Beginner's Guide to Loomwork - Part 1: Selecting a Loom

by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The first important step in your entry into the world of loomwork is selecting a loom. We sell two types of looms:
  • Weaving loom: used to weave designs from 22 to 40 inches in length
  • Beading loom: smaller than weaving loom, it's used to weave beaded designs less than 10 inches in length--especially suited for seed bead patterns
In this article, we'll discuss the beading loom, because it costs less and is easier to learn on than a weaving loom.

A beading loom is used to interlace threads to create a design element such as a square made of seed beads in bracelets, neckties and much more.

Selecting a Loom Using the Comparison Chart

The Beading Loom Comparison Chart shows side-by-side the important features of each beading loom:
Size - beading looms have a smaller footprint than weaving looms, typically about a foot in length and several inches wide. They offer varying degrees of portability.

Construction - wood, plastic or metal frames along with metal or plastic parts such as screws and thread stoppers (pegs)

Weaving Surface - the maximum length and width you'll be able to use for weaving

Maximum Weaving Width - the number of slots available to hold lengthwise threads

Benefit - the feature or features that tell what each loom has to offer and distinguish one beading loom from another.

Price - Not included in the chart because it can vary depending on your total order. For beading looms, prices range from under $10 to just over $50. On many of the looms you can get a lower price by using All Assortable Pricing. Adding beads, beading needles and other loomwork products--books for example--will help achieve our lowest price. We'll learn which products you'll need in Part 2.

Options for other bead sizes - On each loom, the intervals between threads can be adjusted to accommodate other bead sizes. Most beading looms can accommodate seed bead sizes from 11 to 6. Some can fit a size 15 seed bead.
Beading Loom Comparison Chart

Loom Size Construction
Bold = primary material
Weaving surface Maximum weave width Benefit
Wood Frame Loom
Wood frame loom
12-1/2 x 5 inches Wood 7-3/4 inches L
4 inches W
45 slots for lengthwise thread • Lightweight
• Widest weaving surface
Jewel Loom
Jewel Loom
11-1/4 x 3 inches Plastic and steel 10-1/2 inches L
2-3/4 inches W
25 thread slots • Portable
• Longest weaving surface
• Lowest price
Clover Loom
Clover loom
Adjustable length: 8-1/2 to 11-3/4 inches
4-1/4 inches W
Plastic steel/iron/aluminum Adjustable length: 5 to 8 inches
Selectable width: 2.48 or 2.56 inches
Two lengthwise thread options: 44 threads slots or 40 threads slots • Adjustable weaving length
• 2 sets of lengthwise thread slots
• Good thread grip
• Thread stoppers (pegs) for easy thread removal
• 26-pc set includes needles
Metal Frame Loom
Metal frame loom
12-1/2 x 2 inches Metal and wood 5-3/4 inches L
2-1/2 inches W
32 thread slots • Portable
• Easy to use/Low learning curve
• Low price

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