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What is a Bead Loom?

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  • Written By: Paulla Estes
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A bead loom is a piece of equipment that allows jewelry lovers everywhere to create beaded masterpieces in the comfort of their own homes. Sometimes the fun of having a special piece of jewelry is the satisfaction found in knowing we created it ourselves. A bead loom provides that opportunity and satisfaction. If you are in the market for a bead loom, there are a few things you need to know about looms and beading.

You will want to choose a sturdy, well-made bead loom. A bead loom is usually a square or rectangular shaped apparatus with raised hooks or grooves for threading and weaving. They come in a whole range of prices and styles, but the most important aspect of a bead loom is its integrity. Choose a bead loom made of sturdy wood; it may cost a bit more but it will last a long time.

When choosing the design to use on your bead loom, select something simple for your first project. Consider using larger beads, such as size 6 or 7, and use a sturdy beading thread such as Nymo. Czech seed beads are some of the easiest to use on a bead loom, as they are round and easy to handle. Plus, Czech seed beads are common and can be found nearly anywhere. Remember to choose a beading needle one size smaller than the bead size; this will ensure the needle fits through the hole in the bead.

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Use your bead loom on a hard flat surface, preferably a heavy table. Desks and card tables can allow too much movement, causing beads to move about. To prevent as much movement as possible, keep the unused beads in a bowl or dish next to your bead loom for easy access.

Thread your bead loom by counting the number of rows in your design and putting one more thread on the bead loom than there are rows. For instance, if the necklace you are beading has five rows, string six threads across your bead loom. When the bead loom is threaded, put a piece of beading thread through your needle and tie the other end off to the side of the last piece of loom thread. Thread your needle with one row of beads and move your needle under the bead loom threads; bring the beads up so they poke between the loom threads. Next, bring the needle back over the top of the loom threads and thread it back through the beads, so they are secure from the top and bottom of the bead loom.

Continue in a back and forth pattern, threading the beads on the top and the bottom of the bead loom, carefully following the pattern. When the piece is finished, cut the loom threads and tie off the ends. Lastly, congratulate yourself on a job well done!

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