Gift Buying Guide for the Bead Weaver in Your Life
Are you familiar with those tiny little glass beads that inevitably you find in the oddest places in your home or car. If you happen to live with a person who loves beads, that is most likely the case. And possibly said person (or maybe you don’t live with that person but you still have experienced glass beads under foot or in their car . . . I know my daughter has banned all bead work from happening in her car!) is in need of a really good beading loom. Maybe a beading loom has lived in this person’s life, but it wasn’t the right one and she/he is still longing for the experience of working on a professional-quality beading loom. Maybe little notes have been left for you suggesting that a Mirrix is in that person’s future. And now it’s time to take the plunge because what better gift to get a bead lover than a Mirrix?
But which one to get? And what is that shedding device? And what accessories should you buy? Oh, the many questions. We will try to answer some of them and offer some suggestions for starter kits that will get your lucky friend/family member well on his or her way to experiencing the ultimate bead weaving experience.
The way to weave beads that most folks are used to entails stringing the beads on a piece of thread, placing that thread with strung beads behind and in between the warp threads and sewing through the tops of the beads. This can be accommodated by any Mirrix Loom and is done without a shedding device.
The other way to weave beads on a Mirrix uses the shedding device. This device raises one of the two warp threads in each dent in the spring and you actually weave your beads in between the two layers of warp. This, in my humble opinion, is the preferred method for wider pieces. The advantage to the other method of bead weaving is you don’t miss sewing through the bead holes because you are not sewing through the bead holes. The disadvanage is that set-up takes longer because you are putting on twice the number of warp threads and you have to put on heddles which attach the warp threads (the ones on the loom) to the shedding device. All the looms size eight inch to thirty-eight inch wide are available with shedding devices. You can also purchase an 8″ or 12″ loom without a shedding device and then add one on later.
The other big question is: “What size do I get?”. That (excuse the pun) is a big one. I generally tell people who are buying a loom for beading to get the smallest you can to accommodate the largest size piece you will weave. You can look at all the loom specs on the loom page to get those sizes of looms or check out our comparison charts here. With tapestry we tend to recommend larger sizes because tapestry tends to be an art form that enables larger pieces. That being said, we have had plenty of customers buy our largest looms for bead work. Maybe you’ve already gotten a hint about size. If not, try to investigate what size pieces this person makes (or wants to make). And if you completely screw up, the loom can be returned for the “right” size.
If you need a little more help deciding which loom is best, click below for a free loom recommendation from one of our experts!