Beading looms are usually made of wood or metal. The smaller metal looms available
in any craft store and in many toy stores are fine for short, narrow
projects, and run under $10. Wooden looms are usually larger and
adjustable, and better for longer or wider projects. They are a bit more
expensive - $20 or more. Plastic tube looms are available for small
projects, and run under $10. Another option is to make your own
temporary loom with a hard paper box (such as a cake box). Wrap warp
threads around the box or cut & tape them to the sides.
- size 10/0 or 11/0
Beading needle size 12
Warp - Nymo size A or B, or cotton
buttonhole thread (black is recommended)
Weft - Nymo size A or B (black is recommended)
Felt or fabric for backing
THREADING UP THE LOOM:
The WEFT thread holds the beads, weaving in a horizontal
path around the vertical WARP threads. Cut a length of thread 24 to 36
inches and knot it onto an outside warp thread leaving a 6 inch tail.
Slip the other end of the weft thread into a beading needle. If you are
right-handed, tie onto the left warp; If you are left-handed, tie onto the right
warp. Be sure to string the beads in the same direction as the weft
thread. Read a chart from left to right for right-handers; read right to
left for left-handers.
The loom is strung in width according to the number
of beads used. This is called the WARP. You will need one more warp
thread than the number of beads. Outside threads are double for extra
- Warp loom according to instructions for your model. If you are
working with 11/0 or larger seed beads, you may need to skip 1 to 2
grooves per inch. It is better to have the warp threads spread apart
than have the beads crowd into an arch. The threads need to be of equal tension. If they twang, they are too TIGHT; if
they slump unevenly, they are too LOOSE. Make your adjustments before
tying off the thread.
Run WAX up and down warp threads for extra strength.
BEADING ON THE LOOM:
String the number of beads required for a row onto the weft thread. Make
certain that the thread is UNDER the warp threads before pushing the
beads up to the first outside warp. Press the beads up with your finger
so there is one bead between two warp threads across the row.Holding
the beads in place, pass the weft thread back through all the beads OVER
the warp threads. Repeat these two steps for each row.
The most common mistake is passing the needle UNDER one or more warp
threads. The beads will drop beneath the rest of the row. If you catch
it right away, undo the weft thread back to the mistake and rethread,
reweaving to correct the mistake. If you discover it several rows later,
you may thread a needle with weft thread and pass through two beads
before, the beads affected, and two beads after, making sure that the
needle passes OVER the warp threads. Weave the ends into the surrounding
TAKING BEADING OFF THE LOOM:
OPTION 1: While finished work is still
on the loom, cut strips of tape for each end of work and sandwich the
end threads between a piece of tape, making sure tape butts up against
end beads, then cut outside threads off. Fold tape behind beaded
piece. Hide tape and threads by attaching backing, such as
OPTION 2: Cut end threads, leaving a 2-3
inch tail, and weave each one back into your beadwork (or if you wish,
use them to attach fringe or embellishments).
JOINING NEW THREAD:
- To join the weft thread use a weavers knot. During
beading the knot should end up inside a row of beads. Excess thread can
be trimmed off.