Warping for bead weaving with the shedding device is slightly different from other types of warping, simply because two warp threads go in each dent (space in the warp coil) instead of just one. Then, when you put on the heddles to attach to the shedding device, instead of putting heddles on every other warp thread, you put heddles on one warp thread from each dent. Before you watch the following videos, please take a moment to look at our warping .pdf for warping for bead weaving with the shedding device.
Some of the information, tips and tricks from our last blog post on bead weaving without a shedding device are repeated here for your convenience. Many of the techniques apply to bead weaving both with and without a shedding device.
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.
Why do we warp two warp threads in each dent when warping for beadwork with the shedding device?
When weaving beads with the shedding device you sandwich the beads between two warp threads instead of sewing them in behind the warp like you do when you weave beads in the traditional method. When you are in one shed, you lift one warp thread in a dent and when you switch sheds you lift the other. This also makes your bead weaving stronger because you have twice as many warp threads!
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.
Video: Warping for Beadwork Using The Shedding Device
Tips & Tricks:
Changing the shed
Every time you change the shed, strum the back of the warp to release any warps that are stuck. Visually assess your warps to make sure the correct ones are raised before you weave through each row.
Checking those heddles
When you look at the shedding device in the neutral position and look at the heddles, make sure they are not overlapping each other they are next to each other. Remember to sew in your first row of beads bc the shedding deivce will not work without that base. You must also sew in the last row. Your piece will fall apart if you do not do this
Weaving a wide piece
If you’re weaving a wide piece, you don’t have to weave the whole row at once, you can weave it in sections. Simply weave through part of your pice and then make a loop with your warp sectioning off a piece of your weaving and pull that loop to the front of the weaving. Then, place your beads into the warps and continue doing this section by section.
Change your shed
Every time after you weave in a row change the shedding device automatically so you know that you’ve done that. If you can’t remember if you changed your shed go to your last row of woven beads and see if they push up easily. If they do you haven’t changed the shed; if they don’t than you have changed your shed.
You made a mistake!
Don’t worry! If you realize when weaving a bead tapestry that you have made a mistake, it’s really easy to remove rows, just keep switching your shed and removing one row at a time.
You want enough tension that you get a clean shed and have a taught warp. Your warp should be tight enough that your beads stay securely in once you place them between the warp threads.
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: 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.