This morning I got a great question that I feel deserves a blog post (thanks, Sue!). Is weaving beads [on a loom] easier than bead weaving with a needle?
While I cannot answer this with a simple “yes” or “no”, since comparing off-loom stitches to loom weaving is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, I do have a few thoughts:
-There are many different off-loom stitches, some easier than others. Generally speaking, there are few variations when weaving beads on a loom. While there is more variation in off-loom stitches, a loom woven piece doesn’t have to be flat and boring. You can do things like embellish your piece while it is on the loom, mix different sized beads, increase or decrease your shape and (when taken off the loom) add to it or finish it in a variety of interesting ways.
-Off-loom stitches require less prep-work. With a loom, you need to warp (to warp is to wrap threads around your loom) before you can start weaving.
-One of the most difficult things about off-loom bead weaving is getting enough tension. Your tension comes from how tightly or loosely you stitch the beads and the fact that both your hands are always involved in the process of maintaining correct tension. When weaving on a good bead loom (like a Mirrix), the loom itself maintains the correct tension for you.
-Because you pick up all your beads at once for one row and then weave them in all at once, you are greatly reducing the time it takes to create a piece. This is especially evident with wider pieces. For example, if you were weaving a peyote piece that was 20 beads wide, for each row you will have picked up a bead with the needle and inserted it into an already woven bead ten times. Compare that to weaving on a loom where you will have picked up 20 beads at one time and woven it in. You can see with that example how much time is saved in the process.
-The ease of weaving depends a lot on your loom! With a Mirrix, you’ll get an easy weaving experience!
Let me demonstrate how easy it is to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. Note: I am just doing a basic overview and leaving out some small steps. Check out our “Starter Bracelet” ebook for all the details!
Step one: Warp your loom! Warping is easier than you think. Basically you tie your warp thread to the warping bar and wrap it around your loom, changing directions every time you hit your warping bar. When you’re finished, you simply need to tie off back onto your warping bar! Learn to warp here with our easy warping instructions.
Step two: Pick up your beads
Step three: Place your beads behind your warp threads
Step four: Sew through your beads, going over the top of your warp threads
Step five: Pull through.
It’s as easy as that! Happy Weaving!