What Do You Need to Begin Weaving (Updated)

(This is an updated version of a previous post) 

One question we get a lot here at Mirrix is, “What do I need to begin weaving?”

This depends on exactly what you want to weave, of course, but you may be surprised at how little you need to get started!

For Tapestry Weaving:


-A Loom. We recommend one with a shedding device like the 16″ Big Sister Loom.

-Heddles. You only need these if you are using the shedding device. You can either purchase pre-made ones, or make your own. We have instructions on this page.

-Warp. Warp can come in a variety of different fibers including cotton, linen
or wool. Your warp is going to be under extreme tension and therefore has to be very strong. You should not be able to easily break it just using your hands. We love Bockens Seine Twine and Navajo Wool Warp.

-A Tapestry Beater. Tapestry beaters are available in wood, metal or a combination of the two. We sell two wooden versions. This weighted one is a great choice. You can also use a simple fork or pick up one of these neat weighted fork tapestry beaters.

-Weft. The most important quality in a tapestry yarn (which is the weft) is beauty. It doesn’t have to be warm or soft or have any of the yarn qualities you would want for making a sweater. It just has to be beautiful and available in whatever colors you want. If you were to spin your own tapestry yarn you would use the fleece from a sheep with long, lustrous locks. You would not use the fiber from something like a Merino Sheep which has short fuzzy fleece. Short fuzzy fleece is warm, but it does not usually make for pretty tapestry yarn.

Tapestry bobbins
A tapestry needle (especially if you are not using the shedding device)

You’ll also want some basic supplies like a good pair of scissors and a measuring tape.

Check out our tapestry basics guide for more on weaving tapestry!

For Bead Weaving:

bead weaving

-A Loom. The 8″ Lani Loom is a very popular size.
-Heddles. You only need these if you are using the shedding device. You can either purchase pre-made ones, or make your own. We have instructions on this page
-Beading Thread. Here at Mirrix Loom we love C-Lon size D beading thread because it is specifically designed for use with beads. It doesn’t fray easily, it’s strong and it comes in many beautiful colors. Other people use Fireline. Almost any beading thread you have that is strong should work.
-Beads. Delicas, Tohos… almost any bead works!
-A Beading Needle. A strong beading needle like a Tulip Bead Weaving Needle is perfect for weaving beads on a loom.

You’ll also want some basic supplies like a good pair of scissors and a measuring tape.

Check out our bead weaving basics guide for more on weaving beads!