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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Having the edge on!

When you have completed looming, the entire design and to the size you have measured, you should be considering an 'edge'.

The loomed edge could be considered finished, but looking at the photo above, it offers an 'unfinished' feel. The wefts are seen, as well as the outer warp. Your looming can be further secured, if you edge. You'll also cover the threads used, weft and warp, so they do not snag or break.

The 'base' of your edging or fringe is something you should think about, before you begin to edge. There are only two options.

1. Using a bead as the base of your fringe/edge.
I suggest considering the base bead, if your edging or fringe will be finished directly from the loomed edge. Notice in the picture above. The three on the left are 'based' with an 11/0 seed bead. This bead is larger in size and shaped different then the loomed 11/0 Delica bead. Therefore, you create a 'bunching' of the edge base. This actually can be a nice 'look', but making your edge stand out, you may want to look at the other options.

The three 'base beads' on the right, are based with an 11/0 Delica. This is the same size and shaped bead as was loomed. Therefore, your edging lays neater. Notice also that the rest of the beads used, are larger and different shaped, but the base bead will denote the final look of your edge.

As a final note, when you use a 'base bead', be sure to run your needle inside the same number of beads for each fringe added. Go into 'two' beads, 'out' two beads. Be consistent with this and the finished look will be more in design.

For a slight step up, you can even add a bead for each pass through the two beads, making a 'straight edge of beads' or a 'border line', inside your loomed edge line, shown in the picture below.

2. A hand woven Brick Stitch Base.

This option allows you to use any size or shaped bead, as the edge base, because you can hand weave or brick stitch the beads along the edge, using the outer warp, (which is doubled for strength), and not have to follow the exact number of rows loomed. You will make a choice as to when you skip a row of looming, so the stitching lays flat.

Once a brick stitch base is completed, you may still want to consider a further finishing technique. Look at the edge, after the brick stitching is complete.

There is still an 'open bead' and 'wide stretches of thread'. This thread can catch on something and break.

I have another technique for finishing off a 'single closed edge', but will not be including this here. I'll go into depth, about this process, in a chapter of my book.

To finish this brick stitch edge, let me offer just another few options. There are many others, but these ideas may get you started.

Loop Edge - Using the beads used for the brick stitch, you can 'loop' a number of beads, up and down, then back again, with the same size bead, a different color or a different size bead.

Lower Bleed - Adding a scalloped edge to the lower portion of the brick stitched beads, allowing the beads to 'bleed' over the loomed edge.

Double Lower Bleed - You can continue to create ways of adding further over your looming. This is a great look, if your loomed design is graphic or simple. Another design is to continue this bleeding process, so you create a 'netting' over the looming!

Upper & Lower Bleed - After you complete a lower bleed of edging, you may want to consider adding to the upper portion of the brick stitching, creating an 'upper bleed'. This is a very dramatic edge. Again, you can consider this type of edging if you want your fringes to take front and center.

Upper Bleed - You may also want to finish your brick stitch edging with just a fringe. Something with 'movement' or even very simple like a picot edge.

Please do not consider adding a beaded edge, with any weight or movement, by using 'just the outer warp'. Either use the loomed beads to secure, or do a base of brick stitch. If you choose to use just the outer warp, for securing your edge, then you will run into a situation where your outer warp could be cut. The weight of a frilly edge could break the outer warp. A snag or pull on a picot edge created on just the outer warp, will break this warp. Using the beads themselves, is the best and most secure option. But if you choose to do the peyote base on the outer edge and your fringing snags, think how much easier it would be to 'repair' the brick stitch base, as opposed to replacing an outer warp (if you fringe from the outer warp only), should the edging snag/break, under normal wear and tear.

These ideas I just shared are some of the many possibilities you can create to make your looming look 'finished'. I have outlined many more ideas, in my book. I look forward to sharing these with you too!


  1. Excellent teaching article. It is all in the detail. Thank you!

  2. Thank you Eva! You are very versed in so many wonderful crafts, and Artists. It is nice to hear your take on this post!

  3. This really is great, Erin. It just shows the scope of your much anticipated book. Your explanations are concise and your photos superb!

  4. Thanks Ness! I am looking forward to receive the 'warp weights' you made for me! I have something started on the loom, but now the weights need to be added. I look forward to sharing this new looming and mentioning to everyone that you are the 'exclusive' supplier of custom created 'warp weights'!

  5. An excellent 'tutorial' Erin :)

  6. Thank you, Erin! I so have to try the "bleeding edge", it will make wonders on peyote too.

  7. Hi Kristine! Yes, one written and sent off to Publishers for their considerations....waiting....waiting....waiting....waiting....
    There is tons I have included on my Blog and Website, but just have gone into specifics about 'managing the warps easily'...that am hoping will be read in the book!

  8. Excellent post, really informative and well explained Erin. Thanks.

  9. Thank you for sharing such lovely ideas!

  10. Thanks for this great Post! I just started my very first bracelet on a loom. Now I get to consider a edge........Very exciting!!

    1. Hello Eileen! I am so glad to hear this article helped you. I have many other tips, that can help. Use the Search Bar, upper right on this page, to find other techniques.
      Be sure to share, your beading, if you can.

  11. Beautiful work! What type of a loom do you use? Would you recommend a loom for a beginning beader?
    Thank you

  12. Que des bonnes idées, je n'aurais plus d'excuses pour ne pas terminer mes bracelets. Merci Erin. bises