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No-Warps Beading on a Mirrix Loom


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Completing the Ends of the Beadwork
Both ends of the beadwork after it's been removed from the loom

Both ends of the beadwork after it's been removed from the loom, and before the tails have been woven in.

© Chris Franchetti Michaels

The Beadwork Off of the Loom

Once your beadwork is complete, you can remove it from the loom by loosening the tension and sliding the ends off of the paper clips or "S" hooks. You can now see that little loops of thread are visible (if you look closely) against every other bead in the first and last rows. These loops are not present with traditional loom beading (with many warp ends), but having them makes this no-warps method possible. Personally, I think they're worth the price, especially if you use thread that matches your beads pretty closely.

Not "Pull and Pray"

Notice that Mirrix's no warp ends method does not involve "pull and pray" -- which some other no-warps techniques require. With those methods, you need to pull the warp thread through the beadwork to reduce the number of warp tails. You may need to "pray" while doing that, because if the thread snags anywhere in the beadwork, you're in trouble.

Dealing With the Two Warp Tails

The Mirrix method leaves you with a total of two warp thread tails that need to be woven into your beadwork. In my sample, both of these tails (shown on the left, above) are on the same end of the beaded strip. That's because I had an odd number of columns of beadwork. If you have an even number, the two tails should be on opposite ends.

The ease with which you can weave-in these tails depends on the stringing material you used for your warps. You can use anything from fine beading wire (such as size 0.010") to beading thread (I recommend size D or thicker). I used white, 30-pound-test Power Pro.

There are little knots at the bases of the two warp tails, which you make when you first warp the loom. You can either try to pry these loose (I'd recommend using a beading awl if you do), or you can leave them in place and hide them within the beadwork.

With Power Pro, it's not too difficult to weave the warps into size 8/0 seed beads. In a Mirrix Craftsy class I took (courtesy of Mirrix for review purposes), the instructor, Claudia, wove-in fine beading wire. However, if you use smaller beads, such as size 11/0s, you'll probably need to use beading thread for your warps, unless you want to use the warps for decorative purposes with the knots showing (such as using them to attach charms).

Bottom Line

Overall, I'm finding the No Warp Ends Kit to be a great addition to my loom. Reducing the number of warps is, of course, extremely helpful. It's also not too difficult to set up the kit once you get the hang of it. I also really like the fact that you can tighten up the tension as needed while you work (unlike with the knitting needle method) and that you don't need to rely on "pull and pray." The biggest limitations of the kit are probably that it only works on Mirrix brand looms, and that you need to purchase it separately.

Coming up next: Stay tuned for next week when we'll make the bracelet shown in my example above (you can use any bead loom) and add a cute beaded toggle clasp.

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