"Ease of use" is a phrase used a lot in the world of weaving and one I hear nearly every day. People want a loom that's easy to use. But what defines that? How do you balance this with functionality? Sometimes ease of use comes down to perspective. I clearly remember the first time I drove a car. It didn't seem easy at all. In fact, it seemed terrifying and complicated and how do you not mix up the brake and the gas again? But now that I've been driving for 20 years, it seems simple. The same goes for weaving. If you've never woven before, a loom might not seem easy to use at all! Don't despair, with practice and the right resources, weaving can become second nature.
If you're thinking about getting into weaving on a Mirrix loom and are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, I've broken down some reasons why a Mirrix loom checks off all of my "ease of use" boxes.
Warping: When someone comes to me and says they want to learn to weave but they're scared to learn to warp I reassure them that there are easier and more difficult warping methods and if you start with an easy one you'll quickly realized that warping a Mirrix is actually really simple no matter how you do it. This blog post goes over some different warping methods you can try!
On Loom Tensioning Device: I have this little wooden frame loom that I once made that I occasionally warp to show someone how (making your own frame loom can be a good way to see whether you like weaving and want to invest in a fancier loom. Every time I warp it I remember why I love the on-loom tensioning device that every Mirrix has. If anything makes weaving easier it's the ability to tighten and adjust your tension after warping and while you weave.
Warp Coils: If you've ever woven on a loom without something to space the warp threads you know how frustrating it can be to get the correct warp spacing. We have 10 warp coils that provide spacing from 22 DPI (22 warp threads in an inch, measured horizontally across the loom) to 4 DPI with the ability to warp every other dent for even more spacing options. These warp coils definitely contribute to the ease of use of a Mirrix loom.
The Shedding Device: Oh how I love a shedding device. It's a pretty simple contraption, really, that speeds up your weaving. For tapestry weaving, instead of weaving over and under warp threads, you simply turn the shedding device in one direction and slide your weft between the raised and lowered warp threads. For bead weaving instead of sewing your beads to the warp threads, you slide your beads onto a thread and slip them between the raised and lowered warp threads. You can learn more about the Mirrix shedding device here.
Accessories: I had been cooking for years before I bought a food processor. How had I wasted all those hours hand-chopping when this glorious kitchen accessory existed? The very first add-on accessory for a Mirrix was the treadle, allowing you to change the shed on the loom with your foot instead of your hand. The first treadle design was manual, but now we have an electric version. Accessories like this and like our Bottom Spring Kit and No Warp-Ends Kit contribute to the overall ease of use of our looms.
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