Mirrix Looms THE BASICS



Mirrix Looms THE BASICS
Mirrix Looms
Mirrix Looms come in 8 different sizes from the 5” Mini Mirrix to the 38” Zeus Loom. They are primarily used for bead
and tapestry weaving, but can be used for a variety of things including wire weaving, mixed-media weaving and inkle
3 things to ask
yourself before
choosing a loom
1. What type of
weaving will I be
doing? (Tapestry?
Bead Weaving?
Fiber and Bead
Weaving? All of the
2. What is the
maximum size piece
I will want to do on
my loom?
3. Will I be
using the
• How to Choose a Loom •
is the shedding device?
A shedding device lifts half your warps
at a time allowing you to weave through
much faster and easier. It is possible to weave
tapestry without a shedding device, but generally
speaking if you are interested in tapestry you
want a loom with a shedding device. A
shedding device is optional for bead
Do you want to use the shedding
device for weaving beads?
A shedding device allows you to weave beads in
a manner difference than the traditional way of
sewing behind your beads. Instead, you attach
heddles to the shedding device and the warps
and the device lifts half your warps at a time
allowing you to place your beads between your
warps instead of having to sew through.
The 5” Mini Mirrix does not come with a
shedding device. The 8” Lani Loom and
12” Little Guy Loom can come either
with a shedding device or without a
shedding device. The 16” Big Sister
Loom, 22” Zach Loom, 28” McKinley
Loom, 32” Joni Loom and 38” Zeus
Loom all come with shedding devices.
All looms that have shedding devices can
be used with or without the devices.
5” Mini Mirrix
Named after our late take-us anywhere horse Loreli , this is the perfect takeanywhere loom to add to your collection. Weighing only a pound and a half and
measuring 5 inches across, the Loreli Loom is versatile, simple and fits any
budget. The Mini-Mirrix was designed with the on-the-go weaver in mind . . .
for those of us who always need a bead loom in our purse! Perfect for weaving
bracelets and necklaces. The Mini has a weaving length of twenty inches with
regular set up and eight and a half inches with no warps kit. Weaving width is
two and a half inches. The Mini-Mirrix is any beader’s little dream.
Try weaving any sized bracelet or even a split necklace on this loom. For a tiny
loom, it sure provides a lot of options. We find that folks who own our larger
looms love to have this as their super portable version. Not only is it tiny, it’s
also really beautiful and sturdy. Throw it in your purse along with some beads,
and you are ready for downtime anywhere. But, like your favorite electronic
device, you can use it anywhere. You can stand it on a table or put it in your lap.
You’ll never want to leave home without your Loreli Loom! Who needs knitting
when you’ve got this precious little loom?
The Loreli Loom only allows for the traditional method of bead weaving and is a
dedicated bead loom. This loom comes with everything you need to warp using
our no warp-ends method!
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The Mini Mirrix Loreli Loom is made for the beader on the go! It's small enough
to take anywhere with you and is perfect for making beaded jewelry. It's a great
loom for someone who wants an extra Mirrix to take with them everywhere or
just wants a loom for small projects that's perfectly portable. Weaving width of 2
Learn more about the 5” Mini Mirrix here: http://
inches and length of 20 inches.
8” Lani Loom
Named after my beautiful daughter Elena who insisted that we
finally make a smaller loom for bead weavers, the eight inch wide
Lani Loom is designed to accommodate the needs of bead weavers
who want a small, simple, but entirely functional bead loom and
who plan to employ the traditional method of bead weaving. (For
those of you who want to weave with a shedding device, the Lani is
now available with one) The weaving width is 5" and the length is
26". One leg folds out to stand the loom upright. Although simple,
this four pound loom is as sturdy and carefully designed as all our
other looms. It's just a little smaller, a little simpler, for a pared
down price. This loom has a lot of flexibility and works as well for
bracelets, necklaces, purses, straps pouches, cellphone cases and
beaded tapestries. It sits sturdily on a table but you can also
securely hold it in your lap or even lay it down flat on a table.
