Which loom is right for me?
We get this question a lot at Mirrix Looms. How do you choose just one? First, ask yourself a few questions. Do you want to weave beads, tapestry, both or something else like paper or wire? Do you want to use the shedding device? How important is being able to take your loom places with you? Do you want to be able to weave large pieces or several small pieces at one time?
If you want to weave small, beaded pieces such as bracelets or necklaces and do not want to use the shedding device, the 5″ Mini Mirrix or the 8″ Lani Loom (without the shedding device) will work fine for you.
If you want to weave larger bead tapestries or want to weave more than one beaded piece at the same time, the 12″ Little Guy, the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom all work great. (If you want to weave very big bead pieces the larger looms would be appropriate.)
If you are a tapestry weaver, choose any of the looms that have a shedding device and base your decision simply on how big a piece you plan to weave. If you want to simulate using a floor loom, one of the two bigger looms and the stand and treadle work great!
For the undecided weaver stick with a middle-sized loom like the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom. You can use (or not use) the shedding device and can weave almost anything including beads and tapestry on those looms.
Ever heard of lifehacks? They’re little things in life you can do to make life easier. For example, using a binder clip to help organize your computer cables or freezing unused fresh herbs in an ice cube tray with oil. All the great lifehacks on Pinterest got us thinking about MirrixHacks. We hear from customers all the time who have come up with great little tricks to make warping or weaving easier. We’d love to crowd-source some of these hacks to share! What MirrixHacks do you use?
One of my favorite MirrixHacks? The “comb” method of warping for bead weaving with the shedding device! Read about it here.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your MirrixHack (and a picture if possible) and we’ll feature them on a future blog post and send you any one of our bead patterns for free!
Because the weave-along is going over many different basic things (loom set up, warping, how to weave different ways), we suggest you just have some basic materials depending on what you’re interested in.
For bead weaving you will want a bead mat, beading needles, beading thread (we love C-Lon), and some beads. If you’re just starting out, 8/0 beads are great! You may also want to start with one of our kits and warp for that. If you want to weave for bead weaving with the shedding device, you’ll want heddles as well.
For tapestry you will want warp (we like Navajo wool warp), weft (some type of tapestry wool), a tapestry beater (or fork) and heddles.
You can find all of these supplies on our website and most of it at your local bead or fiber store!
A few months ago I bought some leather cord and was playing with wrap bracelets on my Mirrix. I was playing with the idea of using wire to string the beads and trying for really easy, fast projects. These were my results:
After that I warped my loom for a thicker wrap bracelet, but it was one of those projects that just sat on my loom. Yesterday I finally decided to re-warp and try a more traditional wrap bracelet. It was so fast and easy to do this on a Mirrix Loom! I chose some pretty 8/0 beads and crystals and tied off with a pretty glass button and that was it! And, hey, when you can buy an even simpler wrap bracelet for $200… this is a pretty good deal!
When you have more than one loom and a bazillion sets of warp coils, it can be a pain to find a warp coil you want when you want it. Instead of struggling with this every time they warp, a lot of our smart customers label their warp coils so they always know which one is which. I’ve made a printable template to make labeling your own warp coils easier!
Step One: Determine what loom sizes and warp coils you have
You probably already know what size loom you have, but if you’ve forgotten, measure the top beam in inches. That number is your loom size.
To determine what size each warp coil is, place your coil on your loom and measure an inch. Count how many dents (spaces in the spring) there are in that inch. That number is the size warp coil you have. If you have more than one loom and you’ve mixed up your warp coils this can be a more difficult process. If you get a non-standard number, you may have a warp coil on the wrong loom!
Step Two: Pop by your local office supply store and grab some standard sticker address labels. I used an Avery template number 5160. This size is very standard, though, so it should be fine for other brands as long as they have 30 address labels.
This is the template I downloaded: Download the template here
Step Three: Download my template and edit it for your needs. You probably don’t have every loom and every coil, and may have a bottom spring kit so you have more than one of certain coils. Edit the template in Word and print it on your sticker labels!
Step Four: Cut each label in half and place each label on the end of the corresponding warp coil. I found folding a little end over the end of the warp coil and then folding everything in half worked best.
Step Five: Bask in your organizational skills.
Here are five reasons why you should consider purchasing a Mirrix this summer:
1. Mirrix Looms are made in America. Our amazing manufacturing facility employs people with special needs and/or disabilities right in the heart of the USA in Door County, Wisconsin. Learn more about our manufacturing facility here.
You can feel good about where Mirrix Looms are made!
2. Weaving is the perfect summertime activity. Take a seat in the shade and grab your portable Mirrix for some me-time!
3. Mirrix has free projects with detailed instructions available to everyone! Click here to download instructions for our famous Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet or our wonderful Affinity Bracelet.
4. You can get a head start on making gifts for friends and family. We haven’t yet found anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with our newest bracelet kit!
5. We offer FREE bead patterns to our customers! Download one today.
One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing what people create with our looms. From simple jewelry pieces to lavish tapestries, we constantly see amazing and inspirational work. It’s also neat to see the creative ways people use our looms. One of my favorite innovative uses for a Mirrix is seen in Anthony Locane’s work.
Anthony weaves with wire warp and printed metal weft, creating gorgeous and fascinating pieces.
You can read Anthony’s 2011 guest post on our blog here to learn a little more about what he does. Be sure to visit his website as well!
In October of 2012 Anthony’s studio was hit by hurricane Sandy. His looms were damaged, but even a hurricane can’t keep a Mirrix down (with a little TLC, of course)! In digging around a little, we found a NYT article about Anthony and the hurricane. If you scroll a bit, there’s a picture of one of his pieces on a Mirrix (although you can’t see the actual loom).
Fortunately, it looks like Anthony is getting everything cleaned up and his looms are currently being restored.
Recently Anthony sent Claudia and me each one of his fabulous pieces of art. We ADORE them and are so grateful for his kind gesture. Have I said before that we have the BEST customers in the world? Check them out (below)!