Bead Loom Instructions
For many years native americans have used, and still use loom beading for decorating their clothes and regalias for dancing. Many people have caught on to this art as a hobby, and there is no limits to the possibilities of what you can do with this technique. Here is how you do it.
Once you have the bead loom set up with all the threads, it will look much like the picture below. These threads that run across the loom are known as "warp threads". The number of threads needed depends on how many beads in a row that your pattern calls for. If your pattern has 10 beads in a row, you would need 11 warp threads.
The first thing you will need to do is thread your needle. A lot of people will tell you different lengths to use, and none are are wrong. It is more of a preference, and for me i like to use a fairly long piece of thread so i don't have to weave in a lot of ends. So i usually cut a piece at least the length of both my arms stretched out, sometimes longer. Doing this increases your chances of getting your thread tangled and knotted however.
Next step is attaching your thread to the bottom warp thread on the left side of your loom. Tie a knot, double if you want, but leave a tail at the end of your thread so you can weave it in later and it will not be noticeable. You should use a white nylon thread. It is very strong and can't be broken with your hands. At least i can't anyway. In the following pictures the warp thread, and the thread on the needle will be different colors, but this is only to better show you how the steps are done.
So your pattern calls for 10 bead in a row, you have 11 warp threads, you are now ready to start. Put all ten beads on your needle and slide them down to the end of the thread where the knot is. You will take your needle under the warp threads and place a bead in between each warp thread. You can hold them in place with your index finger, but sometimes if you have a good fit they will stay put.
So once you have your beads in place between the warp threads, you need to make them stay there permanently. To do this you simply take your needle through each bead, always keeping the needle above the warp thread, like the illustration shows below.
Repeat steps two and three until you have completed your pattern or desired length. When you come to the end of your thread, you simply run the remaining piece of thread back up through previous rows. The same goes for the piece of thread you left at beginning, just run it through a few rows. When all is done you will end up with a finished piece like this.
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