Weaving Techniques Weaving Tips

Weaving Tips || How to Use a Weaving Shuttle

How to wrap and use a stick shuttle to speed up your weavingI’ve received some questions on how to best wrap these mini stick shuttles that are in the shop.  So in this post I’m going to share my preferred method.

Before we get into the details, I first wanted to talk about weaving shuttles in general. There are many different shapes and sizes to shuttles. They type of shuttle that I always picture when talking about them is the boat shuttle that is used with floor looms. This tools is so cool, because it holds lengths of the weft thread and gets pushed down the length of the shed (here’s some weaving term definitions if you’re new to this). Talk about quick weaving! Which brings me to the whole point of the shuttle, to help speed up your weaving.  Unfortunately the boat shuttle can’t be used on a lap loom, because it’s not big enough, but we can use a stick shuttle.


Normally when weaving on a lap loom, I’ll use a weaving needle and pass the weft thread between my warp threads. Once the needle is pass between the warp threads, I then have to pull the weft thread through until I reach the end of the weft thread. This sometimes is up to 3 feet of weft thread, so it takes a bit of time per row.

With the shuttle, I’ll wrap a long amount of weft thread onto it and then pass all that thread across my weave just once. I don’t need to keep pulling my thread through to the end. For the next row I’ll just unwrap some of the weft and then pass the shuttle and the rest of the thread between the warp threads again. This is really helpful and saves me some time.

So onto the original question, what is the best way to wrap a stick shuttle? I like to wrap mine in a diamond shape, because it spreads out the thread and allows me to hold more on the shuttle.

To wrap in the diamond shape:

How to wrap and use a stick shuttle to speed up your weaving

  • start your weft thread end in the middle of the two prongs on side one (I started on the left side). Hold onto the end with one hand and bring the thread over the front of the top prong to the top-middle of the shuttle.
  • at the top-middle, pass the thread behind the shuttle and to the middle of the two prongs on side two (the right side for me).
  • next bring the thread over the front bottom prong to the bottom-middle, then pass the thread behind the shuttle to the middle of the two prongs on side one where you started.

How to wrap and use a stick shuttle to speed up your weaving

  • from the middle of the prongs on side one, wrap the thread over the bottom prong to the bottom-middle.
  • next bring the thread behind the shuttle to the middle of the two prongs on side two.
  • from the middle of the prongs on side two, wrap the thread over the front of the top prong to the top-middle .
  • next bring the thread from the top-middle behind to the middle of the two prongs on side one. This should complete a full one time wrap of the shuttle.

How to wrap and use a stick shuttle to speed up your weaving

Keep wrapping the shuttle in this way until you have a few passes of thread on the shuttle. I made about four passes all the way around the shuttle, but the amount of passes you can do will vary on how thick your thread is. Just make sure to wrap the shuttle so that you can still pass it easily between the warp threads.

Happy Weaving!

Kate


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