Friday, April 18, 2008

Warping The Loom

Warping the Loom
Since this is on a blog, and since blogs are arranged upside down, it isn't safe to assume that everyone reading this section has read the previous two postings. So, it may save some unnecessary confusion to restate that everything shown and described here assumes the use of Delica 11/0 beads, with Fireline warp and weft, on a Mirrix loom. However, the concepts underlying this system may be of interest.

That said, let’s start with a picture of how this is all supposed to look when it is finished (Note: to enlarge pictures, right-click on them and select Open link in new tab).
What you do not see in this picture are warp threads going across spacing springs and behind the horizontal bars on the loom. Instead, the warp thread is tied off and looped over common paper clips that are strung along an aluminum bar. These clips serve as both hooks for the warp and spacers between warps.

The hooks and spacers strung on the top bar should look like this.

On the bottom bar they will look like this:
Note that in both pictures, the double loop side of the clip faces toward the middle of the loom with the point of the wire end toward the weaver (that’s us). Also, note that the point of the wire on the spacer clips is to the back of the loom—where it is less likely to snag the thread as you are warping.

The number of hooks required will always be determined by the number of beads in the width of your project. The following diagram shows how you set up projects with an even number of beads per row differently than if there are an odd number of beads in each row.

Article 01: Finishing School
Article 02: How to Make A WarpsBead Jig
Article 03: Warping the Loom


jf2033 said...

Very clear instructions...thanks. The next pictures will show you actually doing the warps...right??? and please post more pictures of your work (I saw the one on the BCP group, it was beautiful. Jeanne

jf2033 said...

Hey Jim,
I do not have the Mirrix Loom (maybe I'll win one on BCP). I usually use Teresa Guthrie's No Warps method when I loom unless I am doing a necklace.

I usually loom bracelets, large hangings (from 4x6" to 8x14") and love that I don't have to weave in all those thread ends. The larger pieces do get difficult, that is why I would like to try your method. I don't know if the method will work with either of my looms. I will try it later in the summer. Your method seems much easier than what I have been doing so I definitely want to try it. I use Delicas and other Japanese seed beads. I do not use Czech seed beads because of their lack of uniformity.

I also do quite a bit of off loom weaving using all the different beading stitches there are i.e. peyote, RAW, spiral etc.

I love to bead and find it very relaxing even when I am doing a very complicated piece.

Thanks again for sharing,

dmZapp said...

Like your method !!! Great idea and work around, much better than the standard Mirrix method which is like T. Gutherie's using ribbon or cord. I am a doubting Thomasina and wanted something better. Hubby has made me several no warps looms. I can be reached at aka
Donna in WestOR
Let's see some more blogging and your projects.

Cindy (Michigan) said...

This is ingenious. Thanks so much for sharing these clear instructions and pictures. Being a fairly new loom beader, I have been disappointed with the appearance of my projects with all the zillion warp threads woven in. I can't wait to try your method. Thank you again.

RoMa said...

Hi Jim,
I just came across your blog. I am currently working on a Navajo-style beaded tapestry on a Mirrix loom that has 218 warps, and 280 rows, so it will measure approx. 12" by 19" (more or less) when done. I use Miyuki Delica beads. I'm going to have to carefully read your instructions...I'm wondering if it would be feasible for a large project.

Also, I see you have posted Alexandra Zonis as an inspiration -- I totally agree! I haven't been able to find much about her on the internet, but what I have found is totally AWESOME. It inspired me to try this larger piece I am working on.

Thanks for your blog -- I'll keep watching for further posts!


delica dogs said...

hi im a beaded tapestry artist but i do not own a mirrix loom honestly because for me working taught makes for beading evenly and my loom was built using a bolt to thread the warp theads only when warping over 200 threads i find it hard to keep even warp tension