Warping the Loom

This does not mean leaving it out in the rain.

You will always need one more warp thread than the number of beads wide the project is—one bead is placed between each pair of warp threads. If the project ends in a one-bead point, there must be an even number of warp threads to accommodate an odd number of beads.

Using a simple overhand loop knot, tie off the warp thread to the screw at one end of the loom. Starting at approximately the center of the loom, string the warp thread over and between two coils of the spacing spring. Holding the warp thread taut, but without stretching it, go over and between

Use a simple overhand loop knot to tie warp thread to the screw at one end of the loom.

Use a simple overhand loop knot to tie warp thread to the screw at one end of the loom.

two corresponding center coils of the spacing spring at the other end of the loom. Go around the screw and return, using the slot next to the one used first. Repeat until you have the required number of warps on the loom. It is not necessary to follow any set pattern when adding threads, but the warps should stay centered on the loom and parallel to each other.

The spacing of the warp threads in the coils of the spacing spring will depend on the width of the beads you are using. You can vary the thread spacing to match the beads; do this by skipping some coils or by placing two warp threads in some coils.

To check the warp thread spacing for the beads you are using, put ten warp threads on the loom and then put nine beads on a needle and hold them under the warp threads. Press the beads up between the warp threads to see how they fit and adjust accordingly. The spacing does not have to be exact, and slightly wide spacing is better than narrow spacing.

Keep the tension on all the threads the same. The warp threads should be tight, but not too tight. If you can play the strings like a violin, they are probably too tight. On the other hand, they should not sag like Aunt Martha's clothesline. If you do end up with warp threads stretched too tight the piece will bunch up when you cut it loose from the loom. When this happens, place the

Warp threads should he centered on the loom and parallel to each other.

piece on a flat surface and pet it and roll the beads to help the warp threads move around and relieve the tension. This technique may not work on large pieces or if you have speared a lot of warp threads while weaving.

Basic Weaving Techniques

My instructions are written for right-handed people working with the loom flat on the table and parallel to the body, i.e. the warp is running left to right. Right-handers usually work from the near side of the loom to the far side, tying on to the near side. Subsequent rows are added to the right of the first row. Lefties would work in the other direction; subsequent rows are added to the left of the first row. If you are left-handed or prefer to have the loom vertical to your body, i.e. the warp is running straight out from the body you can easily adapt the instructions. 29

To begin, cut a weft thread about four or five feet long. Later you may want to use longer weft threads.

How to thread a needle

Trim the thread to a smooth, slightly tapered end. Hold the thread between your left thumb and index finger, with just the point of the thread showing. Bring the eye of the needle down onto the thread. As the thread enters the eye of the needle roll the finger and thumb apart to allow the thread to go on through.

If you have a frayed thread end and not enough thread for cutting back to a solid area, coat the end with nail polish or Fray Check and press the thread with your fingers to form a flat end. After it dries, trim a smooth point with scissors and thread in the normal way.

Weaving a Piece with a Squared or Straight End

Once the loom is warped with the required number of threads, tie the weft thread to the outside warp thread at the near side of the loom with a single overhand knot. Leave a 5" to 6" tail, which will be sewn in later. Be sure to tie far enough from the end of the loom to allow for fringe, if any, and finishing.

Thread on the proper number and colors of beads for the first row. Pass the needle under all the warp threads, and pull the

Tie a weft thread to the outside warp with a single overhand knot.

Tie a weft thread to the outside warp with a single overhand knot.

weft thread through until the beads are in place under the warp threads. Holding gentle tension on the weft thread with the right hand, use the index linger of the left hand to press as many of the beads up between the warp threads as possible, starting from the far side and working back to the near. Moke sure that there is one bead between each pair of warp threads. Now pass the needle back through the beads that are in position. Be sure to keep the needle above the warp threads, and do not spear any of the warp threads. Do not try to do more than a few beads at a time. Be happy with even two or three at a time. I'his is not a contest.

Once the needle point is through as many beads as are in place, pause with the needle in the work, relax, take a breath, and then press up a few more beads and continue as before until all the beads in the first row are in place. If the piece is wider than the length of your needle, pull the needle on through, but only far enough to get enough slack to re-enter. Do not pull all of the weft thread through until the row is completed. Before you pull the needle through and out of the work, check to make sure that you have not inadvertently missed any beads or gone under any warp threads. Do this by pressing up on the threads ahead of the row while the needle is in place and see if any warps pop up above the beads.

If you messed up on this first row, do not rip the row out. Leave the bad row in place and repeat it, doing it right. Having the beads in place in the bad row establishes the proper spacing of the warp threads and will help in getting the next row done properly. After doing a few rows, you can untie the initial knot and remove the bad row.

Now thread on the proper number and colors of beads for the second row. Pass the needle under the warp threads and pull the weft thread through as for the first row. But for this and subsequent rows, press the beads up into place starting from the near side rather than from the far as in the first row. Use a gentle rocking or rolling motion with your fingers to encourage the beads to pop up between the warp threads. As you press the beads into place, check for the right color and number of beads. This time beads should stay in place. Press up on the beads with the index finger of the left hand to keep the beads as far above the warp

Making sure there is one bead between each pair of warp threads, pass the needle hack through the first row.

