A Weaving Wonder of the World

Anyone’s who’s ever taken a road trip across the U.S. is probably familiar with signs advertising exciting roadside attractions such as the world’s biggest thermometer or the world’s largest spoon (with cherry). Well, now weavers have a “world’s largest” to call their very own.


The Lancashire, UK, town of Nelson recently built what is almost certainly the world’s largest weaving shuttle. Simply entitled “The Shuttle,” the sculpture was constructed as part of the downtown revitalization of the former mill town. Designed by David Palmer, the shuttle was meant to honor the town’s historic textile industry.


As can be imagined, building "The Shuttle" was no small task. After the design was finalized, it took a local steel design and fabrication firm three months to complete the structure. The sculpture is 12 meters high (that’s nearly 40 feet) and weighs as much as three large elephants. It’s made of a special steel designed to build up an orange-brown patina, which gives "The Shuttle" its woodlike color. The sculpture also features an illuminated glass centerpiece meant to represent threads.   


While the sculpture has caused some debate and controversy amongst townsfolk, there's little doubt that fiber fanatics from around the world will delight in visiting this new weaving wonder of the world.

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