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Handloom Shuttle

Early 18th c. wooden throw shuttle with bobbin.  Later used by Lauder Technical School.

Weavers love their tools. They are always looking for that special combination of beauty and function. After a loom, the shuttle is probably the most used and loved tool a weaver uses.

Different types of shuttle are used for different types of weaving and yarns. A boat shuttle like this one gives the weaver a rhythmic and flowing weaving experience. They can be "thrown" gently through the warp, the yarn unwinding automatically from the bobbin inside. The shape of the boat shuttle also fits nicely into the natural curves of the weaver’s hand, making it easier to handle.

Boat shuttles have been used for many hundreds of years. This description is from a 12th century Flemish Abbot, who describes the ‘new’ invention with a certain amount of mistrust!

 “A certain poor rustic invented this diabolical cunning device, which was called a boat, and having put it on wheels made it carriable over the weft”

(Gesta abbatum Trudonsium circa 1135-1138)

The abbot was so worried about the ‘trickery’ of this new weaving devise, that he advised the local people not to use it, fearing it may contain evil spirits!