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"No Warps" Loom Beading With Square Stitch Starter Strips

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You can stitch straight, even rows of woven beads using a bead loom. Once you get going, loom beading is faster than using one of the off-loom stitches.

However, looms have a downside: the warp threads that you stitch your beads onto create numerous thread tails on both ends of your beadwork. You either need to weave-in all of those tails, or find another way to manage them -- such as weaving them into a selvage.

Another option is to use one of several modified approaches to loom beading that create "no warps" beadwork. One of those methods uses square stitch starter strips that you attach to both ends of your loom.

How to Attach Starter Strips to Your Loom

Square stitch starter strips being made
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

In order to use this no-warps method, you need to modify your loom by attaching strips of flat square stitch beadwork to both of its ends. These strips become semi-permanent parts of your loom, and you can use them over and over again.

How to Create a Trapeze for Beadwork Size and Tension Control

Chris's bead loom trapeze.
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Two of the drawbacks of traditional square stitch starter strips are that they only enable you to create beadwork that is the same length as your loom, and they don't allow you to use your loom's tension controls. I developed this easy modification to overcome both of those challenges.

How to Use the Strips to Warp Your Loom and Bead a Pattern

A pattern being beaded on the starter strips
© Chris Franchetti Michaels

Once your starter strips are attached, you can add beads to them that serve as modified dents. You can then bead a pattern by stitching your beads onto the warp threads as usual. To remove your beadwork from the loom, you need to pull out some temporary stitches that you made at both ends of the beadwork before you got started.

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