Choosing a Loom
- 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.
- What is a Mirrix 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.
- What Comes with a Loom?
A shedding device is typically used for tapestry but can also be used for bead weaving on a Mirrix Loom. It lifts half of the warps, thereby creating a space in which to weave your tapestry yarn (weft) or beads. When you change the position of the handle, 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). You can learn more about the Mirrix shedding device here.
The 8″ (with shedding device), 12″, 16″, 22″, 28″, 32″ and 38″ looms all come with 8, 12, 14 and 18 dent warp coils. These numbers correspond to have many dents (spaces) are in an inch when the warp coil is on the loom. These springs are attached to the top bar (in the warp coil tray) and space your warp threads. You can also purchase a bottom spring kit to have springs on the bottom of your loom as well as the top. This is helpful for larger bead weavings as well as small scale tapestry. Our dedicated bead looms come without a shedding device, but with a bottom spring kit.
Learn more about warp coils here
The warping bar is held in place between the two wooden clips while warping your loom. Once the loom is warped, you remove the bar from the clips because the warp will then hold the bar in place. When you want to advance your weaving (move it to the back of the loom to give you more space to weave on the front), you do this by moving the warping bar, which moves the entire weaving.
The flat wrench helps you to tighten and loosen the wing-nuts on your loom.
The Allen wrench loosens and tightens the bars on your shedding device.
The spring bar is placed in your warp coil (spring) after you’ve warped your loom to prevent your warp from coming out of the warp coil when you advance your weaving.