How to Choose the Best Beading Loom for You, Part I
Welcome to my cubicle, known for the past week as the loom test kitchen, mostly because of the mess! I started the week with a vague notion that I wanted to try different beading looms to figure out which looms work best for each kind of project. After discovering how many beading looms are available, I was only able to try a few looms this week. However, watch for Part II, where I test more looms — coming soon!
Rick’s Beading Loom
If you already know the finished length of your project, Rick’s Beading Loom is a wonderful option. You can adjust this loom to the specific size and then finish your piece with only two warp threads to weave in. Distributed by BeadSmith, this loom is quick to assemble and can be adjusted to fit almost any project. The loom is also angled to reduce neck strain, for a wonderful looming experience.
The only issue I had with the Rick’s Beading Loom was that it was a bit difficult to keep my warp threads aligned. Halfway through a project, I realized that my warp threads had crossed. I ended up pushing the crossed threads to the end of the loomwork, which made the end rows much more difficult to weave in. I should have started over instead.
If you don’t know your project’s exact finished size, or you want to change sizes halfway through the project, this loom is more difficult to adjust mid-project. However, it’s a great choice if you’re sure about the finished size of your loomwork.
Little Ricky Beading Loom
Much like the Rick’s Beading Loom, the Little Ricky Beading Loom by BeadSmith also leaves only two warp threads. Used for smaller projects, this loom has pre-drilled holes and pegs to set predetermined lengths. This ensures that you will get the same size of finished loomwork every time. If you need an odd size and you are using this loom, you may need to pull on the warp threads after you finish the jewelry to reduce the warp threads.
One thing you may want to know when you set up your loom is how much warp thread you will need. If you are using a large spool of thread, it might not fit between the Little Ricky Beading Loom’s rods and stand. Therefore, you may need to measure out the full length and cut your thread before you warp.
The Jewel Loom, by Julianna C. Avelar and distributed by Beadalon, is a lightweight and portable option for your looming projects. This loom is not limited to a finished size because the warp threads stretch the entire length of the loom. In addition, the grooves keep the warp threads in place, equidistant apart.
If you are just learning to loom, the Jewel Loom may be a bit more difficult because there is no stand to hold it when you trying to warp the loom. Also, this loom leaves many warp threads — which might be perfect for some clasps, but for other clasps you’ll need to spend more time weaving in the ends.
Baby Jewel Loom
The Baby Jewel Loom, also by Julianna C. Avelar and distributed by Beadalon, is a perfect travel size option for looming. You can use it for smaller projects, and the warp threads will never move from their designated grooves — even if you hit a bump in the road.
Again, this loom doesn’t have a stand. But if you are working on a small project and don’t mind weaving in several warp threads, the Baby Jewel Loom is a very useful and affordable option.
Clover Beading Loom
The Clover Beading Loom is quick to set up and contains two warp-thread spacing options for a perfect fit for both cylinder and round beads. This loom is easy to use for new beaders and can be easily adjusted for both large and small beading projects.
Once you start looming, the project size is not easily adjustable on the Clover Beading Loom. Like with the Rick’s Beading Loom, you may want to know your finished size before starting. The large warp guide beads on the Clover Loom also make the last few rows a little more difficult to weave in. However, the loom includes instructions for how to pull the warp threads after you remove the project from the loom to finish your project with only two warp threads to weave in.
Clover Mini Beading Loom
The Clover Mini Beading Loom is small, but it’s incredibly quick and efficient to use. If you are working on earrings or a small motif, this loom is very versatile, easy to hold, and good for travel. With grooves to keep your warp threads in place, this loom is easy to warp.
[[Insert Photo Here: Loom_MiniBack]]
However, the Clover Mini Loom should only be used for very small projects because it is only 1.5″ x 3″ at its largest.
The Endless Loom, by Deb Moffett-Hall and distributed by BeadSmith, is a unique option for looming bracelets. With no warp thread ends, you sew on the clasp first and then use the pre-made bars to get the perfect length without having to measure and re-measure your guides. The loom is simple to use and compact for easy storage.
While it’s perfect for bracelets, other projects are a bit more difficult on this loom because there are no warp ends. The pre-made bars are also now available in 6″ and 6.5″ for smaller wrist sizes.
Which looms do you use? Do you have any advice for using specific looms? Please leave your tips in the comments below! Stay tuned for Part II, featuring looms from Mirrix, Chenille Kraft, and the Precision Loom. And if your favorite loom is not listed, please let us know!
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine
Find more on looms and looming projects at the Interweave Store.