Book Review: Contemporary Loom Beading

Loomed beading is an endlessly fascinating way of creating stable, versatile beadwork with the drape and strength of fabric as shown in this collection of thirty-four beginner appropriate designs. After a brief history, Bateman covers the basics including thread selection, loom types, beads, needles, adhesives and more. Clear color diagrams walk readers through the warping and weaving process as well as split loom weaving. A frequently sited drawback of loomed beadwork is coping with the unfinished warp ends, an issue the author does an excellent job of addressing with detailed, close-up photography along with written instruction. Edgings, fringes and finishing work receive the same attention to detail making this a valuable introduction to loomed work.

The careful design instructions insure every project will turn out correctly whether it’s a simple Lotus Choker or the openwork Abacus Bracelet. Several of the designs such as the Beaders may wish to work the Cantina necklace and earring set or Poinsettia Swag ornament in square stitch instead as they are quick, portable projects that could be made easier without the fuss of warp ends. The Tag Bracelet is an interesting if labor-intensive design that will challenge bead weavers to stick with it and again, experienced beaders would likely create all the tabs in square stitch.

While knowledgeable beaders won’t find anything new, this provides beginners with all the basics to start loom bead weaving with confidence. The many full color graphs are large enough to read without a magnifying glass and instructions are included for making a simply constructed loom on the cheap, just the ticket to test the waters before diving in.


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