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The Excellent Accessory and Watch with Japanese Glass Beads

ico&Co

ico & Co is the beads studio which Toho Co., Ltd. established. It is the original brand which built up glass beads as the leading role. Material developed by the TOHO beads, which the glass beads were particular about a production tripfromthesandof thefrit, and was manufactured fromthe highestquality. Theglasshas the feeling thatthematerialnot to thinkgrass.A challenge ofTOHO,whichhas been keepingon being particularabout manufacturingand thestudies of thepassion, pleaseenjoy "theworld of glassbeads".

What istheconceptofToho Co.,Ltd.

TOHOI will be keeling the challenging to create the future of beads. The small ball of the glass was valued as rare treasure of the human and was loved and it was got close. The word of beads has been used as the accessories which prayed for God. In ancient times, the word of beads was originally coming from the name of Saxon (ancient English) by "bidden (pray) bede (praying person) ". TOHO puts an effort on technical improvement and facilities innovation since its formation as a manufacturer of glass beads since November, 1951. By the glass beads production, it is now accepted in all of the countries. More than 10,000 kinds of high quality beads products are now provided to the many countries as world class glass beads.All employee are trying to develop excellent products as the professional of glass beads, that it is met the expectation of the visitor, handicrafts materials, and a general makerof the outfitting material.TOHO will continue challenging it with the efforts.


The History of Japanese Glass Beads

Japanese Glass Beads

Today, Japanese glass beads are regarded as the best in the world. One of the 2 major Japanese bead manufacturers, TOHO Co., Ltd, began manufacturing glass beads as the “TOHO Glass Beads Factory” in Hiroshima city under the founder Ichiji Yamanaka in 1951, soon after the war. TOHO is continuously making forward strides, putting their technology in competition against the other major manufacturer in Fukuyamacity,Hiroshima.

How to make Glass Beads

● Blending Materials

The main components of grass beads are silica sand (SiO2), soda ash (Na2CO3), and lime stone (CaCO3), Soda ash contains sodium (Na) which helps silica sand melt easily. The calcium (Ca) in lime stone prevents glass from dissolving inwater.

● Melting

After heating the raw material, blended from main material, coloring materials and opalizers, to 1,300degree(Celsius) forabout20 hours,acandy-likesoftglasswill be made.Thisprocess iscalled “Melting”The method glass is called“molten glass”.

● Filtering Canes

Raw canes are filtered through an inspection board with size-specified holes to check their diameter. The passed canes are bundled and tied at bottom and top. The canes which don’t meet the specified size are returned to the blending process and melted again as cullet.

● Cutting

Canes are cut with a special cutting machine. Inside the machine, a disk blade rotates horizontally at high speed.When canes are inserted vertically into the machine,they’recut from the bottom.The length of the cut canes is determined by the desired size of the finished beads. Therefore, it’s important to cut the canes horizontally and at uniform lengths.

● Reheating

Cut heads and charcoal sand are mixed and heated in a rotating furnace at 700-750 degrees (Celsius). The cut edge melts and tube shaped beads take on a round shape. By mixing charcoal sand into the beads, the softened beads will not stick together and the holes will not be damaged. This is called the Carbon Method.

● Finishing

The surface of the rinsed beads are lightly frosted. To make them shiny and beautiful, the beads surface are melted by heating them again in an electric furnace at 650-700degrees(Celsius),which is a bit higher than the temperature at which glass softens. If the beads surface are uncoated, the beads are finished after this step.

● Filtering Beads

Finished beads are filtered according to their outer diameters. First, the beads pass through a screen with small holes to drop beads that are too small. Next, beads pass through a screen with specified holes sizes so that only beads of that size drop through the holes, eliminating oversized beads.Thus,only beads of the specified size are sent to then extprocess.Other bead saresent back to the blending process and melted again as cullet.

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