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Old 04-01-2003, 11:55 AM   #1
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Introduction to Loom Work

Well I think I have everything ready to go so I'm going to start the intro. There are lot of people more qualified than me to do this introduction, but I have the time, so guess I'm gonna do it. I would appreciate all the input the more experienced loom works would like to toss in here. I may also have a little trouble resizing things so I might have to e-mail some pics to a few of you so I can pull this off. But I'm gonna give it my best shot.
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Old 04-01-2003, 12:00 PM   #2
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I use a program called beadesigner 1.0 to come up with designs. I put a link in a couple other threads and I also put a thread of the link on here a while back. I really like the program and think it's a lot easier to use and to change than using paper and colored pencils. For the sake of keeping things simple and quick I did a small design. Something like you would use on a bracelet.
The key thing to remeber when making a design is it is simplest to use an odd number of rows. That is the normal rule and the way I was taught. This will keep you pattern centered. But it is possible to use an even number of rows for certain things. Depends on what you are beading! Rules are always ment to be broken, or at least bent on ocassion.
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Old 04-01-2003, 12:40 PM   #3
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The next thing I'm going to cover, which I probally should have done is how to make a loom. You can either order one, I did this for the loom I'm using in this thread. I ordered it from Crazy Crow, to just get me started. It's an adjustable loom. I don't suggest ordering one though, they are so simple to make a nice loom. Ordering one is just Wasting your money!!!!! Since I saw how one was made, now I build my own. Cost to make a loom is anywhere from $5 to $25 depending on the size of your loom and how nice you make it. Which depends on what your going to use it for.
The loom I recently made, I'm using to make belts. It is made out of 2x8 oak and is 4 feet long. I wanted something strong, since I tend to string my loom a little tight. I didn't want something that was going to be rocking back and forth as I'm trying to bead.
For smaller projects a 2x4 or 1x4 would work just fine.
The way I build a loom is get my wood. Decide on a length I want. Normal size of stuff you are gonna work on. Let's just say 2 foot for length. So I cut a piece 2 foot long and 2 pieces about 8 inches long for the sides. put the side against the base and screw it together using (3 to 5) 1 1/2" wood screws. After the sides are screwed on I use a couple heavy duty staples, like they use for barbed wire fences to nail down a piece of 1/4" threaded rod across the top of each side. I put a 1/2" wood screw int he center top of the side and 2 small nails on the sides. Do the other side and it's ready to start stringing.
You can also make an adjustable loom by drilling holes in the sides of smaller sections of wood and add ing wooden dowels. Or do like I do. When I need to change the side of my loom, I uncrew the sides, get a longer or shorter piece of wood and screw it back together. The other option is to build another loom.

This might sound a little complicated, but once you see the pick, you'll have no problem building one.

I'm going to stop this thread here until I can get the pictures resized. Then I'll continue.
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Old 04-01-2003, 07:40 PM   #4
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Here is the pattern that I'm going to do for this thread. Sorry it's a little off because I'm having a hard time resizing things, but it will give you the basic idea. It is similar to a repetitive pattern I used when I was first learning loomwork.

As soon as I can get the resizing problem fixed or get a little help resizing everything I'll continue this.
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:45 PM   #5
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Well I think I might have fixxed the problem with resizing. I hope. Here are some pics of the the loom to give you an idea how I put mine together.
The first shows one end. If you look at the top part of the side you can see the screw and on the sides, small nails. These are for stringing the loom. I normally use the center screw. But on large pieces you can use the nails on the sides to hold the threads as well as the center screw. This will help ensure your threads stay nice and tight.
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:47 PM   #6
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This is a top view of the end to show how I used the threaded rod and how I attached it to the wood.
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:18 PM   #7
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Now we are ready to actually get started. Two qick terms before we get started. Warp threads are the threads strung on the loom. Weft threads are the threads used to sew the beads down with. Figured I'd say that now to make things easier.

For Warp thread you want to use a cotton-covered polyester thread, such as carpet or quilting thread. There are different sizes depending on the size of your beads. I'm using size 12 quilting thread here for size 11/0 seed beads.

I tie my thread on the center screw in a square knot wrapp the thread around a few times and tie another square knot. Beter safe than sorry.
I start threading on the side closest to me and put the thread in the first slot in the threaded rod and run it to the other end. Wrap it around the screw and come back in the same slot. So that there are 2 threads in the first row of thread. I then run the thread back and forth until I get to my last row. I double the last row as well. This gives your work a little extra added strength. You can do it with one row of thread on the outside, but personally.... THE STRONGER THE BETTER!!!!!!!!!!:)

