Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Shuttle, shuttle

Diversity, purpose and personal style define shuttle types

Sally Orgren's shuttles and shuttle holder at top center
Once a weaver has a few shuttles in his or her toolkit, what more is there to know? A lot, as Sally Orgren proved in the September program "Boost Your Weaving Skills: All About Shuttles," for the New York Guild of Handweavers

Targeted to weavers at all levels of experience, Sally used her personal collection of shuttles and a handout with images to demonstrate different shuttle types and characteristics, as well as proper bobbin/pirn/quill winding, and shuttle handling. 

Match the shuttle type to the loom (shed), the yarn, and personal working styles to improve the weaving experience and the end product, she advises weavers. Consider not only the type of shuttle--stick, boat, ski, rag, etc.--but the unique features of the shuttle. Considerations include:
Sally Orgren winding on a stick shuttle

  • Height of the shuttle. Match height to the shed depth on the loom, which is dependent on the loom.
  • Length of the shuttle. Match length to the width of the project on the loom.
  • Length of the side opening for the weft feed. In most cases, the longer the opening, the more even the feed.
  • Type of weft yarn. Bulky, fine, sticky, smooth.
  • Shape of the nose: Sharp or blunt? Again, important to the loom type and shed size.
  • Open or closed bottom. Mostly personal preference, but heavily loaded bobbins/pirns/quills will drag.
  • Handling the shuttle. Very personal. How does the shuttle feel in the hand when you hold the shuttle to throw it? 
Considering buying a new shuttle? Borrow one from a friend and try it before buying it, she suggests.

The yarn goes on

Sally Orgren demonstrates winding a quill
Obviously, winding the weft yarn onto the shuttle depends on the type of shuttle. Sally demonstrated some winding operations. One was loading a stick shuttle using a figure-eight wind-on to load as much as possible yet keep a low profile shuttle. 

She also demonstrated how to make a paper quill, tips to stabilize bobbins on the bobbin winder, and how to wind on bobbins, pirns and quills. (Want to watch someone do it? Check out The Woolery's videos.)

Invitation to learning

Join the South Jersey Guild of Spinners and Handweavers meeting Oct. 1 for "Warp to Weave," a program on how to get started--or how to improve--reading a draft and warping a loom. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm sorry that I missed the presentation!