Finishing The Cuff


When you’ve finished weaving (using any combination of straight lines, different fiber combinations, beads and tapestry techniques) you are ready to cut your piece off the loom. Then, you’ll finish your ends and begin sewing your weaving onto a brass cuff. Easy! 

Weave your tapestry until the inner section (excluding header and footer) is seven inches.  Yes, this is a tad more length than you need.  However, whenever I have gotten impatient and skimped on length, I have found my piece is just tiny bit short making finishing a nightmare.  So, better longer than shorter and better safe than sorry because there is nothing worse weaving wise to create a beautiful piece that cannot be finished because it’s too short.  



Cut your piece off the loom.  I cut as near to the bar as possible.  This is most important for the bottom warps as you need them to be at least four inches in length in order to easily tie overhand knots.  




Weight one end of piece with something heavy.  I’ve used my brass beater.  I have been known to use bricks, books . . . whatever is handy.  This allows you to tie the knots on the other end.  




Begin on one side of the piece by tying the first part of a half hitch knot. 




Pull half-hitch knot until it is flush with weaving.




Make an overhand knot. 


Insert a needle in knot. 



Tighten knot with needle inserted.  Push needle toward weaving.  This will tighten the knot but not allow it to tighten before you’ve reached the weaving.  


Tie all knots on that side.  Since you have fifteen warps you will need to make one of the knots three warps: one warp tied to two warps. 




Trim knots so they are about a quarter inches plus long. 



Trim tails on back of weaving so that they are about half an inch long. 




Size piece to metal cuff to decide hem placement.


Fold over end of piece to back of piece and sew with a whip stitch. 


Size piece again to determine second hem. 


Glue ultra suede to inside of cuff.  We use E6000 but any glue that bonds fabric to metal is fine.  You will be sewing the two lawyers together (the ultra suede and the tapestry) so this bond is not one that permanently holds the fabric to the cuff, but one that holds it in place while you sew up the edges. 




Trim the edges of the ultra suede so that you have about an eighth an inch on all sides.  Don’t worry if this is not perfect.  When you sew the edges to the weaving all errors will be covered up.  Do not over trim.  Err on the wide of too much, not too little, fabric.  While you are sewing you can trim a little more if need be.  As in every case with this piece, more is better.  Less can cause huge problems.




Put glue on back of weaving.  Push the strands of yarn inward and try to calm them down with the glue.  This makes glueing this piece to the cuff much easier because those stray ends will not be poking out all over the place .




 Glue tapestry to cuff.




Start at a corner of the cuff.  Pull your thread through the back of the tapestry to the front.  Then start whip stitching the ultra-sued and tapestry together.









Once you are finished sewing the two edges together you can add your beads!  Bury the end of a new thread inside the cuff.  Pick up three beads.  Whip stitch around the edge of the tapestry and the ultra-suede.  Continue around the whole piece until finished.  You can add more than three beads if you like.  The goal is to cover the stitching and to make the piece looked finished and beautiful.  However you get there is your own personal and lovely touch.







Remember, there are so many different variations of this bracelet. You may want to finish with beads, you may not want to. Experiment and have fun!



Tapestry Techniques

Weaving tapestry is painting with fiber.  As you learn new techniques you gain the skills to weave different shapes and patterns and to better translate your ideas. The tapestry/bead cuff bracelet is a great place to begin playing with tapestry techniques. Here we will go over three techniques. If you don’t understand them right away don’t get frustrated, as tapestry takes time to master.

If you’re interested in better explanations of tapestry techniques or want to learn more about tapestry we suggest you purchase a book. Kathe Todd-Hooker’s book, “Tapestry 101″ and “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook are both great books for beginners with lots of detail and easy-to-follow instructions. What we show you here is just a taste! 

I began to take new pictures of my current weave-along bracelet to show tapestry techniques, but realized the pictures we had already taken were very clear. Have fun this week, experiment and play! Remember also that you don’t need to use these techniques in your bracelet. Using them (and/or how many techniques you use) is all up to you and your design.

