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Get Started Beading on a Loom

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Loom beading is a fun way to create strips of flat beadwork where the beads align in a perfect grid formation. It's faster than off-loom beading but requires some extra steps to set up your loom before you begin. Click the links below to read more about loomwork basics.

1. Types of Looms

A wood frame bead loom
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

You can successfully weave beads using a flat economy loom or a more expensive upright loom.

2. The Parts of a Loom

Warp dents on a bead loom
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Bead looms are constructed of several basic parts. Learning their names and functions makes it easier to follow along with project instructions.

3. Find Supplies Online

C-lon beading cord
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Once you've decided on a type of loom and understand the purposes of its parts, it's time to go loom shopping. This list also includes online suppliers that sell the beading supplies you'll need, such as needles and thread.

4. How to Warp a Bead Loom

Warping a loom for winding
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

The first step in any loom beading project is to attach your warp threads. The method you use depends on the style of your loom, the length of your beadwork, and whether you plan to use a traditional beading method or one of the "no-warps" methods.

5. How to Read a Loom Beading Pattern

A loom pattern in use
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

You can use patterns to stitch beads into many different styles of designs.

6. How to Weave Beads

Beads stitched on a loom
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

The most basic technique for weaving beads on a loom involves stringing a row of beads on a weft thread, bringing them up beneath the warps, and then passing the needle back through the beads on top of the warps.

7. How to Start a New Weft

An old weft thread being trimmed
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

When you weave longer pieces, the weft thread you're working with may begin to run out. Use this technique to start a new one.

8. How to Finish Off Your Beadwork

Warp threads ready to be woven in
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Finishing off is the process of weaving-in the loose threads on your beadwork and attaching or creating a clasp (if your design is a bracelet or necklace). The biggest challenge with this step is finding a way to manage all of the warp threads that remain on your beadwork after you remove it from the loom.

You can avoid having so many warp threads to deal with if you use a "no-warps" weaving method.

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