Beads, Beads, Beads!


oops I really goofed! I have been working these posts in drafts as they’re so many pictures and it takes me a while to complete them. Between working at the shop, editing stitch guides for Needlepoint Now, my AlleyCat and of course a little stitching…I went out of order. This should’ve been the one when we got off the train. So there will still be 1 more day of beads coming, so that I can finish the story.

Last I left you, we were headed to Toho Bead Factory located in Hiroshima, Japan. Are you familiar with Toho beads? It is a brand name such as Sundance, Miyuki and there is one more major one (no not Mill Hill), but their name escapes me! Toho means “Eastern Treasure” and they strive to be the best. Just as Delicas are the cylinder type beads to Miyuki, Aiko (named after their daughter) are just the same to Toho. They are really a high quality bead with a larger hole, making it easier for the needle to pass through. Unfortunately many may not be familiar with their beads, unless you are a serious beader as most needlepoint shops don’t carry their beads!

From the Toho website: “Across vast lands and oceans, from ancient times, man has adored and loved these little glass balls as a treasure.The history of glass bead making in Japan is very short. It started in the Hiroshima Fukuyama area in the beginning of the Showa era (1930s)as a “Mom-and-Pop” business.Our company was started on Nov.3rd,1951. Since then, we’ve strived to improve our techniques, designed and created new equipment and facilities. Fortunately we can say today that when it comes to quality, we are the number one glass beads maker in the world and have gained respect of not only the people in this country but around the world. This is all thanks to the cooperation and understanding of our clients around the world. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude.


The above is our motto for prosperity and is kept in our minds at all times.
Once again we would like to thank you for your cooperation and would like to ask you for your continued support.”


This was the tshirt that everyone wore. I tried to purchase one, but no luck! I would love to do this on a canvas.




The clock base was created with all beads and crystals! And those are some very long bugle beads.

Toho2 Toho3

This heart display was created in many different colorways! and yes it is all beads.



3Toho 4Toho 5Toho 6Toho

and next time we will enter the factory and have a fabulous tour!

so for now I will say…sayonara

BTW…I am not still in Japan! I am home with AlleyCat as she would disown me if I had left her this long.


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About Vicky

Needlepoint, morning noon and evening! what could be better than this? I work on the computer in the daylight hours editing stitch guides and drawing stitches that you will see in the next Needlepoint Now for your stitching pleasure! In between this, there is time for taking pictures of my stitching adventures, Facebook and writing stitch guides for canvas that I am stitching for Needle Deeva, Maggie, Ruth Schmuff and others. Mostly needlepoint you ask? well we will talk about my cats Sylvester and AlleyCat, better known as "the brat". Of course I can't forget Felix who was the love of my life for over 14 years. He broke my heart as he departed for the Rainbow Bridge last year. Oh did I mention baseball?

6 thoughts on “Beads, Beads, Beads!

  1. Interesting that a good quality bead is sold at Michael’s, although not a great selection. Where do you find them in a wide range of colors?

  2. I love Toho beads. And you are correct, only used by serious beaders. Their quality is great – consistent, and colors are fantastic. There are many catalog/online sources. But I believe they are not sold at Michaels. A bit too expensive for that store, I think. At least, not the Michaels in my area. carries all their colors and types of seed beads.
    Thanks for the photos. The super long tubes of “future” seed beads were fascinating.

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