Warp tension, as every tapestry or bead weaver knows, is one of the most important factors in any weaving. Both the amount of tension and the evenness of tension is important and the difference between good tension and bad tension can make or break a piece. A few weeks ago a customer emailed me about a class she took where students had to use the looms provided. To warp, pieces of warp were cut and each thread was tied individually. She ended up quitting the class. Her explanation of her experience has stuck with me and I keep thinking about the difference that having a loom with a tensioning device built in (like a Mirrix) makes for bead or weft-faced/tapestry weaving.
Quite a few years ago I created an online class for Craftartedu. Recently, they went out of business. Fortunately, they gave me back my class. I love this class and I love the project. Elena borrowed an amazing camera from the university where she attended graduate school. What a difference that rather huge camera made. She took hundreds of photos.
The link to that class is here: Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelet. And there may be a 50% discount code for the class at the end of this blog.
To peak your interest I am going to show you some photos from that class.
Ready to get warped with all the supplies at the ready.
Today is the birthday of Mirrix President and CEO Claudia Chase. She started Mirrix Looms over 21 years ago out of a friend’s garage workshop. She hadn’t planned to start a company, at the time she was a stay-at-home mom and tapestry artist, but it seemed she wasn’t the only one in search of a high-quality, portable tapestry loom.
You see, as a mom of two, Claudia wasn’t able to spend all her time on one of her big floor looms like she might have liked. Instead she spent much of her days shuttling kids back and forth from soccer games and gymnastic meets and theater rehearsals and play dates. She often found herself itching to weave, but she hadn’t been able to find a loom that was both portable and fit her needs as a professional weaver. She wanted a portable loom that had:
A very old Mirrix print advertisement
This is a very specific blog post but one I wanted to write because I have heard some incorrect information being shared regarding this. The question: Can you advance your weaving with a Bottom Spring Kit on your loom?
Before I go into this, let me answer two questions:
What does it mean to “advance your weaving”?
When you warp a Mirrix Loom using our standard method with the warping bar, you can weave a piece longer than the length of your loom. How? By advancing your weaving. Once you’ve woven as far as you can (or as far as you want) on the front of your loom, loosen your tension and slowly move your warping bar up the back of your loom. This will begin to move your piece to the back of the loom, allowing you more room to weave on the front! Check out this video to see how to do this.
What is a Bottom Spring Kit?
A Bottom Spring Kit is a Mirrix Loom accessory that can be added to any Mirrix. It allows you to put a warp coil/spring on the bottom beam of your loom just like the one on the top. You can learn more about this accessory and why you might want one here.
And now, to answer that first question: YES you can! Using the Bottom Spring Kit does NOT prevent you from advancing your bead or fiber weaving.
The Bottom Spring Kit is useful for warping your loom and for beginning to weave. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you’re ready to advance your weaving, having the spring there isn’t doing anything. Your sett is determined by your TOP spring, not your bottom one. So when you are ready to advance your weaving, you simply remove the spring and advance your piece over the Bottom Spring Kit (the kit won’t damage your warp.)
I warped up a sample piece to show you how it works. Note that you wouldn’t need to advance a piece until it is a lot further along than this one!
Though I’m no longer in school, this time of year still makes me feel like I’m heading “back to school” and I have an overwhelming urge to stock up on new things for fall and winter. If something Mirrix is on your back-to-school list, we’re having a sale perfect for you!
WOW, what an experience I am having with this beautiful Big Sister Loom with the No Warp-Ends Kit from Mirrix Looms! I have to say that I have done some loom work beading before, but never anything like this!! The ease of tightening the tension when it needs it, moving the legs to adjust the height and angle or just the clean lines of the loom is amazing to me!! The Mirrix Looms Company just celebrated their 20th year and it is easy to see why so many people love them!!