I tried to show what i was talking about in this pic.
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:20 PM   #8
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Just so everyone knows I did switch looms. The first couple pics are of the loom I built, which is already strung with my wife's belt. The loom I'm using for the rest of the thread is the one I bought from Crazy Crow. I did add the threaded rod to the top though. Personally I think it makes things alot easier.
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:42 PM   #9
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Where you use nymo or nylon thread is for the Weft threads. Something I noticed about loom work is you have to wax nymo for this type of work. Because I'm guilty of using 20 feet of nymo at a time when doing loom work, I have to often go back and rewax my nymo from time to time. Normally about the time I start getting knots or the thread starts to fray quiet a bit at the needle is when I rewax.
Tie the nymo onto both of the outer threads. Depending on which way you prefer working will help determine which side you tie onto. I personally prefer to tie onto the side opposite me. Next you put on your beads according to your pattern. In this case 17 beads in all. I always, always count my beads twice. I hate getting half the beads sewn down and then realizing ooops forgot a bead or have one bead too many. Taking out a row can be a real pain!!!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:45 PM   #10
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I guess I need to appologize for seeming a extremely basic in my instructions. I'm mainly trying to make sure I cover everything that I had questions on when I first started doing loom work. Hopefully I'm not going to slow. If so I think this is about the point where things will pick up a little.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:03 AM   #11
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Slide the beads down to the end of the weft thread. Go under the warp threads and start working the beads between the warp threads one at a time from the bottom, pushing them up. I personally like to start pushing them through on the end I'm going to insert the needle and just start sewing them down as I push them through.

The first row is always the biggest pain, so just be patient. As you will see in the pictures, it won't matter if everything is straight right now.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:04 AM   #12
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This pic shows working them in and sewing them down as you can kinda see what I'm talking about.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:05 AM   #13
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Here the needle is through the first row and now everything has straightened out on it's own.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:10 AM   #14
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Now that the first row is done, I get everything straightened out leaving a couple inches between the end of the loom and my first row. I then take a piece of 1inch cloth medical tape and wrap around my warp threads. I squeeze the first and last row in toward the center about 1/2 to 1 bead width. Keeps everything nice and tight. Plus the biggest advantage I see to it is when you cut everything off the loom when your piece is done it makes it really simple. Just trim off the excess thread, and tuck the tape under your work before gluing it or sewing it down to your backing.

Now you just continue sewing down rows and pushing them against your first row. I have a few rows done in this picture.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:32 AM   #15
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Basically you continue this until one of a few things happens.

#1: You come to the end of your piece. In which case you can either tie off your thread or weave back through a couple rows and then tie off (which is what I do)

#2: You run out of weft thread. In which case I normally weave the thread back through my piece a couple rows and tie off. Then start a new thread, weaving that back through until I come out on the side I start my beadwork on then continue on.

#3 You break your weft thread or you get a monster knot:Cry
This does happen and It not as bad as I first thought when it happened to me the first time. Take out the row you were working on and tie it off, then start a new row. Or take out enough rows to weave your tread back through then tie it off.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:42 AM   #16
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For the purpose of demonstrating this. I cut my weft thread shorter than normal and I am now starting to weave back through to show how I end my row when I start getting to the end of my weft thread.

I hope this makes sense. What I do is switch to a shorter needle. I normally do loomwork with a 2 inch needle. When I weave back through I switch to a short needle the same size or one size smaller. Instead of starting a new row I insert the needle back 1 row. I go through 4 or 5 beads and come out. Then I go back another row go through 4 or 5 beads and so on until I reach the middle of my piece. I then start working my way back up toward the same row I started from. When I come out (which will be one row before the last row you beaded) I tie off my thread. I personally like to tie off on the left side of that bead and use a drop of super glue to help hold that knot, but you don't have to.
Then I tie on my new thread on the left of that last row of beads. Then I weave the thread through the same way I did when I ended the last one. Working my way back to the side I start my rows from originally, coming out on the last row I beaded.

Now you are ready to start beading again.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:47 AM   #17
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As Blackbear pointed out to me some of my pictures are ending up a little fuzzy. Still learning how to use my new didgital camera. So I reposted some pictures and had to rewrite some of this thread. Hope I remembered to include everything I had before. If not please point it out to me so I can include it for others.

Since I had a hard time showing what I was doing with the weaving back through using pictures I drew out a graph. The green lines show how you end the thread and the red lines show how you start the new one. Remember the red lines start and end on the last row of beads you actually sewed into place. Hope that helps!!!
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:51 AM   #18
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Now you just continue on until you reach the end of you piece. Then I weave my thread back through and tie it off. I put another piece of medical tape at that end.

Then and I had a really hard time trusting myself on this part. Cut the warp theads with a pair of scissors. I normally go a couple inches past my medical tape or cut the piece off at the end of the loom. I then tie a knot an inch or two from the medical tape and trim the rest off. Then I do the other side. Tie a knot and trim off the rest.

That's basically it for the beading part of loomwork.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:55 AM   #19
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I found a thread guide in Crazy Crow I thought I'd throw in here too.

On you Warp Threads
Use quilting thread for size 12/0 and smaller
Use Button and Carpet thread for size 10/ and 11/0 beads

On Weft Threads use thread one size smaller than you would on lazy stitch.
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:03 PM   #20
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The other thing I didn't cover is......If you are working on a piece that is say 71 beads wide like a belt. You will only be able to sew half your row (more or less) at a time. How you do this is string all your beads onto your weft thread just like you would for a smaller piece. Start sewing them down, go through as many beads as you can and still get your needle out the end. I normally leave half inch on the end. Then push it through all your beads. Pull all your weft thread through those beads then start your needle through the rest of the row.

It's a little difficult to explain here, but if you decide to do a piece that big, you see what I'm talking about.
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