A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store or a holder that carries the thread across the loom weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft.
Shuttles are often made of wood from the Flowering Dogwood, because it is so hard, resists splintering, and can be polished to a very smooth finish.
Originally shuttles were passed back and forth by hand. However, John Kay invented a loom in 1733 that incorporated a flying shuttle. This shuttle could be thrown through the warp, which allowed much wider cloth to be woven much more quickly and made the development of machine looms much simpler.
The act of 'kissing the shuttle', in which weavers used their mouths to pull thread through the eye of a shuttle when the pirn was replaced, contributed to the spread of disease.
- Chandler, Deborah (1995). Learning to Weave, Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press LLC. ISBN 1-883010-03-9
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