Keep the tension snug and consistent from row to row.

threads as possible. Pass the needle back through the beads, again making sure the needle passes above the warp threads. After passing through all the beads, pull the weft thread almost all the way through, leaving a small loop on the far side. Pull on this loop to remove any slack in the bottom weft thread, then pull the weft thread through snugly. The tension on the weft thread is important to keeping the edge even and the piece smooth. The tension should be snug and consistent from row to row. Continue until all rows are completed. 31

Increasing and Decreasing

Increasing and decreasing are two basic techniques that confuse and bewilder many people. Fear not! It is really quite simple.

There are two main things involved in both increasing and decreasing. First, you must secure both the old outside warp thread and the new outside warp thread. Secondly, you must position the weft thread for the next row of beading.

I am showing you the methods that work best under every circumstance. Do not shortcut! Skipping one of the steps will anger the bead gods and cause your needle to break off. Increasing or decreasing with a method that leaves thread exposed or the first bead improperly positioned results in shoddy-looking work.

Increasing

Step 1: Do a full wrap of the old, or current, outside warp thread, ending with the weft thread coming out toward you.

Step 2: Pick up a new bead, and slide the bead up the weft thread and into position next to the old outside warp thread. Hold the bead in position with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand.

M Position a new bead

^ between the old and the y new outside warp

Step 3: Bring the needle around and over the top of the new outside warp thread, through the bead, and under the old outside warp thread. Pull the weft thread through to secure the new bead in place.

Warping Your Bead Loom

Continue holding the bead with the thumb and forefinger until you complete this operation to prevent the bead from sliding up the warp threads or falling out of place.

A common problem in this step is incorporating more than one new warp thread. Make sure that the other warp threads are held back out of the way, and that you only go around one.

Step 4: Pick up the rest of the beads for the row and complete the row in the normal manner. Do nothing extra on the other side, except to add the right number of beads.

Complete the row in the usual manner.

Increasing by More than One Head

Use the same technique outlined above, except that in Step 2 add multiple beads, and in Step 3 pull the needle through all the added beads.

Use the same method to increase by more than one bead.

Decreasing

Step I: Pass the needle around and over the top of the old outside warp thread, and then pass the needle through the outside bead. Pull the weft thread through and tug gently to avoid a loop at point A.

Wrap the outside warp thread and pass back through the outside bead.

Wrap the outside warp thread and pass back through the outside bead.

Step 2: Pass the needle down in front of the new outside warp thread. Do a full wrap of the new outside warp thread, ending with the weft thread under the warp.

Wrap the new outside warp thread.

the needle through as many beads as the decrease desired.

Use the same method to decrease by more than one bead.

Step 3: Add all the beads for the new row and complete the row in the normal manner. Do nothing extra on the other side, except to decrease the right number of beads.

£ Complete the row in the usual manner.

Decreasing by More than One Bead

Use the same technique as for a single-bead decrease, except that in Step 1, pass

Weaving Triangles

The techniques for weaving triangles are the same as for a square end start except for a few things. Some people find increasing more difficult than decreasing and recommend starting a triangular piece at the wide end. I feel that the difference in difficulty between increasing and decreasing is minor and recommend starting at the pointed end for a few reasons.

Starting the longest row on a very wide piece can be very frustrating, especially if the warp thread spacing is not perfect. On the other hand, if you start at the pointed end, you will only need to put on about twenty to twenty-five warp threads to start, adding others as you need them. If there is any problem with the spacing, you can make adjustments when you add these additional warp threads.

Another advantage to starting at the pointed end is that you will not have to work around all the extra warp threads. You also don't have to worry about starting with the exact center pair of warp threads—you can center up when you add additional warp threads.

Rather than start at the one-bead end of the work, start at the first five-bead row. Starting with fewer than five beads can be difficult because narrow work has a tendency to flip over and twist the warp threads, lie a weft thread on the near side of the center pair of warps as far from the end of the loom as necessary to leave enough warp thread for finishing each end of the piece. Leave a twelve-inch tail of weft thread to use later to finish the point. Proceed weaving as you would for a square-end start, increasing as necessary to shape the triangle.

Ending and Adding Weft Threads

To knot or not to knot, that is the question. Some headers finish their weft threads without knots by running the thread back and forth through the work and counting on friction to hold it in place. This works okay for beads with small holes. I lowever, when you're using beads with large holes such as Delicas this is a questionable method, and one that I avoid in any case.

I prefer to use a secure knot to anchor the thread ends into the work. A secure knot involves the warp thread and both weft threads at the juncture where the knot is being made.

Ending A Weft

When the weft thread is too short to complete another row, sew it back into the work. There are two methods of doing this.