Definitions:
Selvages: The four sides of your piece.
Warp interlock: When the two ends of weft meet at a warp thread and wrap around that thread before changing direction. 

Tapestry techniques we’re trying today: Pick and Pick, Wavy Lines, Hatching.

A short explanation of pick and pick and wavy lines:
Both of these techniques require that you alternate the weaving of two different color threads. In pick and pick, you alternate them one after another. In other words, thread one, thread two, thread one, thread two, etc.. Wavy line technique requires that you weave thread one twice, thread two twice, thread one twice, thread two twice. Pick and pick produces vertical stripes, wavy lines produces the effect of wavy lines. These two have in common the necessity to deal with the selvages in a slightly unusual manner. You will have to manage these two threads in a way that will guarantee the selvage thread has enough weft around it.In the first case, depending on the position of your threads you will have to wrap one of your weft threads around the selvage thread in order to guarantee complete coverage.


In the second case, the top thread will pull the second thread and by doing so the top thread will cover the selvage thread twice. These techniques take some time to master but are well worth the effort. If you’re feeling intimidated, it is by no means necessary to use these techniques in your cuff but we do suggest you try the hatching technique (described last) at the very least.

Pick and Pick: 


In our example, we’ve used magenta and a golden yellow to begin our pick and pick. We alternate the colors thereby creating vertical stripes. In other words, weave the yellow thread once, and then the magenta thread once (making sure to change sheds every time you weave a new thread) then the yellow, then the magenta, etc… Follow the pictures for a visual of what we did:

First line of yellow



Second line of magenta (refer to earlier in this post to learn how to deal with your edges). Remember to change your shed every time you bring a thread across. 




Notice the beautiful vertical stripes emerging 
To continue with this design, but to add something extra, we stopped the magenta in the middle of the piece and started a purple thread at that place, thereby replacing the magenta with the purple. This allows us to continue the design but with a different color scheme. You could theoretically keep replacing threads as they run out with new ones for the entire bracelet and allow that to be your design. One way to approach this would be continue with the yellow thread and only replace the other ones. That would give you the most interesting effect. This kit may not include enough of any one shade of one color to do that, but we wanted to give you an idea of future design possibilities. We switched to using green after the purple thread as an example of this.
Changing the color to purple
Wavy Lines:

Wavy lines are very similar to pick and pick but instead of making one pass with a color, you make two passes creating what looks like wavy lines. 

Here, we started with two passes weaving with green, then two with yellow, then two with green, etc… 


Follow the pictures to see what we did:



The first pass through with green







Hatching:

This technique also involves two threads but the left thread will stay on the left and the right thread will stay on the right. In a full scale tapestry this is a great way to blend two colors together to create shading. This technique also involves warp interlock because when the two ends meet at a warp thread they each wrap around it before changing direction.

The way hatching works:  The two threads will come meet each other at any place within the tapestry you would like.  The threads must be woven toward each other.  They will then wrap around a common warp thread and head away from each other in the next shed.  These two colors will dovetail into each other.  A lot of other techniques can spring from this one including adding additional colors.  For now and for such a small piece we suggest you keep it simple and just use two colors.



The yellow and blue thread heading toward each other.

Wrap the two threads around the common warp, change sheds and head in opposite directions.

A clear visual of the threads wrapping around a common warp.




See how the dovetailing is beginning to reveal itself!

You can see how useful this technique can be!

Remember that these techniques can take some time to master. Play around! Have fun! And, as always, contact us with any questions and post YOUR tapestry technique pictures on our Facebook Group.

Beginning to Weave

This week, we’re going to begin weaving our tapestry/bead cuff bracelet! I have some basic instructions (picture from a previous weave-along) with an additional video that we made that goes over warping, weaving a header, beginning to weave and adding beads to your weaving!


Weaving a Header:

(Note, before you do this, if you do NOT have a bottom spring kit, you need to weave one thread through, using the shedding device, and tie that thread onto each side bar. This will act to prevent your weaving from slipping down the loom.)


