Okay guys, I know what you're thinking. You've just been reading this post and this post. And now you're asking "Can bead loomed pieces finished in such a way really stand up to daily wear and tear?" The answer is yes, yes they can.
My first example will start you off with what you're already used to seeing: ribbon crimps. I have a love/hate relationship with ribbon crimps. Pros: they give the work a nice, clean looking edge and allow for a variety of interesting clasps. They are simple to use and easy to source. Cons: I'm always suspicious they're hiding something such as selvage edges or glue or something else. They ALWAYS end up crushing a few of my beads and I hate it. I know that if I ever took the ribbon crimp away, I'd be left with a sad mess of broken beads and exposed threads. :-( But I'm showing you what you're used to seeing, even though I have nothing to hide under there. (except the broken beads of course). I do wear this bracelet quite often, just in case you're wondering.
Second: completely exposed edges. No threads hanging around. No cover ups. Just a (not so simple) loomed panel stitched to a piece of fabric. This is the current key fob that I've been using. I'm so happy that I finally got around to making one for myself. It's held up pretty well I think. The panel itself is loomed with four stripes of Delicas and a peach stripe of Japanese 11/o's. I had to rip it apart four times before I finally figured out how to get the two sizes of beads to lay flat. It's sort of a looming/peyote stitch combo.
Third is the No Face pixel art bracelet that I've been working on. I needed a way to finish it for a friend of mine to wear. So I stitched up four little soot sprites, which are ADORABLE! They are made in square stitch and attached to the loom panel. Two of them each have a half of a snap closure, which is a neat method, since two of the sprites line up perfectly together when worn. I'm also amazed at how fuzzy they turned out, considering it's hard to get beads to look so soft. No reports yet on the status of the bracelet's condition, but I'm sure it's fine.
And lastly, the final proof in this technique's resistance to the destructive power of friends. Also a testament that looming like this with shaped beads also works quite well. I made this bracelet on a whim, and my friend BriAnna promptly made puppy eyes at me to have it for her own. (My #1 hint that something I made is a good design. She 'steals' all my best work.) She is the most destructive person to Vanishing Pearl beadwork that I've ever met. And also the sole reason that I have finally stopped using Fireline. My best friend, and my best critic all wrapped into one. Briasco for short.
Pictured below is my incredibly awful attempt at making a wire clasp. Again, the reason I was more than happy to give it away. It also has several rows too few of the cream beads near the end. I was attempting a fold over method of closure prior to capturing the warps between the wefts. Despite these mistakes, NONE of the warps have pulled themselves free. And that's even accounting for the cross hair gaps between the superduos. This bracelet is also woven in a combo bead looming/peyote stitch method. Enough said.
I hope you enjoyed these examples. I've had a lot of fun this year making so many looming variations. And I'm excited to keep going! Please comment if you have any questions at all. :-)
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