...it is what it is...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wyo_rose View Post
                Delicas are beautiful, but I agree with the above: they tend to have sharp edges, the finish can wear off, they have huge holes, AND they're more expensive.

                I always go with seed beads, which I think hold up better and don't fade. But I have to say, I see an outfit around made years ago from delicas and it still looks GREAT from a distance.

                If you're stuck on delicas, for 10 square inches (1"x10") it will take about 15 grams (2850 beads). For 1152 square inches (8 sq feet), it will take 1728 grams or about 173 10-gram tubes!!!!!!
                thats alot of beads and can u imagine what thats gonna cost?!?

                i agree .. delicas are good for small intricate items .. like earrings and barrettes. but for a whole outfit .. thats a MAJOR undertaking to say the least ..
                Watch your broken dreams...
                Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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                • #9
                  I did some number crunching based on Wyo-rose's figure. Fire Mt Gem delicas would cost on average $483 depending on which beads you use (I only averaged regular colors, no fancy beads) Shipwrech beads if you go by my earlier estimate with 1k background and 8 half kilos for design it comes to about $145. That's about 1/3 the cost.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BeadMan View Post
                    I did some number crunching based on Wyo-rose's figure. Fire Mt Gem delicas would cost on average $483 depending on which beads you use (I only averaged regular colors, no fancy beads) Shipwrech beads if you go by my earlier estimate with 1k background and 8 half kilos for design it comes to about $145. That's about 1/3 the cost.
                    Go with Seed Beads from Shipwreck and send half of what you are saving to me!!!!
                    The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
                    -Daryl Baldwin: Miami


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spottedeagle View Post
                      Go with Seed Beads from Shipwreck and send half of what you are saving to me!!!!
                      Aye, forgot about the Spotted Eagle Tax ;-)

                      Thanks for all your suggestions everyone. This is really helpful.
                      This is the worst signature ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i got this outa last years crazycrow catologue;
                        czech beads....
                        10/0 130-square inch
                        11/0 187 square inch
                        12/0 228 square inch
                        13/0 273 square inch
                        14/0 298 square inch
                        16/0 570 square inch

                        granted,those are only averages but thats the kind of coverage you can expect from czech beads

                        The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

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                        • #13
                          One more beginner question (for now),

                          What are your suggestions for the best material to tack the beads onto for a fancy set?
                          This is the worst signature ever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Canvas. You can find varying weights, thicknesses, and weaves. Our local Ag store has about 4 different kind - 60" wide and the best deal around. (Makes me want to sew my own tipi)

                            Either cut the pieces with a seam allowance and turn the edges under and tack them in place. Or cut them to size and hand sew bias tape over the raw edges.
                            ...it is what it is...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ok,i looked at the shipwreck beads web page and the price tags are a little more than half of what some other places cost but hows the quality of the beads? am i gonna have to cull half of them out ?

                              The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

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