A header is woven before you start your piece to provide a strong base that will eventually be folded over during the finishing process. Weave your header with the same C-Lon cord (or other warp material) that you used to warp your loom. It should be between 1/3 and 1/2 of an inch of weaving. 


Once the shedding device is put on the loom, just engage the shedding device (the shedding device raises half the warps) and place your weft between those warps. (When you are doing this, make sure your weft ends face the back of the piece, this can be accomplished either by wrapping your end around so it faces back or by starting your weft in the middle of the piece.) Then, change the shed by moving the shedding device into the other position (and therefore raising the other half of the warps) and weave through again.


Weaving:
There are many different tapestry techniques you can use when weaving a cuff, but if you are a beginner you may want to just begin with straight lines. One of the difficult things about weaving tapestry is that there is a tendency to “pull in”, which means you pull your edges in too tight making the edges (or “selvages”) of the piece not straight. This piece makes keeping your selvages straight easy, both because it is thin and because the rows of beads help space the piece. 


If you haven’t woven tapestry before, do some research:

http://www.americantapestryalliance.org/
http://www.tapestrywine.blogspot.com/
http://www.canadiantapestrynetwork.com/

Picture your final product: 
Because these cuffs seem to look awesome no matter what, we often weave them with no solid plan. But, you may want to decide on some basic design elements before you begin. For example, do you want to put in beads in regular increments or randomly? Do you want to have stripes? What types of tapestry techniques so you want to use? 

Choose your colors (and your materials):
If you have a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet kit purchased from us, you have a variety of hand-dyed silk and other yarns to choose from when making your cuff. Before you begin weaving, take a look at what colors you have available and try to decide what ones you want to use. If you do not have a kit purchased from us, decide on what types of weft material you want to use as well as what colors. 

Beginning to Weave:

The concept of tapestry weaving in this format is very simple. You engage the shedding device (just like you did when weaving your header) and weave through. We recommend starting your weft threads in the middle of the piece instead of on the edges so your ends are all facing the back (if you don’t, make sure to wrap the ends around so they do face the back). 


Weave through once, change the position of the shedding device and then weave through again. Continue doing this. You can mix colors (two silks together make a gorgeous pattern), mix different types of yarn (the silk and novelty railroad yarn look great together) or just stick with solid stripes. We will discuss different tapestry techniques you can use next week. 

Two different silks woven together make an interesting pattern.




Adding Beads:

Using beads is what makes the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet unique. The beads are actually woven into the cuff on whatever you are using for weft. 

The first step to doing this is to take a piece of beading thread (as you know, we use C-Lon thread) and tie a loop of it onto a needle. You will then put your weft thread (let’s say you having been weaving with yellow silk, you will put that piece of silk through the loop you made with the beading thread and then put 14 size 8.0 beads on the needle, moving them over the loop and onto the silk (or whatever your weft thread is, make sure it is thin enough to put the beads on it). 





Next, (making sure you remembered to change sheds) place the beads on the silk between the spaces in the warp threads. They should fit exactly (this is why it is important to have the ten dent spring… spacing matters a lot when you are using beads in tapestry). Then, continue weaving with the same thread. 





Voila!

Getting Started: The Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet Kit

Starting today, this weave-along will focus on weaving a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet which is the perfect beginner’s project for bead or tapestry weavers. It teaches you important skills on a “small scale”  and it’s fast, easy and produces a stunning final project! Today we’ll just go over the basic set-up and materials needed for this project and then warp our looms. If you do not have a kit, you still have time to order but you may be a little behind for a week or two. 



How it works:
Every Sunday until the bracelet is finished we will send out an email (like this one) going over everything we want to accomplish in the coming week. The idea is that everyone will stay at relatively the same place and can ask questions, comment and share pictures (which we love to see!!) on Facebook (page as well as the group which has become a great forum for the weave-alongs) and on Ravelry as well as via email. 


It is our hope that you post to these forums at least once a week. Get advice, give advice or just tell someone their piece looks nice. The advantage of these weave-alongs is that we, as a community, can share our knowledge with each other. It’s kind of like a class, but virtual! 

