Maybe I should have been intimidated by the idea of trying to make something out of 6,305 tiny glass beads. Instead, I was most concerned by everything I had read about how hard and messy it was to finish off loom-woven bead work.
So, I figured out a jig that I could place on my Mirrix loom. It not only takes care of my finishing worries, it also speeds up the warping process and creates more uniform spacing than when using the springs that came with the loom.
Coming Off The Loom
With this set-up, when all of the beading is complete, the warp is in loops above and below the beads. Carefully pulling the loops out--in sequence--results in an elegantly finished piece with only two warp ends to sew back into the work.
This is a variation of a method often referred to ominously as "Pull-and-Pray"--but, with a lot less pulling and a lot less dependence on prayer.
The key difference here is the ability to control the length of the warp loops that have to be pulled out. In the work pictured here, if I had calculated the spacing on top as closely as that on the bottom, I could have had a very short "pull." As it is, the total length of warp pulled through this piece was about five feet (and that lucky thread will find use a weft in my next masterwork).
Here you see the result of having finished the first dozen or so columns of beading. Click on the picture to enlarge it, and you can see how each loop, at both the top and bottom, has been pulled snuggly against the work.
The next action from this point was to pull down on the clip at the bottom to pull out the large loop at the top, and so on.
When the warp pulling is complete, there are 2 warp-ends to sew in--not 132 as would be the case if they could not be pulled through.
By the way, this is all made much easier by the use of 6 pound Fireline (Crystal) as both the warp and weft thread. This stuff is wonderfully thin, strong, slippery, and virtually impossible to pierce during weaving.
Article 01: Finishing School
Article 02: How to Make A WarpsBead Jig
Article 03: Warping the Loom