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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Replacing beads, within a loom woven row.

Last week, I took my first beading class, hand weaving, in Peyote and RAW! It was a wonderful class, offered at BEAD SOUP. I learned two new stitches, creating a gorgeous bracelet, using studs. To help me solidify these lessons, I decided to make another one. The colors I selected would be great,in a pattern, of beads, on the loom. So I also created a design to weave, and match this bracelet.

Below. you can see the bracelet, in the upper right corner, my loom warped, the bead cups of colors and in the center, a picture of the pattern I will weave.

Feeling comfortable, with a loom on my lap, I happily weaved, row after row after row. It wasn't until I completed a good number, before I stood back to have a perspective. I. Miss. Read. The. Pattern....far enough, from either end, to warrant a fast repair! The gold beads, pointed out in the picture below, are actually supposed to have been dark green. Of course, one of my options were to pull out all the rows, prior or following the incorrect line. I decided to use this time to share how you can repair a line of beads, far within your bead loom weaving. I also use the following method, to replace cracked beads, wrong colors, broken wefts, etc. on present weavings and beading I've had in use, for years.

If using a ©Single Weft Method, (a standard set up for weaving beads, on a loom), both end warps will have a weft wrapped differently. This is because the weft is brought, back and forth, for different reasons. Shown below, is a close up of one side, showing how the weft wraps, for the return, back through the new row, of beads.

The photograph below, shows the opposite side, of the same row, when the weft advances to the next row needing to be added.

You can see a noticeable difference in the way the weft wraps, around the end warps. Depending if you are weaving right handed, or left handed, these end wefts will wrap accordingly, on their corresponding sides.

When using the ©Two Weft Method, of weaving rows of beads, both end warps will have the diagonal slant, to the weft, for advancing both wefts, in the same manner. This method suggests you thread a needle, on to both ends, of a weft, 'loading beads on one needle', then 'returning, through the same beads, with the other needle'. Thus making both end warps identical. This is the best way to create the popular "wrap bracelets", with both wefts falling identical the total length, of the bracelet.

The most efficient way to remove a row of beads, with in a large loom woven piece, is to insert a needle, into the 'slanted' weft. The slant will allow a better space, to insert a needle, grabbing "just" the weft and not the warp, as well.

Once the weft is lifted, off the end warp, with the needle, use a nail clipper to simply cut the weft, close to the needle. Be careful not to grab the end warp too.

Turn to the opposite side of the weaving, and slip your needle inside the 'wrapped' weft, with a gentle pull. This loosens, the weft, and can be completely pulled free, of the weaving. The beads should fall, from that row.

Step up or down, pulling the end weft, to release an additional row. You goal is to create a long enough weft, so it can be comfortably threaded into a needle, for reweaving back, into the beading. Be sure to make note, of the pattern lines, you are removing, so you can pick up the pattern and replace the bead color order correctly.

My favorite size needle to weave, is a #10 English needle, appx. 2 inches long. When you need to reweave short lengths of weft, back through the rows, you should thread a small needle. I have one inch, #10 needles on hand, for this purpose.

Once the short wefts are rewoven, you will add a new longer length of weft, to replace the rows you just removed.

Now I will continue with my pattern, and share more later!


  1. thanks for sharing how to correct a mistake...very helpful, I'm sure it will come in handy....

  2. You are very welcome Leanne. Please, lets hope this is something you will never need to try :D

  3. Excellent. I would have tried to crush the beads and replace them but it would not have ended up nearly as tidy as this!

  4. Thank you Diane. No, they would not be as "tidy", If you break and replace the beads, the double run weft would still be in place. Sewing new beads on top of the wefts, would force them to sit higher on the plain of beads. This is a more professional way to repair. The other, would be to carefully break a bead, with nail clippers, the set the half over the warps with some decent epoxy. That can be very technical work though, and not as lasting.

  5. You are so giving in your talent and techniques!

  6. Hi Rachel! Thank you. However, I have 'boat load' that I haven't shared yet lol!

  7. Very, very helpful! Thanks. By the way, you take amazing pictures. A blog on how you get such great close-up pictures would be greatly appreciated as well. :D

  8. Thank you Theresa! There are only three steps to take each picture the way I want them to look. Hmmm, I hate to step out of my loom bounds, with other suggestions. It may be best to leave you with a great link to taking photos, Read through and see if you can change your present way of taking pics.

  9. Very interesting! I love how you pay attention to these details.

  10. wow, Erin, that's amazing... I would never have believed that you can just cut out the mistake...I thought that the whole thing would fall apart.. Thanks for showing this..

  11. Wow this is very useful! I made so many mistakes in my recent houndstooth cuff and had to "rip" out part of my beadwork and re-do again. Wish I have read your blog post earlier! Thanks for sharing, Erin!

  12. Thanks, Erin. I'd never have figured that out.

  13. Thank you, Erin. What a handy how-to. I'm sure it will be used. I have a question: can you recommend online sites where I can buy larger quantities of beads than 7, or so, grams? Thanks ! Lynette

  14. Thank you so very much for such simple, clear, and well-documented instructions. I'm a very new (self-taught) bead weaver, and have had a series of broken beads in my pieces. Now I can learn how to fix them.