Warping for Bead Weaving: The traditional method
If you watched the last video in this series, warping for tapestry, you will notice that warping for bead weaving follows the same concept as warping for tapestry. One warp thread goes in each dent and that’s that!
Before you watch the following videos, please take a moment to look at our warping .pdf for warping for bead weaving without the shedding device.
Why Weave Beads?
Weaving beads is much faster than off-loom stitches and the wider your piece, the faster it is. The equivalent off-loom stitch would be square stitch which the most time-consuming off-loom stitch there is. It’s difficult for beginners to get correct tension when weaving off-loom stitches, but on the loom, the loom automatically provides the right kind of tension so that is never an issue.
Plus, weaving beads is easy and fun!
What is the difference between bead weaving with and without the shedding device?
Without the shedding device you weave beads using the traditional method, sewing beads to the warp. With the shedding device you lift warp threads and place beads (on a thread between those warps). Then, you change the position of the shedding device and the warp threads move and secure in the beads.
What types of beading thread should be used?
Here at Mirrix Loom we love C-Lon D beading thread because it is specifically designed for use with beads. It doesn’t fray easily, it’s strong and it comes in many beautiful colors.
How do you know what warp coil to use?
Place the beads you plan on weaving on a needle and measure an inch. Then, count how many beads are in that inch. The number of beads minus one is the warp coil that will be used. For example, if you are using Delicas you would find 19 Delicas are in one inch, so you would use the 18 dent coil. There is some leeway in this, and depending on the beads you are using, it might not work out perfectly (numerically), just close. Using a smaller (lower number) coil is better than using a larger (higher number) coil.
Warping for Beadwork Without The Shedding Device Video:
Tips & Tricks
Which side do I start weaving from?
If you are right handed, sew through from the right side. If you are left handed, sew through from the left side. Mirrix Looms was designed for both right and left handed people.
If you run out of warp while warping, simply tie on to the warping bar to end your old warp and then tie back on with your new warp and continue warping as if it was the same thread.
How to finish and start a weft thread:
When your weft thread (the thread that holds the beads) gets too short, partially sew it through the row of beads below, wrap it around a warp thread to tie a knot then continue sewing through the row of beads. Do this until you feel the thread is completely secure.
You begin a weft thread in exactly the same way, starting a couple of rows of beads down with the goal of getting the thread to the left of the piece if you’re right handed and to the right of the piece if you’re left handed.
Using The Bottom Spring Kit: (repeated from the warping for tapestry blog post)
The bottom spring kit is an add-on accessory that attaches to the bottom beam of your loom. This warp coil helps organize your warps at the bottom of the loom, just as your warps are organized at the top. It is great for wide bead weavings as well as small-scale tapestry. If you are using the bottom spring kit, warping is exactly the same except you place your warps in the bottom spring exactly how you do so on the top springs. Following are some pictures of looms with bottom spring kits to give you an idea of how the kit looks on a warped loom.