Method One: If you haven't ended on an increase row you may take the needle back into the previous row, pass through several beads, tie an overhand knot (making sure to incorporate the warp thread and both weft threads), and pull the thread tight. Pass the needle through several more beads, then out of the work. Pull tight again and the knot will disappear inside the beads. Try not to exit the work at the outside edge; if you do you will be trimming next to the outside warp, which is dangerous. Do not

Pass through several beads, tie an overhand knot, and pass through several more beads.

Pass through several beads, tie an overhand knot, and pass through several more beads.

trim off the weft thread end yet. Leave it and trim it flush with the beads later. The reason for this is that you may need to sew other threads through this same spot and if you have trimmed flush you may inadvertently dislodge the end of the thread that you have previously trimmed. It is better to wait until all the threads have been buried in any given area before trimming any oft flush with the beads.

Method Two: If you have ended on an increase row, pass the needle around the outside warp and back through the top of the beads as described in Step 1 of Decreasing (see page 33). Then proceed as in Method One.

Wrap thread around outside warp and back through the top of the beads.

Adding a Weft

Weft threads can be added by two methods.

Method One: Tie the new weft thread to the outside warp thread with a simple overhand knot, just as you did for the first weft thread. Leave a 5" to 6" tail hanging or tape it back out of the way. You will sew the tail into the work later.

Method Two: Introduce the new weft thread into the just completed row, or into the previous row. Tie il off and bring it out of the edge of the work toward you and proceed weaving as usual. With this method, the weft is already tied in and

Add a new weft thread to the row just completed or the previous row.

the tail is out of the way. As before, do not trim the tail flush at this time.

Finishing Techniques

Once you have finished the weaving and have the loose weft thread tails sewn in, you are ready to remove the work from the loom. Make absolutely sure that you are ready! Remember that you must leave enough warp thread at either end for sewing in or fringing and then sewing in; you can cut right next to the end screws if you need the extra length. Now, go ahead and cut that sucker loose.

Sewing in Warp Threads

This is another spot where new weavers panic or lose interest, but never fear; while it can get a tad tedious to finish off the ends, it is not difficult.

If you're working with beads that have small holes, it may not be necessary to knot the warp thread ends as you weave them in, but only to reverse direction at least once, depending on friction to secure them. I lowever, I prefer to knot the warp thread ends securely into the work. Whichever method you employ, the important thing is to secure all threads and hide the ends in the rows of beads.

If you're going to sew the end of the loom work down to a backing, or wrap it around a bar or tube, you don't have to knot the warp ends as they are sewn in. The backing or wrapping will secure them.

Finishing Square-End Warp Threads

On the square end of a piece it will be impossible to hide all of the warp ends in the first row of beads, so you will thread the warp ends up into the piece by going between the beads and weft threads.

Sew the warp threads into the piece by weaving between the beads and weft threads.

Bead Loom Weaving

Sew the warp threads into the piece by weaving between the beads and weft threads.

To avoid passing through areas with lots of crossed threads and knots, follow a pattern and sew in first threads that go the farthest. For instance, if a piece is fifty beads wide, take every fifth thread up to the seventh row, then every fourth thread up to the sixth row, and so on. The idea is to spread the weaving in over a large area and avoid passing too many threads through one row

Knot in a row containing at least seven beads.

Weave some of the warp ends farther into the piece by going between the beads and weft threads.

of beads. Some stiffness is inevitable, but spreading out the thread and any knots you may use can minimize it.

Finishing Pointed-End Warp Threads

The most difficult warp threads to sew in are those at the end of a pointed-end piece. Do these first, using one of two techniques.

Weave the warp thread back and forth through the rows of beads until you have enough space to tie a secure knot. Generally it is desirable to knot in a row at least seven beads wide.

If you weave all the warp threads with this back and forth method, the holes in the beads of the first few rows will become overcrowded. For this reason, weave some of the warp ends farther into the work by going between the beads and weft threads until you have enough space to tie a knot.

Selvedge Ends

If work is to be sewn to a backing or folded back on itself and sewn down, you can create a selvedge edge by weaving the weft thread back and forth through the warp threads. Take care to keep the tension constant so the work won't pucker up. Weave at least 'A inch of selvedge, tying in a fresh weft at either end of the work as necessary. To end the last weft thread, weave it over, under, over, under at least four previous weft threads. When complet ed, apply Fray Check to the selvedge threads and allow to dry. Glued together, lhe warp threads can then be cut, and the

Finishing Bead Loom Selvedge

Create a selvedge end for pieces that will be sewn to a backing.

Create a selvedge end for pieces that will be sewn to a backing.

selvedge can be folded under when the work is sewn to the backing material or sewn back onto itself.

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Responses

  • stefanie
    How to weave all the ends in after bead loom?
    6 years ago
  • Yvonne
    How to keep warp threads tight on bead loom?
    4 years ago
  • lodovico fallaci
    How to finish warps on bead loom?
    4 years ago
  • karen
    How to weave bead into cyliinders?
    2 years ago
  • biniam
    How to make warp threads tightbon a bead loom?
    2 years ago
  • Lena M
    Which thread for warping a beading loom?
    1 year ago

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