Accessories and additional coils are available for this loom. If you
want to own just one Mirrix Loom for traditional beadwork, this
Learn more about the 8” Lani Loom:
could very well be just the loom for you.
Without the shedding device: http://
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The Lani Loom is our second-smallest loom. It was originally made
as a dedicated bead loom, but add the extra shedding device and
weave small tapestries or one of our favorite projects, the Tapestry/
Bead Cuff Bracelet. If you're looking for a compact loom that's also
With the shedding device: http://
strong and and functional, with perfect tension, this loom is for you.
Weave necklaces, bracelets, small beaded or woven tapestries or a
variety of other small pieces. This loom is a great first loom,
especially for someone who loves to make beaded jewelry! The 8"
Loom is perfect for the no warp-ends kit, which allows you to weave
a piece without having any ends to finish. It also allows you to
weave with wire.
12” Little Guy Loom
The smallest of our looms designed to accommodate both tapestry and bead
weaving, The Little Guy is so cute, so portable and fits perfectly on a lap when he
isn’t standing on a table with his two fold out legs. Weighing in at a featherweight 5
pounds, this 12 inch wide loom is a workshop goer’s dream. Weave a fiber or bead
tapestry up to 9 inches wide and 22 inches high.
The Little Guy loom is the smallest loom we make that accommodates both bead
and tapestry weaving. It’s small, it’s sturdy, it’s portable and it includes the
shedding device and a variety of warp coils. Weave a small format tapestry on it or a
bracelet. Anything is possible with the only restriction being size. When deciding
between this loom as the Big Sister, your only consideration should be: what is the
largest piece I will want to weave on this loom? Keep in mind that you can weave
two thinner pieces on this loom. What fun is that: watching two pieces
progress at the same time without the frustration of wanting to get that old
piece off the loom so you can start on your next idea.
A bunch of our accessories are available for this loom including the loom
extenders, which will give you enough height to turn this into a belt loom
or for trying your hand at inkle weaving. Our smallest tapestry/bead loom
opens up so many possibilities for someone who wants to explore both
bead weaving using the shedding device (or not . . . You do not have to use
the shedding device with this loom even though it is part of the loom
Learn more about the 12” Little Guy
package) and/or tapestry weaving. It is also the most portable tapestry
loom available in this world. It stands at a table or works just perfectly
lying in your lap. We kind of think of it as our iPad loom! Put down your
Without the shedding device: http://
knitting a try something new!
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 12" Little Guy Loom is a perfect lap loom. It's small enough to throw in
a bag, but large enough to weave a piece up to 9 inches wide and 22 inches
With the shedding device: http://
high. This loom is great for both tapestry and bead weavers and is a
wonderful starter loom. If you are interested in this loom but are worried
that you want to weave something a little longer, consider purchasing our
handy loom extenders.
16” Big Sister Loom
At 16 inches wide and weighing in at 6 pounds, the Big Sister is both bigger than
her little brother and has been around longer. She was the first loom we
designed! Bigger does not always mean a lot more expensive. A tapestry or bead
weaving 13 inches wide and 36 inches high can be woven on this elegant,
compact loom. Another great workshop or travel loom, the Big Sister stands
firmly on a table. This is our most popular loom both for tapestry and bead
weavers or those who do combined techniques.
The Big Sister is simply a more grown up version of the Little Guy. She’s got that
wonderful shedding device. She’s great for both bead weaving and tapestry. The
loom extenders work for her too. And she’s pretty darn
portable. She ‘s too grown up to fit as nicely in your lap as the
Little Guy. But she is one powerful piece of equipment. It’s
no wonder she is hands down our most popular loom and
only a little bit more expensive than her little brother. Make
your choice between the two based just on size, because that
is the only difference between them. Just like the Little Guy,
we sell a bunch of accessories for the Big Sister.
