Seed beads can be woven into fabric on a loom. The beads are locked in between the warp threads by the woof threads. Although a heddle can be used similar to ordinary weaving, the most common technique requires two passes of the woof thread. First, an entire row of beads is strung on the woof thread. Then, the beads are pressed up in between the warp threads. The needle is passed back through the beads above the warp threads to lock the beads into place. The most difficult part of loomwork is finishing off the warp threads.
Although loomed pieces are typically rectangular, it is possible to increase and decrease to produce angular or curvy shapes. Fringe can also be added during weaving or before the piece is removed from the loom.
Bead looms vary in size and are typically made of wood or metal. Usually, a comb or spring is used to hold the warp threads a bead-width apart. Some looms have roller bars that allow the weaver to produce pieces that are longer than the loom is. Most looms are meant to sit on a table, but some have floor stands or are meant to sit in the lap.
- Don Pierce, Beading on a Loom. Interweave Press, 1999. ISBN 1-883010-63-2