What comes with the loom, top view
What you need to begin warping


The weave-along will be over in mid-February. If participants fall behind, we will keep forums open after that period for weave-along related discussion.


What you need:

-A Mirrix Loom (preferably size 8 or larger with a shedding device) and all that comes with one.
-A ten-dent spring (if you do NOT have one we can work with a twelve-dent spring by stretching it but we do recommend having one). Remember having a ten-dent spring means that there are ten dents (spaces in the warp coil) in an inch when on the loom.
-A tapestry/bead cuff bracelet kit (or similar materials: Yarn (for example: silk, rayon floss, perle cotton, novelty yarns); A spool of beading cord; beading thread, a brass cuff; a piece of ultra suede; size 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads)
-Heddles (for more on heddles click here
-A pair of scissors
-A bead mat (optional)
-A needle (or needles) 
-Glue that can bond fabric to metal. These types of glue are available through craft outlets. You will only need this for finishing your cuff. 
-A Phillips head screw driver IF you have wooden clips

-A ribbon or cord (if you plan to only weave one piece on one side of the loom) to help stabilize your warping bar after your warp
Set-Up: 
How you want to set up your work space is up to you, but we suggest finding a flat surface and organizing everything you will need to warp the loom and begin weaving. Swing out the two (or one if you are using an 8″ loom) legs under the loom and place it on a flat surface.

Make sure your loom is at a height so you have about 2″ of threaded rod showing on each side. Measure to make sure the loom is even. We suggest if you are using a size 12″ loom or larger that you put your weaving on the left or right side of the loom. You will need some kind of string to tie around the warping bar on the opposite side of where you will put your piece. You will do this after you have warped your loom. It will help to stabilize the warping bar. The reason you don’t put it in the middle of the loom is, because it is such a thin piece, it is difficult to balance the bar. You may want to warp the loom on both sides and make another piece on the other side at a later date. For example you could warp the other side 10 warps wide and make a little purse. The tapestry/bead cuff bracelet cuffs come with enough extra yarn to make another piece.


Warping
We suggest checking out the warping instructions on our site today if you haven’t done so before.  Because we’ve already gone over warping for tapestry in detail (click here to go back to our warping for tapestry post), today we will just over the basics for this particular project. (These warping pictures are from our last tapestry/bead cuff weave-along, just to give you an idea of how your piece should look) 



For the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet we warp for tapestry and add beads in a unique way. Because of the spacing of the warps in this particular project size 8/0 seed beads fit perfectly between the warps. This method is not recommended for weaving just beads, but happens to work perfectly combining beads and tapestry. 


For this project, warp 15 dents across using your 10 (0r 12, see above) dent coil. You will be warping for tapestry, which means you will put only one warp thread in each dent. Easy!


Remember, for this project you will be using the C-Lon Cord (not the beading thread) to warp the loom. It’s really easy to work with (and warp with) and is also what you will use to weave your header (next week!). 


Warp 15 dents across
The loom warped. This loom has a bottom spring kit on it, which is not necessary for this particular project but may be helpful if you want to weave small-scale tapestry or wide bead pieces. 

The loom pre shedding device. Notice the cord on the right side helping to balance the warping bar.
Beginning to put on heddles.
Putting heddles on the other side.

All he heddles attaching the shedding device to the warps.
All ready to weave!

Happy warping!






Warping for Bead Weaving With The Shedding Device

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

You can visit the video on YouTube here





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.

This are three pictures showing the side view of the warps as you weave beads. You can see how the beads and secured in between the warp threads when you change sheds. 

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.

Hold the thread where the red arrows are to insert beads 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.


How to find correct tension:
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. 
What if you run out of warp thread while warping?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. 


Tips for Finishing a Bead Piece:http://awordfromclaudia.mirrixlooms.com/2012/01/finishing-techniques-for-beadweaving.html

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.

Warping for Bead Weaving Without the Shedding Device

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.