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 16" Big Sister Loom is our best-selling loom. It's a great
size for both bead and tapestry weaving and is small enough
Learn more about the 16” Big Sister Loom
here: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/16big-sister-loom-with-shedding-device/
to store almost anywhere. It fits perfectly on a table, or even
on a lap and can easily be taken with you.
Try weaving our woven purse kit or beaded purse kit on this
loom! If you are interested in this loom but are worried that
you want to weave something a little longer, consider
purchasing our handy loom extenders.
22” Zach Loom
Our third dedicated tapestry and bead loom is the perfect size for the weaver
who wants that extra size to weave substantial pieces but doesn’t necessarily
want to take her/his loom to the beach. Great for workshops because at 11
pounds and 22 inches wide, it’s still a really portable loom. But also a great
addition to your weaving studio. Weave a piece 19 inches wide and 40 inches tall
on this well proportioned loom.
If I were to own just one Mirrix Loom and wasn't concerned about true
portability (it's portable . . . easy to take to a workshop and even fits in most
checked luggage), stuff in a bag and go portability, the Zach Loom might be the
one Mirrix Loom I would buy. Thank goodness I don't have to make that
decision! What I love about this Mirrix: it's large enough to weave a substantial,
although not enormous, tapestry. It has great proportions and is still very
lightweight and easy to move around (well they all are really). It's also great for
weaving beads especially if you are leaning toward beaded tapestries, purses,
cellphone cases. But it even works for bracelets and necklaces. It would be great
for weaving a split loom necklace, for example. If you are planning to own two
looms, this would be a great companion to one of the smaller looms. All the
accessories except for the loom extenders (which would make the loom slightly
unstable) are available for the Zach Loom.
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 22" Zach Loom is great for both bead and tapestry weaving. It's big enough
to make a fairly substantial project, but small enough that it's very portable and
storable and fits well on a table. This is Mirrix President Claudia Chase's favorite
loom size! You can weave a piece 19 inches wide and 40 inches tall on this loom.
Try weaving our woven purse kit or beaded purse kit on this loom!
Remember, you can always weave smaller pieces on our larger looms.
Learn more about the 22” Zach Loom here: http://
28” McKinley Loom
When our customers make a suggestion, we listen. And how could we not listen
to McKinley who said we needed a 28" inch loom to fit in between the 22" and
32" looms. He said it would be perfect for weaving table runners. We think it's
perfect for weaving anything. Named after Mckinley, one of our all-time favorite
customers (not that we choose favorites) this loom is sure to bring you the kind
of joy McKinley has brought us. On this 28 inch wide loom you can weave a
piece 25 inches wide and 44 inches long.
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 28" McKinley Loom is the perfect loom for weaving belts, table runners or
anything long! It's the same height as the 32" Joni Loom, but is just a few inches
thinner. With this loom, you can weave a piece 25 inches wide and 44 inches
long. Remember, you can always weave smaller pieces on our larger looms. You
can also weave large bead pieces on the larger looms although they are more
often used for tapestry.
Learn more about the 28” McKinley Loom here:
32” Joni Loom
Pure tapestry or large scale bead weaving bliss! The Joni Loom is the loom for
those of you who like to think big but don’t want your loom to take over your
room. Joni weighs 14 pounds as is 32 inches wide. You can weave a piece on her
29 inches wide and 44 inches tall. That’s a lot of space for creating your dreams.
Pair her up with the stand and treadle and you’ve got yourself a fabulous floor
loom at a fraction of cost and taking up a fraction of the space. She’s great with
or without these additions. She’s stronger than our other looms, sporting a
double top and bottom beam to make sure she can accommodate the kind of
tension tapestry weavers demand.
