Welcome to the Mirrix Looms beginner's guide. This page will lead you through the basics of purchasing and using a Mirrix Loom with links to blog posts, videos, tutorials and third party resources to help you begin your weaving journey on the right foot.
First, let's make sure you're in the right place. Mirrix Looms are tapestry, bead and mixed-media looms made for any level weaver.
If you're looking to weave scarves or fabric, check out this blog post.
What can you make a Mirrix Loom? Here are few examples: Fiber tapestries (wall-hangings, purses, pouches), rugs, beaded jewelry, beaded wall-hangings, mixed-media pieces (combining fiber and beads, wire and beads, unique fibers, paper, found objects, etc.) and even different methods of fiber weaving like Krokbragd weaving and Leno Lace.
We have looms ranging from 5" wide all the way to 48" wide, but even our largest loom weighs less than 20 pounds so they are perfect for people looking to travel or who want a loom for small spaces that stores easily. All of our traditional collection looms (looms that are available with a shedding device) have one or two fold-out legs, so the loom can be used on a table, stand or, depending on the size, even in your lap.
Our looms are each made by hand in our Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (U.S.A.) manufacturing facility. They are made of copper and aluminum and are designed to last for a lifetime of weaving enjoyment.
Choosing a Loom
Choosing the best loom for your needs can be a challenge, but we are here to help!
First, check out these blog posts: How to Choose The Best Loom Size for Your Needs.
Why Choose a Loom with a Tensioning Device?
The Best Beginner Loom
Mirrix Looms Comparison Charts
We can also help you decide, no matter where you are on your buying journey. Simply fill out the form here and well responding with a personalized loom recommendation.
Set-Up and Warping
Warping. If that word makes you nervous, we understand. The good news? Like anything else, it only takes a bit of practice and there are many ways to warp a Mirrix Loom from super duper easy to not very hard. Check out this blog post to read more about the different methods, ranked by how easy they are.
And set-up? Well, that's a breeze! Most of our looms come fully set-up for you and any that doesn't just takes a moment or two to put together.
You can find our set-up and warping instructions all in one place here.
Here are a few other helpful posts:
How High Do I Adjust My Loom?
Warp Coil Measurements
How to Figure Out How Many Heddles You Need
Bead Weaving Warp Coil Cheat Sheet
Heddle Troubleshooting for Tapestry Weaving
Confused by Warping? These Exercises Will Help!
The Mirrix Shedding Device
The Mirrix Shedding Device is a copper bar that is held over the front of the loom by two wooden clips. The bar has two thin metal bars on it at the top and bottom. Heddles, which can be purchased or made, connect the warp threads on the loom to the shedding device and allow you to lift up different warp threads when you change the position of the shedding device. The shedding device can be used for either tapestry or bead weaving and makes the weaving process faster and easier. You can even put multiple shedding devices on your loom to weave patterns or at different setts.
Continuous warping means you warp the loom so the warp wraps all the way around the loom in a way that it can be actually be moved around the loom so you can weave a piece longer than the height of your loom. The process can look a little bit confusing if you haven’t seen it done before, but basically what you do is insert a bar between the wooden clips on the back of your loom. This bar is where you tie on your warp to begin warping and where you tie off your warp when you’re finished warping or if you’ve run out of warp and need to start a new piece. It’s also what you use to rotate your warp around the loom to change the level of your weaving or move it around the loom for more weaving space on the front. Once you’ve tied your warp onto your warping bar, you wrap your warp around the loom with one little twist: Every time you reach your warping bar, you loop around the bar and go back in the direction you just came from. This secures the warping bar and allows it to do its job!
Continuous warping has several advantages:
-It allows you to weave a piece longer than the length of your loom.
-Because it increases the weaving length of your loom with useable warp, you can do things like weave multiple pieces stacked (with warp in between for finishing) to save warp.
-It gives you the option to move your fell line (where your last row is woven) on the loom so it’s at a comfortable height for working.
-It gives you an easy place to begin and end your warp.
-It allows you to warp even if you don’t have a length of warp as long as you need. (So you can start a new piece of warp partway through warping.) You can watch a video of how to do this here.
-It is much easier it is to get even warp tension with continuous warping and your warp tension can be adjusted. For this reason it also works well with unstretchy warp like linen.
Warp Coils & Sett
On a Mirrix, warp spacing is determined by the warp coil (or spring) at the top of the loom. We identify different warp coils by how many dents (the spaces between the coils) are in an inch. This is called DPI (dents per inch) or EPI (ends per inch).
Warping spacing is important for both tapestry and bead weaving.
Check out this blog post to learn more about why warp spacing matters for tapestry weaving.
Check out this page to determine which warp coils works best for different bead sizes.
One advantage of a Mirrix Loom is the number of loom accessories available that allow you to use your loom in different ways or make the weaving process easier.