Warping on a Mirrix Bead Pattern by Bev Hayes Berthoty (we just had to put this here!) 

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!

Beaded iPod Case by Mirrix President Claudia Chase (you can purchase the kit here)


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:

The Beaded Purse Kit:
The Beaded Purse Kit is a great bead weaving kit. 

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.

What if you run out of warp thread while warping?
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. 

Tips for Finishing a Bead Piece:
http://awordfromclaudia.mirrixlooms.com/2012/01/finishing-techniques-for-beadweaving.html

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.

Warping for Tapestry

Warping for tapestry is pretty straight forward and tends to be easier than warping for bead weaving only because the warp is often thicker. Before you watch the following video (near the bottom of this post), please take a moment to look at our warping .pdf for warping for tapestry with the shedding device. If you would rather needle-weave and do not want to use the shedding device for tapestry weaving, simply do not put the shedding device on. The rest of the warping procedure is the same. That said, using the shedding device for tapestry is suggested as it makes weaving much faster and easier.

What is tapestry?
Tapestry is a type of fiber weaving. It is weft-faced (ie: the warp does not show at all), the wefts are generally discontinuous (they do not go from selvedge (edge) to selvedge (edge) and it is generally pictorial (like painting a picture with fiber).

Learn more at the website of the American Tapestry Alliance.

“Fire Flowers” Tapestry by Mirrix President Claudia Chase



What do you need before you start weaving tapestry?
-A dedicated tapestry loom with a shedding device (Mirrix for our purposes)

-Heddles (you can buy these or make your own)
You do not need heddles if you are not using a shedding device.

-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 a wooden version; one is weighted and one is not. You can also use a fork if you do not have a tapestry beater. 

-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 any o the qualities that you like in 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. For our kits we use Brown Sheep Yarn because it comes in a large variety of gorgeous colors and is a singles yarn. The final product also withstands wear very well.



What other accessories can I use when weaving tapestry?
-The Mirrix Treadle
To make tapestry weaving even faster on a Mirrix Loom, you can add the treadle which allows you to change the shed with your feet, making the process faster.


-The Mirrix Stand
Although the stand is not necessary to use with the treadle, combined the stand and treadle can turn your Mirrix Loom into a tapestry floor loom. And, of course, the Mirrix Stand can just be used with a loom and no treadle. 


-A Bottom Spring Kit 
A bottom spring kit is most useful for small-scale tapestry. It functions to organize your warp on the bottom beam while you’re warping. 


What is a good project for beginners?
The Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet is the perfect beginner’s project because you can use very simple techniques or more complicated techniques, you can or don’t have to incorporate beads and it’s small enough that you can finish it in a relatively short period of time. This project teaches you many of the skills you need to weave tapestry, but on a smaller and easier scale. You still have time to buy the kit and weave this piece with us as the weave-along continues!


Video on how to warp for tapestry on a Mirrix Loom:

You can see the video directly on YouTube here: 





Other Tips & Tricks:
Using The Bottom Spring Kit:
The bottom spring kit is an add-on accessory that attaches to the bottom bar 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.





Dealing with Loose Selvedge Threads: 

If you have loose selvedge threads (meaning the warp threads on the sides of your piece are looser than the rest) it may be because when tying off your warp you did not tie a tight enough knot. If you have a hard time tying a tight knot when you’re finished warping, it is helpful to loosen your tension slightly before you tie it. When your warp is under a lot of tension it can be very difficult to tie a knot and have that selvedge thread have the same tension as the rest of your warp.

What Happened if One Shed Isn’t Working:

If you have put your shedding device on the loom and it seems one shed is better than the other (meaning, when you make one shed it seems to work well and when you make the other shed it doesn’t seem to work as well) you probably have a crossed heddle. Check to make sure all your heddles were put on correctly and that no heddle is catching on anything.

What to do if you can’t get enough tension on your loom just using your hands to turn the wing nuts: 
The flat wrench that was included with your loom is designed to fit around that wing nut and give you the leverage you need to get the maximum tension possible on the Mirrix Loom.

