Thursday, October 11, 2012

Off Loom On Loom - Which Way?

I finally took the plunge on beading on a loom. I have been inspired by Chili Rose bracelets for a long time.  They are beautiful and too expensive for my budget on jewelry. The weaving is easy enough, but the custom clasps cannot be reproduced, by me at least.  I looked at looms from $15 to $300. I read up on warps, wefts, and sheds. I came to the conclusion I had no interest in weaving tapestry, table runners, or scraves. It took me many weeks to decide on a loom and how much I should spend to experiment. I knew there was a 50/50 chance I would not embrace a repetitive process very long.  I checked most of the usual online stores to purchase a loom. The last place I looked at looms was Ebay.  I found a small loom by beadandbeadlooms for $34. It will hold up to 48 warps and has an easy mechanism to tighten the threads. The loom is 10-1/2 long and is made of laminated birch. I am very pleased with the quality and construction of this loom.  

My first project was a bracelet with a mirrored pattern across the bracelet. I probably should have sketched out a pattern on graph paper ahead time, but who has time for that!  I got lucky because the entire pattern is symetrical. I did learn something very valuable in my first loom attempt.

A warped end bracelet is not my style. The only way to finish this off might be a friendship bracelet, which is not what I had in mind. I discovered that Artbeads has a a new product called a bead clamp clasp. I think I can put glue the end threads, snip them close and then attach the clasp. Keeping my fingers crossed it works.

In order to make a no warp end bracelet I will need to attach "S" hooks to the warp bar at each end. I believe this will do the trick leaving me with better options for an end clasp.  I do hope to share this experiment at a later date.

Oh, by the way, I need to give credit to Claudia of Mirrix Looms for providing a very comprehensive loom beadweaving course on Craftsy. This course gave me a jump start to pursue my interest in loom beadweaving. Claudia demonstrates how to weave beautiful fiber bracelets. The course is well worth its price if you wish to learn a new skill set.  


  1. Not sure you can get it any more but you might want to try to get a copy of "Those Bad, Bad, Beads!" by Virginia L. Blakelock. My version is from 1990. Great book.

    If you need inspiration visit Erin Simonetti at Beads Beading Beaded. She will be publishing a book sometime soon and it is already on my wish list. I have a link to her blog on my Links page on my blog.

  2. For loom bead work, my favorite finish method, are the tube clasps. There are different lengths and metal types - but they're very easy to use and super clean looking. You just knot your threads in little clusters: dot them with glue: snip the threads close; and slide them and the last/extra row of beads into the slot on the tube. Then you fold down the little tabs of metal to close the tube ends - presto, the weaving ends are completely covered and clean looking- and strong!

  3. My favorite finish for loomed beads are the tube clasps. They have a little slot in their side.You add one extra row of beads at each end of your piece;when done, tie off your knots; dot them with a little glue; and trim threads fairly close. When glue is dry you slide the last row and thread knots right into the tube and fold down the little metal tabs on the ends of the tubes. These little guys work great! The clasps are clean/professional looking, they're strong and very simple. They come in a few lengths and metal finishes too. Thanks!