I have a lot of fears. The fear of accidentally leaving the stove on. The fear of the alarm clock not going off. The fear of forgetting to turn off my hair straightener. The list goes on. One fear that has always eluded me, though, is the (quite common) Fear of Warping. (Cue horror movie music.)
I completed the cell phone bag! Some of the steps were shared in early blog posts, but now that I have finished, I’d like to say that this has to be the absolute best way to create a beaded bag, either cell or otherwise! Looming a purse or bag, is faster and more enjoyable then if you were to ‘hand weave’ similar size bags! Not only that, I think I was able to make better decisions on thread choices, also working towards making the cell phone bag more secure and strong, to the point of not adding a lining!
The picture above is one side of this cell phone bag. I loomed 67 beads wide, making the finished bag approximately 3 3/4″ – 4″ wide. It is also 81 bead rows deep, with the finished depth being approximately 5″ long. I added some fringe, which increased the depth of the finished project, 7″.
The other side is a different picture, but still representing something from the owners life…..in particular, her Dad’s life as a Tuskegee Airmen! Notice the medal I attached. This was purchased from the internet, bead bezeled, then attached to the beaded bag.
The fringe was something I felt could have been added or not. Because of the way this is loomed, I was able to complete the bottom seem, using some 11/0 Permanent Metallic Toho beads. This way, fringe could have been optional, as this ‘zipping’ looked just fine as it was!
Using those 11/0 metallic beads, I attached a fringe. I also beaded some matching earrings.
Not to get off this topic, but I did include a pair of matching earrings because such a piece, worn around the neck, will take on an appearance of jewelry, so the earrings help lessen the gap of what to wear with this cell phone bag!
The Mirrix Loom is perfect for looming larger pieces, like a purse or cell phone bag. Not only because of the ‘large loom table’ you have to create each large size panel, but you are offered a choice on which loom process you would like to use, heddle or tension looming method.
This cell phone bag was loomed in the ‘tension looming’ method. This means I did not use a shuttle or heddle, but my warps were tied taught, top to bottom of the loom frame, creating the proper ‘tension’ needed for looming. Then a weft thread passed across the width of the panel, adding the 67 beads. Tension Looming needs ‘two’ passes of weft thread, to properly loom. Therefore, you will need to make sure the beads you loom have wide holes, like Delicas or other fine Japanese Seed Beads. If this same cell phone bag was loomed using the ‘heddle looming method’, then there are double warp threads for each one needed, and only one weft thread passes through the rows of beads, 67 beads wide. This is good to use if your beads have smaller holes, similar to what is found in Czech or Chinese Glass Beads.
Of course, either way of looming makes a very sturdy purse or bag. You’ll either work with double warps or double wefts. The Mirrix allows you to make that decision, based on your beads being loomed. I love having the freedom to use any bead I want with one loom, as opposed to having to settle for the beads needed to complete!
I hope to offer more insight, in to finishing the warps, but need to take some time to get instructions printed and offered to the beading world. In the meantime, I am using my loom to create various pieces of wearable art, i.e., cell phone bag, wide loomed cuff, split loomed necklace, etc., so I can work out perfect warp finishing techniques for whatever can be created. AT this point, I have figured out that my method of ‘finishing the warps’ can work with either looming method, tension or heddle looming!