More on Finishing a Tapestry:
Click Here

Mirrix Weave-Along 4: Getting Started

Welcome to our 4th Mirrix Weave-Along! This weave along will go over basic warping techniques and then go on to show how to weave a tapestry/bead cuff bracelet. If you do not own a kit, you can purchase one in our online store. 
Here at our studio, we will be warping our looms for different types of weaving over a very short period of time to show you how. You can choose the way you’d like to warp your loom and warp your loom with us and then go on to weave your own piece, or you can warp samples just to get an idea of how to warp in different ways. If you do decide to go on and weave the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet, note that you warp the loom for tapestry for this project. We will re-warp when we begin this project. 
This is the schedule:
January 15th: Introduction, different kinds of warping. Learning about heddles & making heddles.
January 17th: Warping for Tapestry
January 19th: Warping for Bead Weaving Without The Shedding Device
January 24th: Warping for Bead Weaving WITH the Shedding Device
January: 27th: Using the No Warp-Ends Kit to Warp
January 29th: Warping for the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet and weaving the header
February 5th: Beginning to weave, learning how to put in beads
February 12th: Learning different tapestry techniques
February 19th: Finishing weaving and cutting off your piece
February: 26th: Finishing your piece and assembling the final product


Just The Basics
Before beginning to warp and weave, it is helpful to learn a bit about the different parts of a loom and the different parts of a weaving.
Labeled Loom
Definitions

Warp: The thread or yarn that is put on the loom to serve as the base for your weaving. Think of it as your canvas.
Weft: What you weave into the warp. This can be anything from beads to wool to silk to novelty threads . . . whatever your heart desires.
Warp Coil: The spring at the top (and optional for the bottom) of your loom that separates the warp threads. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate various warp setts.
Warp Sett: the space between warp threads
Shed: The space between a lowered and raised set of warps through which you pass your weft or your beads in order to weave them into the warp threads.
Shedding Device: A mechanism that serves to create the shed by raising and lowering alternate warp threads.
Selvages: The four sides of your piece.

Video about the different parts of the loom and what comes with the loom:


Labeled Items That Come With The Loom
Four coils: 8, 12, 14, 18 dents, shedding device and handle, two large wooden clips, warping bar, flat wrench, allen wrench and coil bar.

The Mirrix Shedding Device

This device comes with the all looms eight inches and larger except the dedicated bead looms which come with a bottom spring kit instead of a shedding device.

 A shedding device is typically used for tapestry but can also be used for bead weaving on a Mirrix Loom. It lifts your warps creating a space between them to place your beads or your weft. When you change the position of the handle, opposite sets of warps are raised, securing your bead or weft between the warp threads. The clips hold your shedding device on the loom and also work to hold your warping bar while you warp your loom. 
                               
Warp Coil (or, spring) 

The 12″, 16″, 22″, 28″, 32″ and 38″ looms all come with 8, 12, 14 and 18 dent warp coils. These numbers correspond to have many dents (spaces) are in an inch when the warp coil is on the loom. These springs are attached to the top bar (in the warp coil tray) and help to space your warp threads. You can also purchase a bottom spring kit to have springs on the bottom of your loom as well as the top. This is helpful for larger bead weavings as well as small scale tapestry. Our dedicated bead looms come without a shedding device, but with a bottom spring kit. 
How to know what warp coil to use for a project:
For bead weaving:
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. 
For tapestry: 
This is something you have to experiment with as a tapestry weaver. For finer weft, you will want to use a warp coil with more dents per inch. For thicker weft, you will want to use a warp coil with more dents per inch or even warp every other dent. (For example, an 18 dent warp coil every other dent is equal to a 9 dent warp coil.) 
The basic thing to remember is to make sure your warps threads aren’t showing and you must consider the warp set (how far apart your warp threads are, or what warp coil you are using), how thick your weft is and how thick your warp is. One way to determine your weft size is to put your weft in between your warp threads vertically when your loom is warped. If your weft threads are much thicker than the space between the two warp threads, then your weft is probably too thick and if your weft threads are much thinner than you know your weft is too thin. 

