Unless you have been living in a cave on a remote island for the last couple of years you must have noticed the huge array of two-holed and multi-holed beads that have hit the market. We have done our best to sieve through them, picking out what we consider to be the best of the bunch. Here is a review of what we consider to be the “Cream of the Crop”.
CzechMates introduced by Nichole and Dave Starman are top on our list.
They are all mathematically designed to fit together, a big plus for the designer, and so easy to use. Their holes line up perfectly, making them a pleasure to design with. Since Starman is the designer as well as manufacturer, they have been introduced in coordinating colors as well. Well thought out and excellent quality, we have run across very few culls. The most recent, the 2-Holed Crescent is proving to be very inspirational. Many new and unique designs are showing up.
In addition they have assembled a team of designers who have created patterns that we are able to offer to our customers with a minimum order for free. You can read the details in the Trendsetter Patterns folder.
The next in my list are made by the Matubo Company, The SuperDuo and MiniDuo, both very consistent and popular, lots of information available on the net and in books and magazines on how to make use of them.
The Kheops par Puca has become very popular too. It’s a 2-Holed triangle, made in France. Its holes run through the center of the bead from top to bottom, so it serves many useful construction purposes. Well made, and becoming more well-known everyday.
Silky 2-Holed Beads are square beads but the holes run diagonally through them from side to side giving them a unique shape.
Rullas are 2-holed Barrel shaped beads, very useful for construction and pattern building. We are increasing our selection of finishes in this style.
2-Holed Pyramids come in two sizes: 6x6mm and 12x12mm. Both come in lots of gorgeous finishes. We love these and do our best to keep a good stock on hand.
Tipp Beads, are an interesting 2-holed shape. Flat on the bottom, and mountain shaped tops, they come in all the metallic finishes that are so popular.
2-Holed Cabochon beads, 6mm in diameter are fairly new to our selection. We are building colors on this one too.
Piggy Beads have been around for a while now. They are not offered in as wide a finish selection but their concave shape with two holes, off-centered in the middle of the cup-shaped bead make them an interesting shape to build with.
Miyuki Beads introduced the Tila Bead, pronounced TEE-LA, in 2011, and they quickly became very popular. Several years later they were followed with the Half Tila, and they have become staples since then. Tilas are thinner than the 2 holed flat squares that CzechMates offers so in some situations they are preferred.
Other newer releases out in bead land are Emma Beads, Zorro Beads, RounDuos, and Chili beads, which we are planning on stocking, Es-o Beads which we have started stocking and should have online soon. These are similar to the SuperDuo but slightly different in shape and preferred by some. Also, Honeycomb beads, a 6 sided bead with to holes running through the center from side to side. This one has receive a fair amount of attention lately in the beading magazines. We have received our first shipment and they will be listed soon.
Other shapes: Super 8, Trinity, Infinity, Bi-Bo, Dobble, Chexx, and Tango have not made the cut yet, but may in the future, so many to consider!
And finally, there are the “Old School” 2-holed shapes that have been around for a long time, the Two Holed Bars which we stock, really a glass spacer bar, Nailheads and Bridges, vintage 2 holed beads, as well as 2-holed Sunflowers, a style that we have offered for some time, but since these are old styles they are also limited in availability.
We would love to hear your impressions about these beads, which ones are your favorites, if there is one we missed listing, which one you want to use next, or anything you want to add to the discussion!