'Must-Haves' Tools for Weaving - Suggestions?


I just prepared my new Mirrix 16” loom for weaving and would like recommendations re: a tool for weaving.

I used a 2.75” steel needle for the class (I used a cardboard loom that the instructor gave to those of us who didn’t bring a loom to class). 
It worked OK for the class, but not so much for the loom.

What weaving ‘tool’ are you using to weave with and why (bobbin, needle, butterfly, something else)?

Also, what other tools are you finding that are ‘must-have(s)’?

Newbie to Tapestry Weaving



Posted on Fri, 02/04/2011 - 22:17


For tapestry weaving, weft may be carried through the shed simply by being wound into butterflies, then beaten into place with a kitchen fork.  Other tools might include a Swedish bobbin or a Gobelin style bobbin, both which have a pointed tip and the tip can be used for beating.  

I've got some photos of various tapestry looms and tools at my website: http://web.me.com/tmscanlin

Welcome to the wonderful world of tapestry making!


Posted on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 21:00

Hi. I am a fairly new weaver working small format tapestry with embroidery floss and pearl cotten #5. The tools made for embroidery cross over well for weaving. The flat floss bobbins and the little plastic winders designed to load them are terrific. The bobbins manipulate well between the narrow warp sett used in small format and keep mixed weft colors orderly. I also incorporate beads in my work and use tapestry needles to weave the weft near or onto the same warp as the bead. I put a slight bend in them (similar to the larger Navajo style needles) to facilitate working in the small areas. I have also found bone paper folders to work well as shed sticks. I use thread spool racks to hang/store my floss and pearl cottens as well as loaded bobbins.

Posted on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:30

Thanks, KDavis, for the suggestions re: use a few embroidery tools for tapestry weaving.   I checked out the flat floss bobbins and little plastic bobbin winders and I think that they may work for me.  Definitely intend to give them a try - and they are inexpensive too!

Posted on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 15:53

I am also a book maniac and have acquired several texts on learning tapestry weaving. The best ones, especially for small format, are written by Kathe Todd-Hooker.  The content is awesome, they are reasonably priced and have a spiral format which makes them easy to reference as you work. I have been using home made bead looms and a purchased pipe loom but just this week got the 22 inch Mirrix which I think is a good long term investment. Tension is everything in bead and tapestry weaving.

Posted on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:28

one of my favorite tools are wood needles. I've picked them up at weaving shows/fairs in lots of different woods. Most I pick up now for the woods, but several are fine for what I do in small format. Many of the yarns I use are thrums or other kinds of left overs and the needle handles a shorter length.

I use embroidery tapestry needles as well, especially as the warp tightens down (I often weave from top & bottom on small fixed length looms, also from woodworkers)

Posted on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 13:57

I too have a mirrix but a larger size. bobbins are a must with this loom. Butterflys just do not work due to the close shed. A good source for bobbins for tapestry is the woolery. They have 3 types 2 wood one plastic. I have there small wood one and they are nice and not expensive at all.

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 19:25

needles are hard on the hands and the wool as you drag the weft through. You might try picking with a bobbin or the tip of a brassy bob. They come in multiple sizes. I have 4 mirrixes that I weave on. I find that the trteadles are what make the mirrix so great for weaving small format. With my sewing thread it allows me to use both hands to control the weft.


Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 19:26

Thank you. It's nice to know that you find my books of value.