Warping Bar

The warping bar is held between two clips while warping and is then held up by the warp. When you want to advance your weaving (move it to the back of the loom to give you more space to weave on the front), you do this by moving the warping bar, which moves the entire weaving. 
Flat Wrench

The flat wrench helps you to tighten and loosen the wing-nuts on your loom. 
Allan Wrench

The Allan wrench loosens and tightens the bars on your shedding device.

Spring Bar

The spring bar is places in your warp coil (spring) after you’ve warped to prevent your warp from coming out. 
Labeled Bead Weaving


Labeled Tapestry



Explanation of Basic Accessories (these can be purchased separately)

Add-on Warp Beam

Clip this add-on beam to the back of the bottom beam of your loom with the included C-Clamps and you increase the distance between the front and back warps by an inch and a half, providing a total of two and a half inches of space between the two layers of warp. This is perfect for those who weave wide bead pieces using the traditional method because you can easily get your hand behind the warp to hold the beads in place. It also works for tapestry weavers who want more space between the front and back warps.

(pictured: bottom spring kit with springs) 

Bottom Spring Kit


Intended primarily for bead weavers and small format tapestry weavers, the bottom spring kit allows you to attach a warp coil on the bottom of your loom. The warp coil on the bottom is useful for keeping the warps correctly aligned when putting on that first row of beads or for evenly spacing the warp for small format tapestry weaving. It is simply and easily attached with permanent 2-sided tape. Additional warp coils must be purchased separately unless you buy one of the bottom spring kit with springs packages. 

Heddles

Specially made for us in Sweden from the same texlov used to make all non-metal heddles for floor looms, these one-eye Mirrix heddles come in a roll of 100. These strong (they should last as long as you and your loom do), easy to use heddles are good at any sett on the loom because they are thin. They are the best choice for bead weavers and tapestry weavers who weave at the finer setts. These are the only pre-made heddles you can buy that work on the Mirrix Loom if you choose not to make your own. 
Click here for information on how to make your own heddles.
Loom Extenders

The Mirrix loom extenders give your 12 and 16 inch loom an additional two feet of weaving length. These are ideal for people who want to weave belts, guitar straps and longer, thin pieces without having to purchase one of the large looms. Included are two lengths of threaded rod, a coupling device to attach it to the threaded rod side bars of the loom, and feet extenders to give your loom its original stability. 

The Mirrix Stand and Treadle

Stand: This five and a half foot tripod stand holds any of our looms at six different heights. Your loom snaps on and off in an instant. A convenient tray holds tools, yarn and beads. You will be able to find the perfect loom height for you whether you want to sit or stand. This is a great alternative to using up table space!
Treadle:  The Mirrix add-on treadle replaces the shedding device handle. It can be placed anywhere beneath the loom since it is attached by a cable system. Set your Mirrix loom on a table or on a stand, attach your treadle, and experience floor loom weaving for a fraction of the price and space. Tapestry weaving doesn’t get better than this.

The No Warp-Ends Kit

The no warp-ends kit eliminates the need to weave-in warp ends when bead weaving. It can only be used without the shedding device. It is perfect for using with any kind of warp material including wire. Set up with the no warp-ends kit is very easy and once you have it in place, you can weave as many pieces as you want (as long as they are the same size) using the same set up. Read more here.

The Extra Mirrix Shedding Device

For those of you who purchased one of our dedicated bead looms (8″ and larger) but decided you want to try your hand at using the shedding device. An extra shedding device can also be used for creating twill or other complex weaving techniques.

Tapestry Beater 

Tapestry beaters are used to beat down your weft. We sell both weighted and unweighted beaters. Alternatively, you could use a fork. 

Warp Coils

(Note: depending on the size of your loom, one to four warp coils came with your loom)

Warp coils can be purchased in several different lengths to provide different warp setts (the number of ends per inch). You can either purchase different springs than the ones that came with your loom or you can purchase springs that match ones you already have to go on your bottom spring kit.

