- Mirrix Looms
Mirrix Looms are copper and aluminum tapestry and bead looms that range in size from 5″ across to 38″ across. They were invented by Mirrix President Claudia Chase in 1995 and were the result of her search for a professional-quality yet portable loom.
Portable, affordable and multi-faceted, a Mirrix Loom is the gateway to your creativity. Mirrix Looms can provide something for everyone. Dive into your stash of knitting yarns and create a tapestry masterpiece. Rip up some old shirts and create a rag rug. Gather together those stray beads and make yourself a beautiful bracelet. String up your Mirrix with some copper wire and begin to create a piece of sculpture. Combine clear filament warp and painted pieces of paper to create a stunning collage. Recreate your grandmother’s beaded purse. Weave a tapestry purse that will stop strangers in their tracks. Grab fiber from all over your house and make a gorgeous free-form weaving. Always wanted to try inkle weaving? You can do that on a Mirrix too. Your warped loom is your canvas. Play with it, dance with it, make it your own. Anything is possible on a Mirrix.
Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms, Ltd. makes portable, metal looms that have a variety of uses (from tapestry and bead weaving to wire weaving) and can be used by beginners and professional artists. They are manufactured in the United States of America out of copper, aluminum, threaded steel rod and equipped with handmade wooden clips. Claudia Chase, President of Mirrix Looms, designed the first Mirrix in 1996 to meet her own portable weaving needs and still runs the business out of her studio in New Hampshire.
- What makes a Mirrix Loom different from all other looms?
Mirrix Looms have many functions. There are no other looms like them in the world.
As a tapestry loom: All Mirrix Looms that come with a shedding device can be used as a tapestry loom. This practical device allows you to easily make a shed (for non-weavers, that means the space between the raised and lowered warps). You need high tension for tapestry and the Mirrix Loom provides the greatest tension of any portable tapestry loom. Without such tension it is nearly impossible to weave a tapestry with even selvedges. The Mirrix is the perfect tool for making a perfect tapestry.
You can add a stand and treadle to turn your portable Mirrix Loom into a floor loom. The great thing about this combination of loom, stand and treadle is that it functions just like a floor loom but takes up a fraction of the space and can be easily disassembled for storage or you can just remove the loom itself and take it to a workshop. The stand works with any of our looms and the treadle is meant for use with the shedding device.
As a bead loom: The Mirrix is a pioneer in the world of bead weaving. All of our looms can be used as traditional bead looms, and any loom with a shedding device can all be used for a secondary method for weaving beads. This method is great for wider pieces (beaded tapestries). Once you’ve got it mastered, it’s faster than the more traditional method of bead weaving. All of our looms except the Mini Mirrix can be purchased with a shedding device, but you can also just add one on later.
Mirrix Looms are engineered to last for years and years. They are elegant pieces of machinery that will help you turn your yarn or beads into a masterpiece. They will also work for wire weaving and a combination of tapestry and bead weaving.
Learn more about our handy shedding device, heddles and our stand and treadle by clicking the tabs above.
- Which loom is best for me?
We get this question a lot at Mirrix Looms. How do you choose just one? First, ask yourself a few questions. Do you want to weave beads, tapestry, both or something else like paper or wire? Do you want to use the shedding device? How important is being able to take your loom places with you? Do you want to be able to weave large pieces or several small pieces at one time?
If you want to weave small, beaded pieces such as bracelets or necklaces and do not want to use the shedding device, the 5″ Mini Mirrix or the 8″ Lani Loom (without the shedding device) will work fine for you.
If you want to weave larger bead tapestries or want to weave more than one beaded piece at the same time, the 12″ Little Guy, the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom all work great. (If you want to weave very big bead pieces the larger looms would be appropriate.)
If you are a tapestry weaver, choose any of the looms that have a shedding device and base your decision simply on how big a piece you plan to weave. If you want to simulate using a floor loom, one of the two bigger looms and the stand and treadle work great!
For the undecided weaver stick with a middle-sized loom like the 16″ Big Sister or the 22″ Zach Loom. You can use (or not use) the shedding device and can weave almost anything including beads and tapestry on those looms.
Visit our “Ask Elena” page where you can answer a few questions and we will give you a personalized loom recommendation.
- Shedding Device
The Mirrix Shedding Device can seem a puzzling contraption to those unfamiliar with weaving.
Called: Shedding Device
Not Called: Shredder, Shredding Device, Shedder
Shedding devices are devices used to lift warps in order to pass fiber or beads through them more easily. The space between the warps is called the SHED, which is where the term SHEDding device comes from.
On a Mirrix shedding device, when you change the position of the handle, the shedding device shifts position and opposite sets of warps are raised, securing your beads or weft between the warp threads. The wooden clips hold your shedding device on the loom, but also serve to hold your warping bar in place when warping your loom (and before you install the shedding device).
When weaving tapestry, if you do not use the shedding device, you must weave each piece of fiber under and over the warp threads.
By using the shedding device, you can lift half of your warp threads all at the same time, so instead of weaving over and under, you can just place your weft (the thread you are using) between the raised and lowered warp threads.
The shedding device is attached to the warp threads with heddles. These heddles pull up on the correct warp threads when the shedding device is engaged.
The shedding device engaged in one direction, picking up half the warp threads.
When weaving beads with the shedding device, you string up a row of beads and then place them between the raised and lowered warp threads. Then you change the position of the shedding device, securing those beads between the warp threads.
On a Mirrix Loom, using the shedding device is recommended for tapestry weaving as it makes the process much faster and easier. For combining beads and fiber, a shedding device is also very useful. For beads, both the traditional bead weaving method of placing your beads behind your warp threads and then sewing through and the method using the shedding device and placing the beads between raised and lowered warp threads work. The method using the shedding device takes a little more time to set up, but once you get the hang of it it’s a fast and fun way to weave beads!
All About Heddles:
How to Make Heddles:
A heddle attaches your shedding device to your warp threads. Used only when weaving tapestry and bead weaving WITH the shedding device, heddles can be either ordered pre-made or you can make them yourself!
Click here to buy our Mirrix Texlov pre-made heddles.
You will need to make as many individual heddles as there will be warps in your weaving. These heddles (as well as the Mirrix heddles you can buy) will be reusable. The thinner and stronger the string you use, the better. For bead weavers, cotton quilting or beading thread works great. For tapestry weavers, cotton crochet thread, linen warp or single-ply cotton warp works well.
Nail two finishing nails into a piece of wood three and one-eighth inches apart. You will use this little tool to tie your warps. Cut ten inch lengths of your heddle material, one for each heddle you will make. Tie them around the nails, using an overhand knot to secure the ends. In order to get that knot to sit right next to the nail, slip a needle into the knot before it is pulled tight and push the knot toward the nail. Then tighten it. Trim off the ends of the heddles to within a quarter of an inch of the knot.
Alternatively, you can cut a piece of cardboard three and one-eighth inches apart and use that to tie your heddles around.
Putting on Heddles (Refer to our warping instructions for full instructions)
- Stand & Treadle
The Mirrix add-on treadle replaces the shedding device handle. It can be placed anywhere beneath the loom since it is attached by a cable system. Perfect for weaving tapestry.
Watch this video of how the Mirrix treadle is installed and used!
Views of the treadle mechanism attached to a loom. Pictures by Kathe Todd-Hooker.