Maybe you’ve played around with a wooden frame weaving loom or a little wire bead loom and you’re ready to take the next step in your weaving journey. Perhaps you’ve just discovered weaving and you’re looking to start out weaving with the best loom you can buy. It could be that you can’t decide if you’re into fiber art or bead art and you want a loom that can do it all. Whatever the reason, here are our top ten reasons why you might want to choose a Mirrix for your weaving needs.
From tapestry weaving to bead weaving to wire weaving and free-form fiber weaving, Mirrix Looms are incredibly versatile.
2.) Size Options
Mirrix Looms come in eight sizes, from the 5″ wide Mini Mirrix to the 38″ wide Zeus Loom, allowing you to choose a loom size that best fits your needs. Need help deciding? Get a free loom recommendation here.
Even the largest Mirrix can fit in a relatively small space and can be easily moved, and the smaller looms are perfect for taking on vacation, to workshops and really anywhere where you want to do some weaving!
A Mirrix Loom is built to last a lifetime. Made out of high-quality materials, your Mirrix may need to be polished once in a while, but it won’t need to be replaced for many, many years (we’ve had looms in use for 19 years that are still going strong).
When it comes to bead or fiber weaving, providing good tension is the number one job of a loom. With its continuous warping system and the ability to increase or decrease your tension anytime, Mirrix Looms do this job incredibly well.
From the No Warp-Ends Kit that allows you to weave beads without having to deal with finishing all your warp threads to the amazing Spencer Power Treadle, we have accessories for all your weaving needs (even the ones you didn’t know you had).
7.) The Shedding Device
The Mirrix shedding device allows you to weave faster and easier with both beads and fiber. You can learn more about it here.
8.) The Mirrix Community
When you purchase a Mirrix, you join an amazing community of weavers. From online classes and webinars to weave-alongs and free projects, being a part of the Mirrix community will keep you inspired for years to come.
9.) Made in America
Not only are Mirrix Looms made in America, but our manufacturing facility is housed in a really amazing place that employs some really amazing people. You can learn more about Sunshine House and Mirrix Looms here.
10.) Customer Service
When you buy a Mirrix, we’ll be there for you long after you make your purchase. Need advice on a project? Want some inspiration? Not sure how something works? We’re always happy to help!
Do you have anything you’d add? Tell us in the comments!
By Mirrix CEO Claudia Chase (This post is adapted from a post from the post “Bead Looms” written in 2009)
I was just playing around here and at other bead sites looking at other bead looms. What I found: there is a standard model for many bead looms and most are made of wood of varying degrees of strength, beauty, value and a few are made of light metal like the ones most of us had when we were kids.
1) allow you to put on one plane of warp or have roller beams so that you can advance the warp
2) have the warp attached at either end to a single nail or more
3) provide a spring at either end through which the warp is spread out evenly.
We know your phone and camera are full of amazing pictures.
You have pictures of your latest vacation, your doga or cat, your kids and grandkids and even some great artsy shots of flowers.
Wouldn’t some of these photos look great as bead weavings?
BeadCreator software can help you do just that!
This powerful software is the best available for creating bead patterns from photographs. You can also do much more with it, including designing patterns from scratch as well as from BeadCreator’s extensive image library. With this great software, you’ll never have to buy another bead pattern!
This beautiful (and free!) wrap leather and bead bracelet tutorial is by Kim Holowatiuk
Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading
Kim Holowatiuk is owner of Sleepy Holow Leather & Custom Beading in Alberta Canada. She has been making custom hand carved and stamped leather work since 2009 and has enjoyed beading for about 30 years.
Mirrix Loom (I used my Lani)
Round leather cord 1.5-2 mm
Variety of beads – I used 8/0, 11/0 and 4 mm rounds
#12 Beading needle
C-Lon Thread in color of your choice
Two fishing weights 1 ounce
Depending if you would like a single, double, triple (etc.) wrap, measure the leather cord around your wrist for an approximate length measurement. Add on some extra length for both the double loop closure and the addition of the button. For a double wrap, I start by cutting a strand of the round leather to about 30”.
With your leather cord folded in half, create a knot closure at that end (Pic 2). Make sure that you make it large enough for the button closure to slip through but not too big that it falls out. I make a second knot/loop (Pic 2a) so there are two sizes to close the bracelet. This step is optional.
Next, slide the top loop through your warping bar (Pic 2b)
Attach each fishing weight to the ends of each strand with a single knot. (Pic 3)
Attach your warping bar and move your side bars up until the weights are just below your bottom bar (Pic 3a). If you have a bottom spring kit, you can slide the leather cord into a dent (Pic 3b)
Doubling your thread, bring it around one leather strand (Pic 4). Bring your needle back through the thread so you have a starting “knot” on the first cord (Pic 4a) and then weave back and forth through the leather strands to create a solid piece of woven thread for extra strength (Pic 4b).
Now you are ready to weave your beads on. Depending on how wide you want to make it, always start narrow and work you way to the desired width, adding one extra bead each row. Here I started with one 11/0 bead (Pic 5), then two (Pic 5a) worked my way up to three beads, the width I want. (Pic 5b).
Continue on bead weaving with your beads until you come down to the end of the piece. Finish with the same thread weaving as you started and weave back through the beads to finish and hide your ends (Pic 6).