Extra Warping Bar/ Texlov Cord Package

This kit allows you to put on a shorter warp. In so doing you will reduce warp waste. Because it also eliminates having a layer of warp on both the front and back of the loom, it allows you to better position your hand for weaving wider pieces with the traditional method of bead weaving. 
Back of loom with extra warping bar on loom. (The front of the loom would look like a regular warped loom.) We made this diagram for a customer the other day and thought we’d include it here,

Where to Start
There are many types of weaving you can do on a Mirrix Loom, but the two most common are tapestry and bead weaving. If you’re not sure which one you’re most interested in, a project that combines both such as our tapestry/bead cuff bracelet would be a great start. If you know if you are interested in one or another, start small and work your way up and, especially if you’re trying tapestry, books and other resources online are very helpful.

Bead and Bead Weaving Resources
All About Heddles
What are heddles? 


A heddle attaches your warp to your shedding device. When bead weaving in the traditional method, you do not use a shedding device (or heddles) but for bead weaving with the shedding device or for (most) tapestry, you use the shedding device and will need heddles. You can buy texlov heddles pre-made from us, but you can also make your own.
Making Heddles
You will need to make as many individual heddles as there will be warps in your weaving.  These heddles (as well as the Mirrix heddles you can buy) will be reusable.  The thinner and stronger the string you use, the better.  For bead weavers, cotton quilting or beading thread works great.  For tapestry weavers, cotton crochet thread, linen warp or single-ply cotton warp works well.
Nail two finishing nails into a piece of wood three and one-eighth inches apart.  You will use this little tool to tie your warps.  Cut ten inch lengths of your heddle material, one for each heddle you will make.  Tie them around the nails, using an overhand knot to secure the ends.  In order to get that knot to sit right next to the nail, slip a needle into the knot before it is pulled tight and push the knot toward the nail.  Then tighten it.  Trim off the ends of the heddles to within a quarter of an inch of the knot.
Alternatively, you can cut a piece of cardboard three and one-eighth inches apart and use that to tie your heddles around.
Different Types of Warping
Warping is the process of wrapping warp thread (this could be many different materials depending on what you are weaving) around a loom and creating a base to weave on. 
Because a Mirrix Loom can be used in many different ways, there are many different ways to warp. Each of these ways is similar, but the slight differences are important.
On a Mirrix Loom you begin to warp by securing a bar called the warping bar to the loom and tying on your warp. Then, you begin to wrap your warp around the loom and through one dent (space in the warp coil) in the warp coil (spring) at the top of the loom. [[note: There is also a warp coil that can be purchased for the bottom of the loom (and if this is on the loom, when coming back down the front of the loom, you would go through a dent in that warp coil as well). This accessory helps with the warping process for wide bead pieces or small-scale tapestry.]] Bring your warp thread down the front of the loom, under the bottom bar to the back of the loom and back up towards the warping bar. When you hit the warping bar, you wrap around it and then change directions and come back down under the loom to the front, into a dent in the coil on the top bar and back down the back. Again, when you hit the warping bar you will go around it and switch direction.
Variations:
Depending on what kind of weaving you want to do, there are slightly different ways to warp your loom. All come back to the basic figure eight concept described above. Before you begin warping, please check out each of our warping slideshows

Warping for Tapestry
When warping for tapestry, each warp thread goes in only one dent.

Warping for Bead Weaving Without the Shedding Device
Warping for bead weaving without the shedding device is exactly like warping for tapestry, with only one warp in each dent. 

Warping for Bead Weaving With the Shedding Device
When warping for bead weaving with the shedding device, two warp threads go in each dent. 

Warping with the No Warp-Ends Kit
When warping with the no warp-ends kit (which is for bead weaving), you use paper clips and two small bars to eliminate having warp-ends to weave in.
We will begin learning to warp for tapestry in a few days! Please remember to ask if you have any questions! We look forward to answering your questions and hearing from you on Facebook and Ravelry today!