If you’ve ever tried to weave tapestry you know that tension is very important. You want your tension to be two things:
On looms without a tensioning system, getting tight and even tension can be difficult because you need to achieve both even and tight tension as you warp.
On a Mirrix, getting tight tension is very easy. Once you’ve warped, you can make your tension as tight as you want by simply tightening your wing-nuts after.
Getting even tension is also pretty simple on a Mirrix because you don’t have to worry about keeping your tension tight as you warp.
Here are three things to remember to help you get even tension:
1.) Don’t try to warp with tight tension. Because you can tighten your tension later, there’s no need to try to warp with tight tension. As you warp, just concentrate on keeping the tension even. You don’t want the warp to be baggy, but you don’t need it tight.
2.) Don’t drop you warp! The easiest way to keep your tension even is to not drop or let go of your warp thread as you warp. Don’t get up to go to the bathroom or to take the dog out in the middle of warping.
3.) Adjust your tension after warping if necessary. This doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes you warp your loom and realize your left warps are tighter than your right warps or there are some looser warps in the middle of the piece. If this happens, it might mean you didn’t follow tip number two. But don’t worry, it can be fixed! Once you’ve finished warping, you can adjust the evenness of your tension by pulling on individual warp threads to even out the slack.
Still dealing with a tapestry loom that makes it difficult to get even tension? Click here to get a free loom recommendation!
While working on my last piece (see my previous post), I became excited about how to combine silver lined 15/0 seed beads in a loom piece. I knew if I put different silver lined colors right up against each other they would reflect off each other and compete. I found a way to do this and be easy on the eye by separating each block of color with a black and white border. The matte black beads absorb the reflections, while the white opaque has just enough shine to stand up to the brilliance of the silver lined beads. The border design was inspired by the black and white mosaic floors and splashes in the pre-war apartment buildings in New York City…my hometown. I used SoNo 330dtex thread from Japan as my warp and weft threads. I have a little bit of vertical rippling in my piece, which still may be a tension issue…even though I did let my piece rest overnight after removing it from the loom. Perhaps the SoNo is just too stretchy? I will have to experiment some more..
Meanwhile, I plan to embellish this piece with some off-loom beading techniques. So, we’ll see what comes up for me as I go.
Til next time….
Julia L. Hecht
Tension. In bead weaving, it’s a good thing! In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of weaving beads. One of the benefits of weaving beads on a loom is that the loom holds the tension for you and, with a Mirrix, you get perfect tension every time. This, of course, makes for a much better piece!
To adjust your tension on a Mirrix Loom, simply turn the wing-nuts on each side of the loom.
But how do you know what the correct tension for your piece is?
For the traditional method:
Your thread should be taut, but not too tight that you are stretching or break the warp threads. If tension is too loose you will miss beads. You shouldn’t feel any slack in the warp.
With the shedding device:
The same goes for weaving with the shedding device, but it’s easy to tell if your tension is too loose because you won’t be able to get a shed if you have loose threads.