Why Choose a Loom with a Tensioning Device?
Warp tension, as every tapestry or bead weaver knows, is one of the most important factors in any weaving. Both the amount of tension and the evenness of tension is important and the difference between good tension and bad tension can make or break a piece. A few weeks ago a customer emailed me about a class she took where students had to use the looms provided. To warp, pieces of warp were cut and each thread was tied individually. She ended up quitting the class. Her explanation of her experience has stuck with me and I keep thinking about the difference that having a loom with a tensioning device built in (like a Mirrix) makes for bead or weft-faced/tapestry weaving.
I don't have a loom where you need to tie individual warp threads, but I do have a basic frame that I made a few years ago that I warped for tapestry alongside a Mirrix to test see what difference an on-loom tensioning device makes.
The Weaving Kind Makerie
My mom, the original weaver in our family, has told me many times about the first time she went to Convergence (a fiber art conference put on by the Handweavers Guild of America). It was the early 90s and she was a relatively new weaver, excited to connect with others like her. When she speaks of this event her eyes light up. In the days before even Internet chat rooms had taken off, the chance to meet other weavers was something she couldn't pass up.
A couple of weeks ago, only a few years younger than my mom was then, I hopped on a plane and flew to Colorado for The Weaving Kind's Makerie Retreat. It was billed as the first ever modern weaving retreat and I was thrilled to be going as Mirrix's representative.