Now here is a beautiful and nostalgic collection from our industrial revolutionary past - a set of 3 vintage wooden loom shuttles with iron ends and bobbin holder brackets. Imagine how much these weaving artefacts could lift a lone, unadorned bench or shelf.
The art of weaving reaches far back into antiquity and can even be seen on Egyptian tomb walls and whilst the industrial revolution bought community transforming changes to the textile industry, you’ll still find dei-hard practitioners of this noble art sitting at their hand looms and throwing or passing their wooden shuttles back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft.
The simplest shuttles, known as "stick shuttles", are made from a flat, narrow piece of wood with notches on the ends to hold the weft yarn. More complicated shuttles incorporate bobbins or pins.
These are beautiful end feed weaving shuttles from a bygone era and probably date from the mid-20th century.
They feature the traditional “torpedo” or “bullet” shape with pointed metal tips for use in a fly shuttle system which was invented by John Kay in 1733 and It was the first step towards mechanical looms that do not require a weaver at all.
This is a system that shoots the shuttle back and forth across the weaving by the pull of a cord operated by the weaver and allows for the creation of a much wider fabric than he/she could reach and it is much faster than manipulating the shuttle by hand.
Obviously well used and worn, these shuttles do not have their inserted bobbins (as shown opposite), but they still retain their iron needle point ends and bobbin holding brackets.
Given a wax, polish or varnish and stacked on a shelf or bench they’d be a great conversation piece.
You could even seal the base of one, fill it with soil and grow your own herbs on a kitchen bench. Anything is possible.
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