Yet Another Question.

Q: I was looking at the 'Fire Mountain' catalog yesterday, and saw the "DYNA-MITES". Is this just a fancy name for regular, high quality seed beads or are they really a notch below 'Delicas' and a notch above a good quality Japanese or Czech seed beads? Something 'FM' concocted or a true brand name?

A: I use the 'Dynamites' quite a bit. I would class them as simply good quality Japanese seed beads. Some of the colors are highly regular, some not as good - (I've found the simple opaque ones aren't as good as, say, the silver- lined, or the 'Ceylon' pastels) but I wouldn't class any of them as a notch above other good quality Japanese seeds. Also, like many other beads, various varieties are slightly different sizes. The price is good (one box is roughly equivalent to a hank for those used to that measure maybe a little more) and the color range is also pretty good. There are also coordinated bugles, although not for all the colors. I have always found 'Fire Mountain's' service good. I believe the name "Dynamites" is something 'Fire Mountain' cooked up, but they are manufactured by one of the good Japanese companies. I just taught a class at our local embroiderer's guild chapter, and kitted it up using these beads, so I don't hesitate to recommend them. I have used 'Dyna-Mites' and find them to be more irregular in sizing of bead (not hole) than Czech's, but the colors are true to the catalog and I have made some fun projects with them, especially complicated ones with lots of beads (costly if using 'Delicas'). "Dynamites" are 'FM's' name for 'Matsunos' (a Japanese brand) seed beads. They're pretty good - almost as "square" as 'Delica's', but holes not as large. 'Delicas' are made by Miyuki (which also makes seed beads) and "Antiques" (which are about the same as 'Delicas') are made by Toho (again, also makes seed beads). The Miyuki & Toho seed beads are "rounder" than the 'Matsunos'.