The lightweight, portable Mirrix tapestry loom allows the weaver to maintain very tight tension on the warp threads, which is essential for even edges on a tapestry. It comes in several sizes, ranging from the 5-inch-wide loom to the 38-inch-wide loom. The medium-sized and large looms have a shedding device that allows you to make two clean sheds.
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Things you need
- Mirrix tapestry loom
- Wool warp and weft
Set up the Mirrix tapestry loom as shown in the Mirrix manual. Warp the loom with a strong wool warp and attach the heddles to the warp yarns and the heddle bars.
Weave the heading using rag strips. Open the first shed and pass the rag from right to left, bubbling it to avoid pulling in at the sides. To bubble the weft, lay it in as a wave pattern, rather than as a straight line, then pack it in with a fork. Change the shed and pass another strip of rag weft in from left to right. Continue in this manner until you have woven one inch of heading.
Wind the weft for the tapestry weaving. You can wind butterflies in a figure eight around your thumb and little finger, or you can wind a tapestry bobbin. Weave the hem for the tapestry, bubbling the weft so that the edges don't draw in. Pack the weft in with the fork. Change the shed and weave the tail end from the first pick into the shed for one or two warp threads. Leave the tail hanging in the back. Weave the hem for one inch.
Attach the cartoon, a drawing of the design that you want to weave into your tapestry, to the back of the warp by pinning the bottom of the cartoon to the hem with T-pins. Tie a string from one sidebar of the loom to the other, and behind the cartoon, so that the string supports the cartoon close to the warp threads. Begin weaving the sections of the cartoon. The simplest way to weave the sections is to open the next shed, lay in all the wefts from right to left in the area where they belong, change the shed and weave each weft back through its own colour area. This creates slits between each area that you sew up later from the back.
Begin laying in some of the wefts using weft interlock, to avoid sewing up the back. Open the shed and lay in all of the wefts in the first row from right to left. Open the other shed and go back across, this time interlocking the adjacent wefts as you go by wrapping the wefts around each other where they are adjacent to each other. Do this on every other row. Experiment with warp interlock techniques. Where two sections meet, wrap both wefts around the same warp thread. This avoids the slit that must be sewn up later.
Continue weaving using these techniques until you have finished the cartoon. Weave another one-inch hem. Cut the warp off the loom a few inches above the hem and tie overhand knots with the warp threads to secure the weft.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure that the edges of your weaving are not pulling in as you weave. Bubbling the weft in will prevent pulling in, but also check that the selvedges are neat and even, with no loops of weft poking out.
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