Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Which tapestry hand beaters are the best?

Tapestry weavers love their tools. A much-loved beater is a necessary companion for the long hours at the loom. Several years ago, Lyn Hart introduced me to beaters made by Magpie Woodworks. These beaters are hand-made in small batches by an expert woodworker. The handles are wood and the teeth are made from dog combs. This makes the teeth smooth and strong. I love my Maggie beaters and guard them rather jealously. Because they are made in small batches they can be hard to get at times, but they are worth the wait.

The same is true for a new company I discovered recently. Threads Thru Time sells a similar sort of beater on their Etsy shop. These are also made with dog combs. (As seen here stamped with Thomas Creations)
It remains to be seen which of these beaters becomes my absolute favorite--you know, the one I don't bring when I teach workshops because I am petrified it will walk. That one. But it doesn't really matter because they are both fabulous tools.

Below is a video showing you these beaters in more detail. I also show you a Snipes beater and some small tools made by Jim Hokett at Hokett Would Work.

A little video tip: If you want to see this video larger (and I do recommend it), click the YouTube icon to see it there or the square icon in the lower right corner to go to full screen. Or you can click HERE.

Snipes beater
Beater from Hokett Would Work
Do you have another favorite hand beater? Perhaps one I don't know about? Please leave a comment below!


  1. I'm one of the Shannock heavy brass beater devotees! I'm also a fan of John Moss brass tipped bobbins, more to help place the weft than to use as a bobbin, and sometimes on small pieces I use a grattoir (sp?). Those are my tools; none of the wooden beaters are in use any more.

    The Shannock beater excels in producing the nice firm tapestry I like!

  2. Trish at Tangled ThreadsDecember 10, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Well, I know this is not your favourite, but I really like the Leclerc beaters with the Teflon coated metal teeth. I also have two Magpie mini beaters. I use the Leclerc (which is much wider) when I have the whole row to beat in and the Maggie when I am doing shapes. I like the ones with metal tines as they slide smoothly between the warps. I found the all wood ones (of which I have several) to bang against the warp threads at times.


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