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Mill Hill Beads

Q: I am teaching a group of my friends how to make Beaded Amulet purses. Seeing how we are counted cross stitch fans also, the topic of Mill Hill beads came up. I am hoping that someone can answer my questions. Where do these beads come from? Someone once told me that they were made in the USA, I found that hard to believe. While I believe that they are packaged in the USA, they must come from somewhere else. Are they delicas or tohos? Can you get them anywhere else than besides Mill Hill? Has anyone else seen them anywhere else?

A: A couple of years ago I contacted Mill Hill regarding purchasing quantities of their beads. I believe the address was the U.S. The reply was that they would not sell directly to anyone. You might check into Gick which also makes quite a selection of seed beads. But they too, I believe, only sell to retailers. In both cases they seem to feature seeds and bugles only. The Mill Hill beads. I may be in error but I think they are made in Japan and packaged in the US. I used them before I found delicas and may still incorporate them into other projects. My problem with them was finding a good source - I can't afford to pay $1.75- $2.00 for a little tiny package of beads. When I called Mill Hill they were rude to me basically, and would not sell anything smaller than a half kilo of any one color, so I did not buy any more of them. Heather Ice perhaps? Very pretty kit from Mill Hill. I'd recommend using bead weaving instead of the loom. The loom results in a very stiff bag, unless of course you perfer the stiffness. I like my amulet bags to feel like cloth. Anyway.. they have quite a large selection of colors as well as styles. The "regular beads" are just Mill Hill Seed Beads, then there are the Antique Seed Beads, same size as the above, but a different color selection. Next come Petitie Seed Beads, very small. And they alo carry small, medium and large bugle beads. I've asked Mill Hill how they would classify their beads to "other beads available on the market size wise, but they couldn't say. AND when I have asked other bead suppliers, they either never heard of Mill Hill (which surprises me) or they just had no idea what size Mill Hill would be. Personally, with my limited knowledge of how bead sizes run, I'd place them around a 14/0.