Beginner's Guide to Loomwork - Part 3: Weaving the Design

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

In Part 1, we covered how to select a loom based on weaving size and features.

In Part 2, we talked about the tools and materials you'll need to do some bead weaving with the loom.

The final part in your entry into the world of loomwork is weaving a design on the loom.

In this article, we'll cover:
  • How to prepare for weaving
  • The steps in weaving the design
  • What's next after completing your first seed bead pattern
Weaving a Seed Bead Design on the Loom

How to Prepare:
  • A flat, clear workspace - Make sure it is well lit. You'll need plenty of room for the loom, the materials and your tools. The loom can take up as much 12-1/2 inches by 5 inches of your workspace.
  • Loom - if you still haven't chosen a loom, here's a comparison chart
  • Thread - The size of the seed bead will determine which size thread you will use. Our ''Seed Bead Sizes and Hole Sizes'' chart shows what size stringing materials will fit each size of bead.
  • Needle - your needle should be able to pass through the beads. You may prefer a longer needle at least 3 inches long and less flexible. It depends on the width of your piece. The needle should be long enough to hold the beads of the weft plus extra for the tip and the eye.
  • Seed bead pattern - Seed bead patterns provide a map of how the beads will be laid out on the loom row by row. Woven seed bead patterns can be combined into a larger design.
Here is a brief outline of the loom weaving steps:
  • Step 1 - Place the warp threads into the individual spaces on the loom
  • Step 2 - Attach the needle and thread to the warp threads
  • Step 3 - Tie the looming thread and needle to the outside warp
  • Step 4 - Thread string onto a needle. Tie the end of the string to the first strand. String beads on your needle according to the pattern showing how many and what color of bead.
  • Step 5 - Place a finger under the beads and press them up between the warp threads. While holding them in place, pass the needle back through the beads, being careful to keep the needle above the warp.
Bead Weaving in Detail

To clearly see all the steps for bead weaving on a loom, and to see more details of each step, watch the ''Beginning Looming How-To Video''.

Bead Weaving on the Loom: What's Next

Once you've completed this simple seed bead pattern try a larger pattern of about 25 rows.

In addition to buying seed bead patterns, you can create your own patterns using printable seed bead graph paper.

After you become proficient at bead weaving on a small loom you may want to acquire a larger loom and create larger weaving projects such as a tapestry.

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