On loom weaving with Alternative materials

On loom weaving with Alternative materials

Jewel Loom Seed Bead Bracelet with Wire Flowers. Julianna C Hudgins GIA AJP

I truly enjoy using different types of weaving material when working with my Jewel Loom. One of the first items I tried a long time ago when creating pieces on a beading loom was Artistic Wire. This permanently colored copper wire is so easy to work with. You can use the thinner gauges such as 26g or 28g for your warps threads and a heavier gauge such as 22 to weave through the beads and create shapes. Artistic Wire is available in many beautiful colors and sizes and can be found at most Bead Shops through out the Country. 

In a recent tutorial on my Blog, Judy Hayes created this stunning Funky Woven Fabric Bracelet using torn strips of muslin and painted fabrics.

Here's a little snippet from the instructions. 

I used narrow strips of printed fabrics for weaving, about ¼-⅜ʺ wide.   These were leftover from a tote bag project!   Some of the weaving is with 2 strips together and other strips are single.  I continued to add strips, leaving the ends sticking out until it was long enough to fit my wrist.  Then I stitched on clear aqua seed beads with pearl cotton.  They’re randomly added down the center of the bracelet.  I stitched across the bracelet ends with the pearl cotton to secure the warp and weaving strips.  I cut the warp strips about ¼ʺ from the weaving to remove it from the Jewel Loom.

Great Job Judy! You make me want to tear stuff and wrap it around my loom! Super inspirational and fun. 

In another tutorial on my Blog Judy Hayes used leather for her warp threads. I personally love this look and the ease of use with the thinner 1mm thick leather cording. I am working on a piece now using this technique that will be featured on my next Jewelry Television appearance September 10th, 2014 on the Jewel School program airing 10:00 a.m. to Noon EST. 

In Judy's own words, I have admired wrap bracelets like this for some time.  I never made one because it seemed like it would be hard to keep the leather straight while weaving the beads.   Then the idea to use the Jewel Loom came to me!   It was pretty easy to make this Leather Wrap Bracelet! Here are a few tips for working with the leather on a bead loom. 

  • Most likely the leather will stretch on the loom.  Put the wire holder in place when not working on the bracelet.  It may be helpful to leave it in if the leather is stretching too much.
  • Stagger the bead pattern so that when it’s wrapped the same beads aren’t  next to each other.
  • Have fun with this!  There are myriads of color and bead combinations possible! 

Happy Beading, Jewels