Weaving is an art form that can be traced back to the Neolithic era. It is said to be one of the oldest surviving crafts. It was traditionally done by hand-using a weaving loom. Today, most weaving looms have been automated and do not have some of the same parts as a traditional loom. Many modern looms used in industry do not even operate with a shuttle.
What is a shuttle?
The shuttle is a tool that was designed to hold the thread of weft yarn used in a traditional weaving loom. In its customary uses it was thrown or passed back and forth through the shed of the weaving loom. The shuttle is designed to fit between the yarn threads of the warp, weaving the weft into the fabric.
How is it made?
The most simplistic shuttles are known as stick shuttles. They are created from a flat, narrow piece of wood and have notched ends to hold the weft yarn. More intricate shuttles typically include a bobbin or pin to hold the weft. Traditionally, Flowering Dogwood was the most common wood used to create a shuttle. It was chosen because it is a very hard wood that is splinter resistant and can be transformed to a very smooth finish. This is very important so that the shuttle does not become stuck inside the loom threads.
How is it used?
In the earliest looms, the shuttle was passed back and forth by hand. In 1773, John Kay invented the first loom that used a flying shuttle. It was called this because it could be thrown through the warp. This allowed the weaver to create a much wider piece of cloth and also decreased the amount of time it took the create the fabric. The technology is still used in many looms today.
At Fletcher Industries, we have been providing support to the textile industry for over 150 years. We offer a full line of shuttles, machinery and accessories for industrial weaving applications. Contact us to learn more.