The Mirrix Shedding Device can seem a puzzling contraption to those unfamiliar with weaving. Learn what a shedding device is and why it is useful here!
Called: Shedding Device
Not Called: Shredder, Shredding Device, Shedder, Heddle, Heddle Bar
The Mirrix shedding device is used to lift warp threads (these are the threads that go around your loom) 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 of the shedding device, the shedding device shifts position and opposite sets of warps are raised, securing your beads or weft between the warp threads.
The shedding device is connected to the warp threads on your loom by heddles, which are basically just loops that wrap around both your warp threads and the bars of the shedding device.
On any Mirrix with a shedding device, you can choose whether or not you want to use it for each project. You can also have the shedding device on your loom and put it in the neutral position to weave sections without the device.
Weaving Fiber Tapestry With 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 fiber you are using to weave) between the raised and lowered warp threads. This makes weaving fiber on a Mirrix Loom significantly faster.
We recommend the shedding device for tapestry or other fiber weaving.
Watch this video on weaving tapestry on a Mirrix and see the shedding device in action!
Weaving Beads With The Shedding Device
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.
For weaving 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!
All About Heddles
First, what’s a heddle? A heddle attaches your shedding device to your warp threads. They are used only when weaving tapestry and bead weaving WITH the shedding device. You will need to make as many individual heddles as there will be warps in your weaving.
What material should be used to make heddles? The thinner and stronger the string you use, the better. For bead weavers, cotton quilting or beading thread works great. For tapestry weavers, cotton crochet thread, linen warp or single-ply cotton warp works well.
How to make heddles: To make heddles you want to make some kind of jig. This can either be made with a piece of wood and two finishing nails (nails without tops) nailed three and one-eighth inches apart or with a simple piece of cardboard (or thin piece of wood) three and one-eighth inches long.
Wood & Finishing Nails:
Cut ten-inch lengths of your heddle material, one for each heddle you will make. Tie each length around the jig, using an overhand knot to secure the ends. In order to get that knot to sit right next to the nail, slip a needle into the knot before it is pulled tight and push the knot toward the nail. Then tighten it. Trim off the ends of the heddles to within a quarter of an inch of the knot.
Cut ten-inch lengths of your heddle material, one for each heddle you will make. Tie each length around the cardboard, using an overhand knot to secure the ends. In order to get that knot to sit right next to the or edge of the cardboard, slip a needle into the knot before it is pulled tight and push the knot toward the edge of the cardboard. Then tighten it. Trim off the ends of the heddles to within a quarter of an inch of the knot.
How to Install The Mirrix Shedding Device:
Check our warping instructions for full instructions on how to warp and install a shedding device on a Mirrix Loom.