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Weaving

Weaving

Looms and tools for every type of handweaving including braid and band weaving, tapestry, rigid heddle, plain and complex weaving, as well as computer aided weaving. The simplest weaving looms include tablet weaving cards and the lucet, progressing to the more substantial inkle looms and rigid heddle looms. The larger and more complicated looms incorporate mechanisms which lift and separate the warp threads to provide an easier route for the weft loaded shuttle, and offer the weaver options for intricate weaving patterns.

If you are beginning weaving, it can be difficult to decide what type of loom to start with (see our Blog Post on Choosing a Weaving Loom. We recommend finding a weaving course which will introduce you to the basics and give you the opportunity to use a loom before you invest in one. The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers (www.wsd.org.uk) is a good place to begin searching for an appropriate course, and many experienced weavers offer weaving workshops from their studios.

There are a large choice of weaving tools in this section designed not just for the weaving process but also to assist in the warping up of a loom. A Heddle Hook is used for entering the warp threads through the heddles. A Reed Hook is used to pull the lengths of warp yarn, one at a time, through the dents on the reed. This process is known as sleying the reed. The Auto-denter has been designed to 'walk' from one dent to the next without having to remove it from the reed, and once mastered can save a great deal of time when preparing the loom.

Other essential tools included weaving shuttles. Shuttles hold the weft yarn which is the yarn woven perpendicular to the warp yarn.

Different Types of Shuttles

Stick Shuttle: Stick shuttles are a cost effective option for small looms and weaves. They are made from narrow lengths of wood with wide notches at either end. The yarn is secured at one side of a notch and wound in a figure of eight along one side of the shuttle before repeating on the other side of the shuttle, and then from top to bottom until it is fully loaded.
Inkle/Belt Shuttle: Similar to a Stick Shuttle, a Belt Shuttle has a bevelled edge down one side. This edge is kept free of yarn and is used to beat down the weft on and Inkle Loom as it is woven.
Ski Shuttle: Usually quite large, the Ski Shuttle is designed to take medium to heavy yarns for weaving rugs on a loom, they work best where the loom provides a wide shed. The yarn is wrapped horizontally around the top of the ski which leaves the smooth bottom to slide across the warp. These large shuttles can hold much more weft than a boat shuttle and are appropriate for weaving with thick wefts and for weaving rugs.
Rug Shuttle: Like the Ski Shuttle, the Rug Shuttle is designed to take medium to heavy yarns for rug weaving on a loom with a large shed. A smaller length of wood is sandwiched between two larger lengths of wood with smooth beak shaped ends. The yarn is wound around the centre of the sandwich, allowing the weaver to use the shuttle either way up.
Boat Shuttle: These shuttles look similar to a hollowed out canoe, hence their name. Attached to one end of the opening is a hinged shaft so that a bobbin, wound with yarn, can be slipped onto it and snapped into place. The bobbin rotates as the weft yarn is fed into the weaving. Variations on the design include an open bottom Boat Shuttle which has an opening all the way through the centre of the shuttle and a closed bottom Boat Shuttle which has a 'floor', there are Double Boat Shuttles which take two loaded bobbins for weaving with two different weft threads, and Roller Boat Shuttles which incorporate wheels inset into the bottom for smoother operation.
End Feed Shuttle: End Feed Shuttles look very similar to Boat Shuttles. Instead of a free spinning bobbin, the shaft is loaded with a pirn which remains stationary. As the yarn comes off the end of the pirn it then goes through a set of tension pads which feed the weft from the shuttle at a constant tension. The yarn unwinds while the shuttle is in motion and stops unwinding when the shuttle stops.

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