The Joni Loom sends you into a whole new territory. She's the loom you buy
when are moving up in size and are dying to create a tapestry or a bead weaving
of a size normally only possible of large floor looms. I found that my large floor
looms which took over my entire studio (until I got rid of them so I could crowd
my studio with a whole fleet or Mirrix Looms) could never accommodate a
tapestry even close to their width because the tension would get uneven or
loose. Not so with the Joni Loom. Warp her up from edge to edge and create a
piece as large as 29 inches wide and 40 inches tall. That is a pretty darn big
weaving. And yes, bead weavers use this loom too. Quite a few bead weavers
create large bead weavings on the Joni Loom.
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 32" Joni Loom is the perfect loom for the serious tapestry weaver who
doesn't quite need the width of the 38" Loom Zeus Loom. Double top and
bottom beams make this loom incredibly strong for the perfect tension every
weaver needs. The weaving width is 29 inches and the weaving height is 44
inches. Remember, you can always weave smaller pieces on our larger looms.
You can also weave large bead pieces on the larger looms although they are
more often used for tapestry.
Learn more about the 32” Joni Loom here: http://
38” Zeus Loom
This is as big as a portable Mirrix Loom gets. Inspired by a customer who wanted a big enough
loom to weave a standard Navajo size rug, we designed this loom for those of you who think big.
Engineered just like the 32 inch loom, the 38 inch loom will satisfy those of you who really
wanted a floor loom but could not justify the expense or give up all that space to house it. On
this 38 inch wide loom you can weave a piece 35 inches wide and 46 inches long.
The Zeus Loom comes with a great story. He exists because a customer, who had been weaving
on a traditional Navajo loom, called me up to ask if we had a loom that could accommodate a
weaving 35 inches wide and 40 inches tall. I said no because at the time the Joni Loom was our
largest loom. She wanted to transfer her piece off the Navajo loom and onto a Mirrix. It was just
crazy enough that I wanted to be part of this. I told her I would have manufacturing make two
38 inch wide looms and I would have one sent to her and one sent to me. If we both thought the
loom was viable, she would be obligated to buy it. We then figured out a way for her to transfer
her weaving onto the Mirrix. She received the loom, she loved the loom and she transferred her
weaving onto it and finished it without a hitch. That was one happy customer. Since then many
customers have enjoyed the size of this loom that has the consideration to produce large
tapestries while not taking over your studio.
Who Should Choose This Loom?
The 38" Zeus Loom is designed for those people who want to weave the largest tapestry you can
weave on a Mirrix Loom. Combine it with the Mirrix Treadle and Mirrix Stand and you've got a
floor loom without the cost or footprint of one. Not only is it great for large-scale tapestries, but
it's wonderful for weaving small area rugs. Double top and bottom beams make this loom
incredibly strong for the perfect tension every weaver needs. You can weave a piece 35 inches
wide and 46 inches long. Remember, you can always weave smaller pieces on our larger looms.
You can also weave large bead pieces on the larger looms although they are more often used for
Learn more about the 38” Zeus Loom here: http://
It is easy to bead on a loom! There are three basic different methods of
beading that we use, but that isn’t to say that aren’t other methods out
there or methods still to be invented.
Sewing in Bead Weaving (the “traditional” method of weaving
Bead Weaving with the Shedding Device
Bead Weaving with the No Warp-Ends Kit
Sewing in Bead Weaving
This is the easiest way to weave beads. Simply string up your beads (one fewer bead than the number of warp
threads), place them behind your warps and then sew back through on the front of the warps going in the other
direction. That’s it!
Bead Weaving with the Shedding Device
Bead weaving with the shedding device takes a little more time
to set up. Instead of warping with one warp thread in each dent
(space in the warp coil, or spring, on the loom) you put two in
each dent. Then, you attach heddles to the warp threads and the
top and bottom of the shedding device. Doing this allows the
shedding device to pick up half your warp threads so you can
place your beads in between them instead of having to sew
through. Changing the position of the shedding device changes
which warp threads are raised and secures the beads.
Note: This loom has a
bottom spring kit on it. This
is an optional accessory that
helps organize warps at the
bottom of the loom.
