Maybe you’ve played around with a wooden frame weaving loom or a little wire bead loom and you’re ready to take the next step in your weaving journey. Perhaps you’ve just discovered weaving and you’re looking to start out weaving with the best loom you can buy. It could be that you can’t decide if you’re into fiber art or bead art and you want a loom that can do it all. Whatever the reason, here are our top ten reasons why you might want to choose a Mirrix for your weaving needs.
From tapestry weaving to bead weaving to wire weaving and free-form fiber weaving, Mirrix Looms are incredibly versatile.
2.) Size Options
Mirrix Looms come in eight sizes, from the 5″ wide Mini Mirrix to the 38″ wide Zeus Loom, allowing you to choose a loom size that best fits your needs. Need help deciding? Get a free loom recommendation below.
One of the biggest problems beginning tapestry weavers have is that, as they weave up, they begin to pull in the edges of their piece. In the language of tapestry we’d call this drawing in your selvedges. This can cause the piece to look sloppy and uneven.
While even a seasoned tapestry weaver is susceptible to pulling-in, there are a few tricks that can help you to weave with straight selvedges!
Being cognizant of whether or not you are pulling in is a good way to prevent it. Measure often (every inch and a half or so) and reweave if you notice you are pulling in.
2.) Don’t weave selvedge to selvedge for large sections
If you lay a straight line of tapestry weft into the shed the line of weft remains straight until you change the shed. Once you change the shed the weft becomes scalloped in every place there is a warp. If you’ve just laid in a straight weft, in order to produce enough weft to allow for those scallops, extra weft will be pulled from the selvedges of your tapestry. There just isn’t enough weft to go around. When using discontinuous wefts (not weaving straight across), compensation for this almost happens naturally. You’ve got the extra weft just because every start and ending creates a little more yarn in the joining places.
Bubbling (see the picture to the left) is important for making sure you are using plenty of weft thread so you don’t pull in on the sides. Here’s how:
Make sure the weft is wrapped tightly enough around the side warp to not have a baggy loop but not so tightly that it draws in at all. Lay the weft in to the warp in a curve and then take your finger and push down on that curve about every three or four inches so that the curve becomes a series of humps. Change the shed. Do this again. Change the shed. do this again. Then take your beater and beat it all together. If you’ve done this correctly there will be no loops of wefts at the selvedges, the selvedges will not pull in at all, and there will not be little extra blobs of weft sticking out anywhere in the weaving. What you will see is a smooth patch of flat weaving. The best way to test your skill at this is to weave simple stripes for a long distance. If you can accomplish that, you’ve mastered the art of straight selvedges. And seriously, accomplishing stripes that travel from selvedge to selvedge and don’t pull in is quite the feat!
This is where a good loom comes in! You need really good tension to weave tapestry. On a Mirrix Loom, you have the ability to get just that. If you are using a Mirrix Loom and your warp threads feel loose, simply tighten them up.
Don’t have a loom and ready to get started? We’ll give you a personalized loom recommendation here!
One question we get a lot here at Mirrix Looms is this: “Can a beginner use a Mirrix Loom”? The answer is a resounding, “yes!”
One of the great things about a Mirrix is that you can learn and grow with your loom. As a beginner, when you get your first loom, you may be starting with beginner projects like our Starter Bracelet or a Tapestry/Bead Cuff. Soon, though, you’ll be advancing to weave pieces like our Heart and Scribble Tapestries or our gorgeous Beaded Purse.
From there, the sky is the limit! A Mirrix Loom offers you a professional quality foundation to grow your craft/art. Plus, a Mirrix is an incredibly versatile loom. This means you can decide you want to get into beads when you started with tapestry or tapestry if you started with fiber or that you want to weave with wire or begin making mixed-media pieces.
Another question we get often is, “Which loom is best for a beginner?” There really isn’t an answer to that. Any of our looms will work for a beginner. The difference between most of our looms is simply size. If you’re a beginner who wants to eventually make very large pieces, you may want to invest in a larger loom. If you’re an expert who only makes small pieces, a smaller loom will be best. That said, most beginners decide to start on the small side since those looms are less of an investment financially. Our 8″ Lani Loom, 12″ Little Guy Loom and 16″ Big Sister Loom are the most popular looms for beginner bead and tapestry weavers.
Want to learn more about how to weave beads and fiber on a Mirrix? Check out these videos:
If you want to get a Mirrix, but aren’t sure which loom is best for you, fill out our “Get Help Choosing a Loom” form and we’ll give you a personalized loom recommendation!
Tension. In bead weaving, it’s a good thing! In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of weaving beads. One of the benefits of weaving beads on a loom is that the loom holds the tension for you and, with a Mirrix, you get perfect tension every time. This, of course, makes for a much better piece!
To adjust your tension on a Mirrix Loom, simply turn the wing-nuts on each side of the loom.
But how do you know what the correct tension for your piece is?
For the traditional method:
Your thread should be taut, but not too tight that you are stretching or break the warp threads. If tension is too loose you will miss beads. You shouldn’t feel any slack in the warp.
With the shedding device:
The same goes for weaving with the shedding device, but it’s easy to tell if your tension is too loose because you won’t be able to get a shed if you have loose threads.
Sometimes you want to make a piece that’s much thinner than the width of the loom you’re weaving on. If you weave a thin piece in the center of your loom, you may have the problem of an unstable warping bar when you remove the bar from the clips after you warp. To prevent this, we recommend weaving either two thin pieces on either side of your loom, or weaving one thin piece on one side of your loom and then balancing the warping bar on the other side of the loom with a string or ribbon.
Here is an example of a piece woven on one side of the loom where the warping bar is being balanced by a piece of ribbon:
There is, however, an easier way if you are not using the shedding device (because you need the clips to hold the shedding device) and you do not need to advance your piece. (Note: You advance your piece when you are weaving a piece that is longer than the front of your loom. To do this, you bring your warping bar down to the bottom of the loom before weaving. Once you have woven up as far you can on the front of the loom, you loosen your tension and slowly begin to bring the warping bar up the back of the loom. This moves your piece from the front to the back of the loom, leaving you more room to weave on the front).
The warping bar is unbalanced here
This method is something that many of you already do. Simply keep your warping bar in the clips when you begin weaving. It balances the warping bar perfectly and you can warp your piece on one side or in the middle of your loom! Depending on how extended your loom is, you can even advance your weaving some using this method by simply moving the warping bar and the clips up the loom.
Easy! What other Mirrix tricks do you use? Let us know in the comments!