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What you Need to Begin:
(In picture, from left to right: Measuring tape, warp coil (spring), warping bar, pair of scissors, tapestry needle, beading needle)
A Few Definitions:
The thread or yarn that is put on the loom to serve as the base for your weaving. Think of it as your canvas.
What you weave into the warp.
Warp Coil (or spring)
The spring at the top (and optional for the bottom) of your loom that separates the warp threads.
The vertical space between warp threads
Set-Up & Warping
We have included here pictures and basic instructions going over the warping process for this bracelet, but if you have never warped before we recommend checking out our warping for tapestry .pdf and our warping for tapestry video first to get more details on the process. We aren’t using the shedding device for this project, so you can skip putting on the shedding device and heddles. That means warping for this project is really easy and perfect for a beginner! If you are using a Mini Mirrix for this project, please refer to these Mini Mirrix warping instructions.
Before you begin warping. Please note that we are showing you how to warp for a piece ten warps wide. You can also make a slightly thinner piece eight warps wide. You can try one of each! Both will fit in the included clasp however for the ten warp wide piece you will need to make sure to keep the first and last inch of your piece 5/8th of a inch wide.
Ready to start? Place your loom on a flat work surface, fold out the leg or legs (depending on which loom you have, the Mini has no legs to fold out) and ready your supplies!
First, set the height of your loom. You want two inches of threaded rod showing regardless of the loom you have. Measure to make sure the sides are even.
Next, put your 14 dent warp coil (also just referred to as a spring) on the top of the loom (as shown). This spring comes with all looms. To check which is your 14 dent coil (if you have more than one), place the coil on the loom, measure an inch and count the dents (spaces in the spring). There should be 14 in one inch.
Next, measure the wooden clips to make sure they are at same height. You want the clips somewhere on the top third of the loom. Turn them so the longer part is facing the back of the loom. If you have a new loom, you will have to unscrew the white plastic screw, swing it to the back of the clip and re-screw it to secure the clip to the loom.
Place the warping bar (the thicker aluminum bar) in the wooden clips and push the slips slightly inward to secure the bar.
Because this is a thin piece relative to the width of the loom we are going to warp on one side of the loom instead of in the center. The reason we do this is to balance the warping bar. If we were to weave a thin piece in the center of the loom, once the loom is warped, the warping bar will be unbalanced. By warping on one side of the loom and then balancing the warping bar with a piece of string, cord or ribbon the other side (or warping another piece on the other side of the loom) we guarantee that our warping bar is balanced.
Now, take your C-Lon Cord (the thicker thread) and tie it in a double knot to the warping bar on the left (or right) side.
Warp your loom ten dents (spaces in the spring) across.
Here are a few tips to remember when warping:
1.) Never let go of your warp. It is important to keep even tension while warping, but it does not have to be tight as you will tighten your warp threads later on.
2.) You can start warping in any direction (first going up over the loom or down under it), but the concept is always the same: Bring your warp around the loom until you hit the warping bar. When you hit the warping bar, loop around it and go back in the direction you just came from. Continue around the loom until you hit the warping bar again. Then, loop around the warping bar and continue back in the direction you came from. Continue this pattern.
3.) Check occasionally to see if you’ve accidentally warped through the center of the loom. Your warp threads should always be going around the loom and should never cross through the center.
4.) Make sure your wooden clips are even horizontally. To tighten them to the loom, simply turn the plastic screw at the end of the clips.
Here is the basic warping method.
First, bring your warp thread over the top of the loom from the back. Place it in a dent as you go by the warp coil.
When you get to the warping bar on the back of the loom, do a U-turn around the bar and continue back down the loom and under the bottom beam from the back to the front. This is the place where many people make mistakes and either forget to do the U-turn and switch directions (every time you hit the bar, you should do a U-turn and head back in the direction you came from) or come back through the middle of the loom instead of going under it.
When you hit the warp coil at the top of the loom, place your thread in the next dent over.
Continue over the top of the loom and down the back to the warping bar. When you hit the warping bar, do a U-turn and come back up the loom (in the direction you just came from).
Continue this pattern until you have ten warp threads across. To count, count the warp threads in the spring.
Tie off your warp thread onto the bar, making sure to keep even tension.
Now, tie a ribbon/string (here we just used our warp thread) on other side to balance warping bar
Next, take the warping bar out of the clips and move it down to bottom of loom, about two inches from the bottom beam and below the wing-nuts.
Now, tighten your tension by turning the wing-nuts counter-clockwise.
