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A New Technique of Expanding a Beading Project by Joe Dennard, Mirrix Owner

One of my projects, a contemporary reproduction of an antique Native American tobacco bag, developed a problem.Well, I should confess, it was my problem and doing. In preparing the layout for this project, the borders were too small for the embellishment border treatment. Hence, the problem: I did not allow enough beadwork to support the border textile binding. My options to attach the binding were very limited, and not satisfactory.

The solution was to weave 5 more beads on both sides of the beaded bag. The piece was still on the Mirrix loom, thank goodness! Adding the additional warp threads was easy. Tie the additional warp thead on to the warping bar and start adding the warp threads in the usual manner. Since there was a side thread to attach to, only 5 warp threads were added. Actually, added 6, with the outside warp thread doubled for strength and protection. On the original bead weaving there are double threads on the outside warp right side.

The first photo shows the progress I made in weaving on one side of the tobacco bag along with the added warp threads in the background. The second image shows a close up of the beaded piece and the back warp threads. Image 3 is the start of weaving one line of 5 beads to the original piece. Image 4 shows the needle picking two beads from the original weaving, and going through them through the back side of the bead. See the needle behind the warp threads. The needle and beading thread are pulled through, and 5 beads are added on the
thread. Image 5 shows the new added beads with the needle passing through them on the front side of the beaded matrix. In image 6 you can see the needle passing through a couple additional beads for the next pass of  added beads. Pull the thread through with the estimated same tension as the original weaving.

In image 4, there are two beads which were the connection to the original weaving, in image 6 you can see there are four beads. It is not critical on an exact number but between 2-5 beads gave a good spread of tension on the added weaving. After 5 lines, there was a regular technique involved to solve this problem. Surprisingly, it has moved quite quickly with no glitches. But, I would rather have done this in one piece originally. All future projects will be examined even more closely before starting.

This add-on bead-weaving technique could also be used to add larger sized beads on the sides of various beaded projects. For example, adding two lines of size 8 beads to a bead woven of size 11 beads. This could be very attractive with cylinder beads. The size of the larger added beads will not line up with the small beads, but the attachment could be through the double warped outside threads on both sides. With my next bead project which lends itself to this technique, I will send images to Claudia for  distribution. The stability, strength and flexibility of the Mirrix loom enables a weaver to expand the decorative
presentation of finishing techniques.

I thought my experience might be of benefit to all Mirrix loom weavers. Hope you don’t have to use this technique, but if you should, it is not that difficult. If it were not on the Mirrix loom, I don’t know what my solution would have been, i.e. thanks Claudia! 


One Response to A New Technique of Expanding a Beading Project by Joe Dennard, Mirrix Owner

  1. goodquillhunting - Reply

    May 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

    This is stunning! I look forward to seeing the piece finished!
    I also made a few errors on the piece I am working on and had to add 2 rows, but thankfully it was on the inside of the split, so I didn't have to add threads. You did a seamless 'fix'! Nice work!

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