Document 89346

When you get the number of threads needed, close it with another double knot through the
original screw. Clip off the end.
Twist this toward you until the
strings are tensed.
Now thread the iron pin with the thread:
by Wendy Van Camp
Visit Wendy's web site
So, you saw one of those little bead looms in the craft store and just could not resist
buying it. Visions of bracelets, hat bands and belts swirling in your imagination. But now
that you have it, how do you use it?
Bead looms are based on a simple loom style. Basically, just a frame with a method of
keeping the strung warp threads a uniform distance from one another. You loom should
have instructions on how to string it properly, but a few tips to keep in mind are:
1. Make sure that all the warp threads are uniformly tight
on the loom. While these threads should be taunt, they
should not be so tight that they break while you work.
2. The warp threads should be placed on the loom in such
a way that you can shift them without the threads
tangling further.
3. Use the proper type of thread for beading and the right
size for your work. Some to consider are Nymo, Silamide or Silk. Try to use the thinnest
thread that you can manage, since you will be passing through the beads several times
in some instances. Also, waxing your thread can help to make it pass through the beads
more easily.
Before you load your loom with your chosen thread,
have a look at your pattern. Pick a color of thread that
will disappear into the finished beadwork. If you are
using dark colors, black thread works well. Some threads
come in various shades, if you want to use one, decide
which color is the dominate hue in your pattern and
match it with the appropriate thread color.
For loom work, any cross stitch or knitting pattern will work well or use the grid picture
I designed (above left). However, keep in mind that if you are using seed beads your
pattern with be a bit wider than it is tall. Count the number of rows in the width of the
pattern and then add one more to it. This is the number of warp threads that you need
to load onto your loom.
Seed beads come in many shapes and sizes. For beadweaving, there are two types of
beads. Seed beads and Delicas. Seed beads have been around for many centuries.
They are the beads that the English traders used as currency with the American
Indians, Africans and other colonies. Most are imported from either The Czech Republic
or Japan. They come in many sizes from 22/0 to 1/0. The size most often used for
beadweaving is 11/0, pronounced "eleven ought". This number refers to how many
beads are in an inch when laid flat. If you are a beginner I recommend that you select
a slightly larger size, 10/0. The holes are bigger and you will have less trouble passing
your needle through the beads.
Delicas are a recent addition to the bead world, a small cylinder bead that is as tall as it
is wide. They are from Japan and are more expensive than seed beads. A nice feature
about Delicas are that you don't have the width design problem that you have with
seed beads and if you are using a cross stitch pattern for your work, the piece will come
out close in proportion to the pattern. Also, the holes in the beads are slightly larger
than regular seed bead counterparts.
Once you have selected the type of bead that you will be using, it is time to begin
weaving. The following directions are for a right handed weaver. If you are left handed,
please reverse the direction of your weaving if that is more comfortable for you.
1. Take a piece of thread around 3 to 4 feet long and tie one end of it to the thread on
the loom that is closes to you on the left side of the loom. Leave around 4 inches of
thread on the other side of the knot. This is known as a weft thread. Thread a needle
onto the other side of the weft thread. Preferably a #10 English Beading needle.
2. Look at your pattern, the first bead that you load onto the weft thread should be the
bottom of the pattern on the left side. Follow the row up, loading the proper colors onto
your thread.
3. Pass the thread under the loom until you pull the beads directly under it. Use the
thumb of your other hand to gently push the beads up through the warp threads, one
bead per space. Try to get the row as straight as you can. The first row is always the
most difficult so if it takes a few tries to get the beads to behave, don't worry!
4. Once the beads are pushed up, take the beading needle and pass it through the
beads. Remember, keep the thread on TOP of the warp threads. If you go under, the
bead will not be secured and if on an end, the bead may pop off of your work. Once the
thread is through, pull gently on the thread until all the excess is pulled through and
your beads are taunt on the loom. Now, use your fingers to align them into a straight
5. Look at your pattern and find the second row. Again,
load your weft thread according to this pattern. Before
you repeat the weaving process, find the bit of weft
thread tail on the other side of your original knot. As you
pass under the loom, catch it so that it is pulled to the
side of your beadwork snugly.
6. Once you have passed through the beads on top of the warp threads and have
pulled the weft thread through, make sure that you align this new row up snugly with
the first. Keeping the beads even as you weave is important, otherwise you may have
gaps in your weaving Continue in this manner. The thread tail should end up as part of
the side threads, unnoticed in the finished product. If you run out of thread. Knot it at
one of the sides and then weave back through a few rows to hide the the thread,
coming up in the middle of the piece and cutting it close to the beadwork. The thread
will disappear inside your beads.
A few tips to remember as you weave:
1. Make sure that every bead you use is of a uniform size. If you pick a bead that is a
little larger or smaller than the others, your loomwork will become uneven. If you find
one of these beads, throw it away. It is a cull.
2. Make sure that every bead slides easily over your needle, especially the eye. If there
is even a little resistance, throw the bead away.
3. Pull the weft thread to a uniform tightness. Don't be too tight or too loose. If you pull
your weft thread too tight, your finished product will be stiff. Too loose and you risk the
piece falling apart.
When you weave the final row of your pattern, tie a knot
and pull it down until it is snugly against the last bead,
then take your thread and weave it back through your
work a few times, coming up in the middle of your work
and cutting it close to the surface.
To finish the product, take a bit of tape and secure the
warp threads with it close to each end of your piece. Cut
the finished piece off of your loom, leaving several inches
on each side. Fold the warp threads under the loomwork and then glue to some kind of
backing. Leather, sturdy material or cardboard are good choices. When using glue, take
care that it does not ooze through the beads, this can ruin your work. Use a thicker
glue that will stay on the surface of the underside of your work. A jeweler's cement
makes a good choice.