At this point, take some time to make sure your warp threads are spaced evenly. Adjust them at the bottom of the loom and measure at both the top and bottom of the loom to make sure the width of your piece is even.
Now, string up your tapestry needles with a piece of C-Lon that is a little more than twice the width of your loom.
When you have woven through once, loop your thread around one side beam and weave through again in the opposite direction, this time weaving over the threads you woven under and under the threads you woven over.
Now, tie this piece to the other side beam (using a slip-knot). It should not have much slack.
Begin to weave just as you wove through the base piece, over and under warp threads on one pass and over and under the opposite warp threads on the second pass in the opposite direction. Leave the end as a short tail to be dealt with later.
Because this piece is two sided, the rules for weaving it are a tad different from tapestry weaving where the tails can hang to the back of the weaving. That’s great if you are attaching your piece to a cuff or lining it, but if you want your piece to be bare on the back you will need to bury those ends in the tapestry piece itself. This is really very easy, so don’t panic!
Each bracelet is going to be a different length depending on the size of your wrist (or the wrist of the person you will be giving the bracelet to). You’ll want to decide how long your piece will be before you begin weaving. You want to make your piece at least two inches longer than the circumference of your wrist. To accommodate a larger wrist, you can simply add more length with silk at the end of your piece (or more silk at the beginning and end). My wrist circumference is six inches long so I made my piece eight inches long. It is best to make your piece too long versus to short because you can always deal with the extra length but you can’t make the piece longer.
The first and last section of straight silk weaving will be longer than the interior sections, about an inch long. Cut a length of silk weft about three feet long. Thread your tapestry needle wit the silk.
Starting at the opposite end from the tail of the header, weave your first row of silk all the way across (weaving over and under, like how you wove your header). Leave a one to two inch tail which will later be trimmed.
Keep weaving, until you’ve woven a vertical inch of just silk. Keep pressing down on your weaving with your fingers to make it as dense as possible. You can also use the end of your tapestry needle to press down on the weft.
Be careful not to pull in on the edges. You also do not want to have loops on the edges. Neatness counts! If you find yourself pulling-in (so the piece looks wider on the bottom than the top), re-weave so the edges (called selvedges) are straight.
As you weave, if your silk starts to become a bit twisted, remove the tapestry needle and let the silk dangle. Then twist it a half dozen turns in the direction the plies are twisted in. This will give it back its shape.
Once you have a third of an inch or so of silk woven you can trim both the header tail and the silk tail. The weight of the packed down silk will keep these tails snug inside your weaving. Simple!
Replacing silk thread with new piece is exactly the same method you used to start the first piece. Cut another three foot length of silk weft from the other bobbin. Enter the weaving at the opposite end of the tail from the old piece. You will trim these once you have built up weft on top of them.
Once you’ve reached an inch, you can start weaving just around the four warp threads on the left. You can at any time start a weft thread on the right, also weaving up through four warp threads. This leaves two bare warp threads in the middle in which you will weave the crystals.
Trim the silk weft ends once you have a dense enough section of weaving above.
To start the crystals, cut a four foot length of C-lon thread. Insert it through the silk weft thread that you’ve already woven, coming up along one warp thread. Tie a knot (that will get buried in the silk) and continue until you’ve reached the place where you will start adding your crystals in the center of the piece. Wrap around the left bare warp thread and make a knot. Trim the tail of the beading thread.
String a crystal onto your beading thread. Place it behind and in-between the two bare warp threads and then sew through the crystal over the warp threads, going back in the opposite direction. Weave nine crystals in this manner. If you’ve never woven beads before, you might want to check out this quick video for more on the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqjyKEI8dVM&list=PLwoiT3NmB1yY3lu75-E6k_UI35bGSmRjU
Leave the beading thread in front of the piece. You will carry it through the silk you will weave on top of it in a bit.
Start a new silk weft on the left. Weave up the left and right sides with silk until you are flush with the crystals.
End one of the wefts and take the other weft over the first one, weaving all the way across. Then weave a third of an inch of silk weft.
Trim the silk weft tail.
When you’ve woven a third of an inch of silk weft, again being to weave the silk on just the four left warps. Weave the beading thread up through the silk (making sure it does not show), tie a knot around the left middle warp thread and weave nine crystals like you did before.
Start a new silk weft thread on the right four warps.
To give you a little more time to weave, we will be weaving half the bracelet this week and half next. If you’d like to finish weaving this week, however, just continue weaving like we did here.
Next week we will finish weaving our pieces and then finish them as bracelets!