Sometimes you just want to weave slowly, picking warp threads with a needle as you go. For very thin pieces, this works just fine. It can be very meditative.
But most of the time, when weaving tapestry, picking each warp as you go can get tedious and very time consuming, especially with wider pieces. For this reason, even the very first Mirrix Loom was designed with a shedding device. The word “shedding device” is derived from the word “shed” which means the space between lowered and raised warps. It raises the threads for you so rather than have to weave under and over warp threads with a needle, you can simply engage the shedding device and raise every other thread all at once. The shedding device is attached to the warp threads with heddles, which wrap around the individual warp threads and are hooked onto one of the two bars on the shedding device.
A weave-along is a FREE online course. Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok of Mirrix Looms will lead participants through a project woven on a loom. Every Sunday participants will get an email going over what participants worked on week before and giving instructions and tips for the week ahead. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page. This is a community event!
Weave-Along 14, which will begin in September, is for people who have woven at least some tapestry before. (If you need a little experience, check out Rebecca Mezoff’s online tapestry class before the weave-along begins.)
In this weave-along, participants will learn a technique of weaving with two shedding devices. This technique allows you to make a more textured tapestry. You’ll be able to weave, let’s say, 14 dents per inch and, at the same time, 7 dent per inch.
The piece will not have a pattern, but will be a tapestry done with silk and Waverly wool. You will be able to buy supplies from our website, but can also use your own!
As part of the weave-along, we will give a discount on
purchasing a second shedding device.
More information to come next week! Let us know if you’re interested in the comments, by email or via social media!
The Mirrix Shedding Device can seem a puzzling contraption to those unfamiliar with weaving. Today, I hope to clear up what a shedding device is and why you might want one.
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.
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!
Do you still have questions about the Mirrix shedding device? Ask in the comments!
Three of our looms, the 8″ Lani Loom, 12″ Little Guy Loom and 16″ Big Sister will now come two ways. The first way: WITH the shedding device and the second way: WITHOUT the shedding device. That’s that. The price will be reflected in whether or not you get the shedding device and, if you do decide not to, a shedding device can always be purchased separately.
Please note that previously we were offering these looms without a shedding device but WITH a bottom spring kit at the same price. This option is no longer available, but the bottom spring kits can be purchased seperately.
For many, putting heddles on the loom (heddles connect your warp to your shedding device) is the most challenging part of warping simply because it’s easy to make a mistake. Even after warping and heddling many, many looms, I still make my fair share of mistakes.
The key is: patience. You can’t put your heddles on in a rush or while watching TV or while having a conversation with your friends. Trust me, I’ve tried, and usually when I do that I make a mistake. In the long run, it’s a lot easier if you take your time and make sure every heddle is on the right warp thread because one crossed heddle or one missed heddle means you’re going to have a lot of not-so-fun troubleshooting ahead of you.
Although you still should follow our warping instructions (the .pdf can be found here: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/warpinginstructions.html) I made a few small diagrams that might be helpful to see how the heddles should be put on your loom and what mistakes you might make.