The other day Elena and I had a long conversation about weaving a Navajo style piece (ie., four selvedges, no fringe!) on a Mirrix Loom. We came up with one great idea. I tried it. It failed. Sad face. Then we rethought the whole thing. I tried it. Epic success! Elena smiled. I smiled. I will now share!
What you need to accomplish this: a couple of lengths of texslov cord, two thin metal rods, some strong string (I used Seine Twine) and the usual: warp and weft.
First, set up the thin bars on the back of the loom by wrapping two lengths of texslov cord around the loom and sticking both bars into the cord. This is the point where you can decide the length of your piece based on how high the loom is set and where you insert the bars. With this method, you will be able to weave a piece longer than the length of the loom.
Mirrix Looms are versatile frame looms meant for tapestry and bead weaving; but with their great tension, 8 different available sizes and a myraid of available accessories, you can weave more than just jewelry and wall-hangings on a Mirrix!
What project can you make on a Mirrix Loom? See our list below and tell what we missed in the comments!
Want to see some real life examples of projects woven on Mirrix Looms? Visit our Your Work Gallery (the image here shows just a few projects from this gallery) to see some amazing work made by Mirrix customers!
One question we get a lot here at Mirrix is, "What do I need to begin weaving?"
This depends, of course, but you may be surprised at how little you need to get started!
For Tapestry Weaving:
-A Loom and. We recommend one with a shedding device like the 16" Big Sister Loom.
-Heddles. You only need these if you are using the shedding device. You can either purchase pre-made ones, or make your own. We have instructions on this page.
-Warp. Warp can come in a variety of different fibers including cotton, linen or wool. Your warp is going to be under extreme tension and therefore has to be very strong. You should not be able to easily break it just using your hands.
-A Tapestry Beater. Tapestry beaters are available in wood, metal or a combination of the two. We sell two wooden versions. This weighted one is a great choice. You can also use a simple fork.
-Weft. The most important quality in a tapestry yarn (which is the weft) is beauty. It doesn’t have to be warm or soft or have any of the yarn qualities you would want for making a sweater. It just has to be beautiful and available in whatever colors you want. If you were to spin your own tapestry yarn you would use the fleece from a sheep with long, lustrous locks. You would not use the fiber from something like a Marino Sheep which has short fuzzy fleece. Short fuzzy fleece is warm, but it does not make for pretty tapestry yarn.
Check out our tapestry basics guide for more on weaving tapestry!
A while back I wove a crystal and bead bracelet on a Lani Loom not using the shedding device. I loved the resulting piece but I have to admit I did not enjoy weaving it. Which was a problem because in theory I wanted to weave a lot of them. In practice, not so much. Why? You might ask. And by gosh, I am going to answer.
The crystals I was using were 2 mm. The beads were 11/0 Delicas. I alternated the beads with one row being: bead, crystal, bead, etc. and the next starting with a crystal, bead, crystal, etc. The holes for the crystals and beads were at a different level so when I strung up a crystal, a bead, a crystal, etc. and put it behind and in between the warp in order to sew through the beads on top, the sewing through part was not much fun. The needle is straight and the holes for the crystals and beads are not straight. So it was this battle to push the needle through the beads and crystals.
Macrame has been on my radar recently as it is experiencing a resurgence similar to tapestry. Yesterday, I came across a video showing some macrame techniques. The piece shown was being made while it was hanging on a wall and the bar it was on kept tilting back and forth. I realized as I watched that if you wanted more stability, you could make a macrame piece on a Mirrix loom's warping bar held between the wooden clips.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Create room for failure.
I've found that in order to be creative, to come with new ideas, you must be willing to allow yourself to make mistakes, something that I find easy to do when I'm drawing or painting, but much more challenging when weaving ( because it takes so long). However, since getting my Mirrix, I've allowed much more time and space for experimentation, because it allows for small work. I've started creating what I like to call "thumbnail weaving."
While I've been a tradtional floor loom weaver for years, working a tapestry loom is rather new to me, so I wanted to just experiment with ideas, stitches, and a variety of ways to create texture. One of my current favorite stitches is the soumak stitch, which looks like a braid. In the video below, I'm sharing how to do the stitch.
Through March 17th, get 15% off the following kits and silk packages PLUS get code for $10 off any order over $75 when you share picture of your finished project using the kit or materials!
The Eccentric Wefts Tapestry Eyeglass Case Kit $42.00 $35.70
The Queen Nefertiti Bracelet Kit $69.00 $58.65
6 Skeins of Hand-Painted Mulberry Silk $35.00 $29.75