Handpainted Silk Braclet with Clasp

I discovered some new findings. The light bulb appeared. I could use them to make bracelets out of woven silk tapestry. I patiently waited while they winged their way to me and was thrilled once they arrived to find out my light bulb was shinning on something very possible indeed.

I quickly wove a strip of silk tapestry and attached a finding. It was perfect.

We started selling the kit for this a couple of weeks ago and they have been flying off the shelf. The kit allows you to make two bracelets: one half an inch wide and one three-quarters of an inch wide. I thought it was time to write an instructional blog about it in case some of you need some operating instructions to get started (and to finish it).

Four Silk Bracelets
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More of that Hand-painted Silk

I call it weaving-lite. It's what I do when I want to weave but don't really want to think. My go-to material is hand-painted silk because of its no-fail qualities. If you want to just play with fiber on your Mirrix, use great materials and you probably will create something that is pleasing if not out-right amazing. And it will get you through the moments when your creativity light is not shining at its brightest. After all, creating art is really 95% doing it and 5% true creativity. Often we are repeating something we've already done with slight alterations. These baby steps keep us moving toward the rare but wonderful huge insights. And if you are like me, you can't help but make things constantly.

Let me begin with the beginning which wasn't weaving, but was actually turning an already woven silk strip into a wearable item. I was inspired by the below findings that I had just received in the mail. I thought they would be perfect for making a silk bracelet, and I was right.

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Weave-Along 17: The Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet (again)

A few years ago, Mirrix’s CEO Claudia Chase came up with a fun and easy way to combine beads and fiber on a Mirrix Loom. Using the shedding device, beading cord, 8/0 beads, silk and novelty yarn Claudia came up with the first Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet.

The project took off almost immediately and has been featured in Beadwork Magazine, Beads, Baubles & Jewels and in our class on Craftsy.


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Mirrix Tapestry Elegant or Wedding Tapestry/Cuff Bracelet weave-along

Mirrix Tapestry Elegant or Wedding Tapestry/Bead Cuff
Let's Weave!
We are ready to weave! So get out your specs, your warped loom, silk, gold thread, sumptuous gold beads (how we love the gold!), needle and your imagination and maybe a wee bit of patience and let's weave.
We will be weaving two tapestry/bead cuffs at the same time to provide you with different styles. Here are some example photos: In this first one we have the simplest design represented by the Wedding Cuff (which simply means it's white, not black, so don't let the color confuse you). For this simple, yet elegant, piece we've woven one inch sections of a combination of three gold threads (in your kit the gold thread is actually three gold threads) and one silk thread. We then wove a line of size 10/0 24 karat gold plated Delica beads followed by an inch of weaving, followed by a row of beads until there are seven sections of woven area and six rows of Delica beads.
The second and third examples (one is done in black silk and the other in white silk), incorporate the same basic design as the first but throw in a couple of other techniques such as "pick and pick" and pure gold lines of thread.
Simple Cuff
Cuff with more techniques
Another Cuff with more techniques
So choose whether you are going for simple or slightly more complex. But even if you start with one concept, you can easily pick up the other since both styles incorporate seven one inch woven sections divided by six rows of beads. This formula guarantees your piece will be the correct length plus the kit includes enough beads to weave six rows. Now you could stagger the rows differently if you'd like, but remember that you are only going to get six rows of beads out of the kit.
We will begin with the simple version:
Starting that first weft thread:
Prepare your weft by combining a yard length of the three strand gold thread (you will always use the gold thread in three strands so it is thick enough) and one strand of silk.
End the header thread by inserting it through two center warps. Begin a strand of silk where you’ve ended the header thread as if you were continuing with the same thread. You will begin and end all thread in this manner making sure that no thread is ever pushing through to the front of your weaving. Remember, you do not care what the back looks like!

Weave a little shy of one inch of the gold and silk combined threads. Do not pull in too tightly at the edges so that your piece remains a consistent width. Don't weave so loosely that you have large loops at the edges.

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