Remove the weights from the bottom and attach your button (Pic 7 and 7a) to one or both of the leather cords (depending on how large of a button hole you have). Make a knot and glue ends. Ta Da! Your very own leather wrapped bracelet! (Pic 7b). Try it with suede (Pic 7c)or a single wrap (Pic 7d)!
The No Warp-Ends Kit is one of our best selling accessories here at Mirrix Looms.
And no wonder, it makes weaving small beaded pieces so fun and easy!
What does it do?
The no warp-ends kit eliminates the need to weave-in warp ends when bead weaving. When you’re done weaving, you’ll only have to deal with two ends!
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.
What can I make with it?
How do I get it?
You can purchase the No Warp-Ends Kit for your Mirrix Loom here.
Or, get a Loom and No Warp-Ends Kit Starter package here!
Smart phones have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. Petty soon there will be smartphone suitcases to haul them around in. The best way to keep up with the changes is to make your own.
I admit it, I am being forced to upgrade myself. My iPhone 6 has not arrived yet, but to prepare for the arrival I am making a her an iPhone carrier. I made one for my iPhone 5, but the 6 is just going to fit.
This piece was created from hand painted silk and size 8/0 seed beads. I used a ten dent coil, 41 warps across. The warp is Maysville Carpet Warp. I am using size D C-Long beading thread for the beadwork. The piece will be a tad more than 3 1/2 inches across and about 6 1/2 inches tall (which means I have to weave 13 inches). It will be able to accommodate any of the iPhone 6 (I would make it a tad taller for the iPhone 6 plus) and other brands. It is lined with silk and embellished on the side and top with size 11/0 seed beads. The strap is also made of hand painted silk braided on a kumihimo disc. Almost everything needed to make this piece is available on the Mirrix website. Please see bottom of this post for resources.
There are no set rules for this piece. I will be playing with different colors silk sometimes building up straight lines between colors and at other times shading them together. I will be adding the occasional row of beads both for their decorative quality and because they are very helpful to keep the warp from pulling in and keeping the right spaces between them.
To begin, not using the shedding device, weave a row of beads. Tie the two ends of the beading thread together on the right and then sew through the first bead so your thread is on the back of the piece until you need to use it again.
Weave a strand of silk, remembering to bubble! Use the shed where the side warps are raised so the tail of the silk is behind the weaving.
Weave the first silk thread back and forth a few times before inserting a new threads. I am working with two in the picture below
In preparation to insert a new row of beads, bring the bead thread to the front of the weaving between warps one and two.
Engage the shedding device to open up the next shed and insert a row of beads. There will be two beads between the raised threads.
After you’ve woven the beads sew through one bead to get your bead thread on the back of the weaving.
Wrap the previous silk thread around the side warp thread twice in order to fill in the space the bead left on the side of the piece.
In the picture below I am using thread silk wefts and blending them together by crossing into each other’s color area.
I have added another row of beads.
My piece thus far!
In the next blog about this Smart Phone case I will show you how to do both the on-loom and off-loom finish work and show you how to make a square braid to use as the strap. You meanwhile need to find a pretty piece of silk with which to line it!
For great tapestry instruction where you can learn all sorts of amazing tapestry techniques to use in this piece check out the following:
Links to supplies:
We asked Valorie of VC Artisan Originals a few questions about her company as part of VC Artisan Originals’ September share-sponsorship of Social Market for a Mirrix 2014!
About VC Artisan Originals: VC Artisan Originals is a great place to find off-loom beadweaving instruction tutorials. Whether you’re a beginner level or an advanced level beader, there are over 40 original design tutorials available in my Etsy and ArtFire online shops. Many of the tutorials feature the new, popular, 2-hole Czech beads. If you love Super Duos and Preciosa seed beads, this is the shop for you!
How did your business get started and how has it developed? I created Valorie Clifton’s Artisan Originals (a.k.a. VC Artisan Originals) as a small Etsy business to sell my beaded and metalsmithed jewelry. It was really popular amongst my co-workers when I worked in an office setting. I gradually added metalwork and wire work to my repertoire. After 3 years of selling jewelry online and 2 years of showing in a local juried art gallery, I decided to completely revamp my business. I had been teaching jewelry making at the art gallery and discovered a love of teaching. I decided to stop selling finished jewelry and to focus solely on teaching others. I now design, write and publish my own beaded jewelry tutorials for sale in my Etsy and ArtFire shops. I teach off-loom beadweaving classes featuring my original designs every month at local venues, and many of my designs are taught in shops throughout the northern US and even in New Zealand! Very soon, I will have some wire working/light metalsmithing tutorials available. It’s very rewarding to bring the art of beadweaving to others and I’m so very happy I made the change.
Do you have any classes coming up? I teach several classes per month at the Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry store in Milton, FL. Ialso teach a class on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation’s Dragonfly Gallery, also in Milton, FL. I’m also a very proud member of the Wubbers University faculty, where many of my classes are published online.
Anything else you’d like to share? My website acts as a “hub” and as a portfolio. You can see some of my designs in beadweaving, metalworking and wire-working; you can also find download links to free tutorials I’ve made available, free Super Duo graph papers I’ve created, and even links to my online shops.
Please take some time to visit www.VCArtisanOriginals.com