Shuttle Orientation


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Dear Madelyn,

When throwing the shuttle, I kept wanting to get a bigger angle on the yarn in the shed. I recently hit on the idea of turning the shuttle around so its slit opening faces the heddles instead of me. The yarn comes out and bends over the top of the shuttle. That seems to make a nice difference in the angle, but I've never read anything about it and wonder if I should have been doing that all along!

–Susan Nunn

Dear Susan,

This is very interesting! I can't think of a reason not to do this, but I'd have to try it to see if I think it would work for me (I don't think it is the intended shuttle position). The usual reason that weavers don't achieve sufficient weft angle is that in order to avoid advancing the warp, they weave too close to the reed, making the opened shed too short. In addition, they beat on an open shed and pull the shuttle forward with the reed (since the shuttle is in the way as it exits the shed), thereby unintentionally pulling the weft flat as they beat. So I always recommend to students that they advance the warp often and beat on a closed shed, which has locked the weft angle into place. (Some yarns would suffer if you beat on a closed shed, but most are fine with it.)



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