Bead Weaving with the No Warp-Ends Kit
The No Warp-Ends Kit allows you to weave beads without
having to worry about sewing in the warp ends. Instead of
warping using the warping bar, you warp around paperclips
(or s-hooks) that are later removed to create little loops
instead of loose ends. (Note: Our No Warp-Ends Kit used to
come with paperclips and now comes with S-Hooks instead.
These are a little sturdier, but are used the same way. if
you’d like, you can still use paperclips with the kit as well!)
You can purchase the
No Warp-Ends Kit here:
The first Mirrix Loom was invented because Claudia Chase, Mirrix’s President, wanted a high quality
and portable tapestry loom. She designed the loom herself to meet the needs of a professional tapestry
Tapestry is a type of fiber weaving. It is weft-faced (ie: the warp does not show at all), the wefts are generally discontinuous (they do not go from selvedge
(edge) to selvedge (edge) and it is generally pictorial (like painting a picture with fiber).
What do you need to begin weaving tapestry?
A dedicated tapestry loom with a shedding device
A Mirrix of course!
Heddles (you can buy these or make your own)
Heddles attach your shedding device to your warp threads. You do not need heddles if you are not using a shedding device.
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.
A tapestry beater
Tapestry beaters are available in wood, metal or a combination of the two. We sell a wooden version; one is weighted and one is not. You can also use a fork
as a tapestry beater.
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 Marino Sheep which has short fuzzy fleece. Short fuzzy
fleece is warm, but it does not make for pretty tapestry yarn. For our kits we use Brown Sheep Yarn because it comes in a large variety of gorgeous colors and
is a singles yarn. The final product also withstands wear very well. We also use hand-painted Mulberry silk yarn in some of our kits.
Weaving Tapestry:
Learning How:
There are many great tapestry books on the
market. We sell a few of these great books
in our online store: http://
Also check out Mirrix’s beginner tapestry
class on Craftartedu.com http://
It’s the perfect way to learn the basics of
tapestry from the comfort of your computer
chair and features Mirrix’s President
Claudia A. Chase! 16
Loom Stand and Treadle
Bottom Spring Kit
No Warp-Ends
Loom Extenders
Loom Extenders
Warp Coil (spring)
Extra Warping Bar Kit
Learn more about these accessories and more on our website:
All About The Mirrix Shedding Device & Heddles
Shedding devices are devices used to lift warps in order to pass fiber or beads
through them more easily. The space between the warps is called the SHED, which
is where the term SHEDding
device comes from.
On a Mirrix shedding device,
when you change the position of
the handle, the shedding device
shifts position and opposite sets
of warps are raised, securing
your beads or weft between the
warp threads. The wooden clips hold your shedding device on the loom, but also serve to hold your
warping bar in place when warping your loom (and before you install the shedding device).
The shedding device is attached to the warp
threads with heddles. These heddles pull up
on the correct warp threads when the shedding device is engaged.
On a Mirrix Loom, using the shedding device is recommended for tapestry weaving as it makes
the process much faster and easier. For combining beads and fiber, a shedding device is also
very useful. For beads, both the traditional bead weaving method of placing your beads behind
your warp threads and then sewing through and the method using the shedding device and
placing the beads between raised and lowered warp threads work. The method using the
shedding device takes a little more time to set up, but once you get the hang of it it’s a fast and
fun way to weave beads!
All About The Bottom Spring Kit
Tapestry: Weavers who weave small format tapestry love the bottom spring
kit because it helps get all those pesky threads all neatly lined up and in
order. For those folks we created the bottom spring kit with two 20 and 22
dent springs, one for the top and one for the bottom. Usually these folks are
warping with material that is about as thin as beading thread so you can see
where organization on the bottom of the loom could be very helpful.
Bead Weaving: If you are weaving thinner bracelets or necklaces it’s really
easy to organize your warp threads at the bottom of the loom. And since the
first row of beads sets the bottom sett, once you’ve got that row in, a bottom
spring has no use. However, when weaving wider pieces and especially
wider pieces using the shedding device where there are pairs of threads
between beads that have to remain paired correctly, that bottoms spring kit
certainly helps to keep those pairs paired correctly and the threads not
crossing at the bottom. So in the case of wider bead pieces (more than four
inches) it will test your patience less if you do have the bottom spring kit.
We offer the bottom spring kit with all the springs that come with the loom as well as the one mentioned above with two 20/22 dent springs. We
also offer the bottom spring kit with two 16 dent springs. This is designed for those weaving wide beaded tapestries with Delica beads, since the 16
dent spring works better than the 18 dent spring in this situation.
You can buy just the bottom spring kit (it’s a tray that holds the springs) and pick just the springs you want. For example, even though the looms
(except for the MiniMirrix and Lani and Little Guy without the shedding device) come with size 8, 12, 14 and 18 dent springs, you might only be
weaving size 11/0 seed beads which require the 14 dent spring. There is no need to buy the whole set. Just buy the bottom spring kit and that
particular spring. You can always buy others later. But then there are those of you who might be weaving a whole range of beads or might do so
and it is cheaper to buy the whole package.
All About Warp Coils (springs)
A warp coil is a spring you put at the top (or bottom if you have a bottom spring kit) of your loom to organize you warp threads. When you put the spring on the loom and
you measure an inch, the number of DENTS (spaces in the spring) should equal the numbers in the name of the spring. An 18 dent spring should have about 18 dents in an
inch. Easy!
The warp coil spaces your warp threads correctly. If you’re using larger beads, you want your warp threads to be spaced further than if you were using smaller beads. The
same goes for tapestry. If you’re using thicker yarn, you want your warp threads spaced out further than with a thinner yarn.
What springs come with the loom: 8, 12, 14 and 18 dents per inch. As you can see, this pretty much covers all your needs except when using tiny beads such as 15/0s or
when weaving a wide piece with size 11/0 Delicas, which work better with a 16 dent coil.
For beads: Since the springs are even measurement and the beads per inch are sometimes an odd number and because you have to factor in the thickness of the thread in
between the formula is not exact. If you don’t have the correct spring, but one that is close, and you are doing a piece that is not very wide, you can use a larger spring and
squish it together in the middle and put under tension. For a wider piece (three inches or larger) you really want the correct spring.
How do you know what warp coil to use for bead weaving:
Place the beads you plan on weaving on a needle and measure an inch. Then, count how many beads are in that inch. The number of beads minus one is the warp coil that
will be used. For example, if you are using Delicas you would find 19 Delicas are in one inch, so you would use the 18 dent coil. There is some leeway in this, and depending
on the beads you are using, it might not work out perfectly (numerically), just close. Using a smaller (lower number) coil is better than using a larger (higher number) coil.
How do I know what warp coil to use for tapestry?
This is something you have to experiment with as a tapestry weaver. For finer weft, you will want to use a warp coil with more dents per inch. For thicker weft, you will want
to use a warp coil with fewer dents per inch or even warp every other dent. (For example, an 18 dent warp coil every other dent is equal to a 9 dent warp coil.)
The basic thing to remember is to make sure your warps threads aren’t showing and you must consider the warp set (how far apart your warp threads are, or what warp coil
you are using), how thick your weft is and how thick your warp is. One way to determine your weft size is to put your weft in between your warp threads vertically when
your loom is warped. If your weft threads are much thicker than the space between the two warp threads, then your weft is probably too thick and if your weft threads are
much thinner than you know your weft is too thin.
In some cases you do not want a spring. For example, when weaving a bead soup bracelet with lots of different size beads, the beads will set the spacing. Also, when
weaving a thin piece, you can usually skip the spring if you don’t have the correct size.
Warping Instructions
Where to find more:
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