Selvedge loops when using a double-bobbin boat shuttle

Hi all,

I'm currently weaving a narrow piece using a double-bobbin boat shuttle, and am winding up with lots of loops at the selvedges.  The problem seems to be that the bobbins feed out at different rates, and I can only tension one of them with my thumb as I catch the shuttle.

It isn't an issue for this warp, because the selvedges will be cut off (it's the double-happiness character ribbon for my wedding-dress, and the edges will be cut/turned under when it's sewn on), but I'm wondering what I can do for future projects where it might matter.

What, if anything, can I do to improve selvedges when using a double-bobbin boat shuttle?



Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 18:20

 I'm weaving rugs with a doubled handspun single for the effect - I wind the yarn in two strands(from both ends of center pull balls) on a boat shuttle and place the wefts carefully - and still there can be a difference of a few inches at the end of the shuttle.

I've also woven double stranded linen - the only way I could control things was to wind BOTH strands on the same quill - VERY carefully to prevent uneven tensioning between the strands. For my taste, it worked better than the double chamber shuttle - which I sold and never regretted.

The concept of the double shuttle is interesting, however, I've never had much luck actually using them - seemed like more or a gimmick.

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 18:40

Hi Tien,

Try throwing the shuttle a little faster.  A quicker throw will prevent the loops on the selvages, but you may need to use a temple to do this.  Also, some weavers who are accustomed to weaving without a temple want to have some looseness at the selvage to prevent draw-in.  They get into the habit of reaching out away from the warp with the shuttle to pull out some weft before throwing the shuttle.  This habit can also be the result of using plastic bobbins which create extra drag on the thread and sometimes catch in the shuttle.  If you avoid this movement/habit, you will not have the loops at the selvages.  

The threads will pull out of the shuttle as needed.  Perhaps it is the closest quill, which travels a couple inches less distance, which leaves the loops.  But if you haveminimal thread pulled out of the shuttle when you throw it, and you throw it faster and you use a temple, there should be no loops at the selvage.

However, any great change in how you weave might affect other aspects of your weave, such as your beat or threads per inch.  Since you have already done some weaving on this warp, you need to be sure that you do not change the look of the fabric.



Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 19:53

 Tien, are your threads feeding out of the same hole?  Is it possible to modify the shuttle to do that?  That would enable you to use your thumb tension.  I also agree with the temple idea....regards Deb Mc

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 20:40

Some weavers add fur to the shuttle well to tension and slow down the exiting threads.  It is an old trick but worth trying.

Laurie Autio

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 22:28

Thanks for the suggestions!  Joanne makes a good point about not changing how the fabric is woven halfway through the piece (especially important since this piece is the focal-point for my entire wedding-coat!), but once I finish the three-yard piece that I need for the coat, I'll try out some of those ideas on the remaining warp, as practice for next time.

I'll also try adding some fur to the shuttle - I don't think that will change anything, and it might help some of the problems I've been having with the thread leaping off the quills when the shuttle comes to a stop.  I'm not very good with even a single-bobbin boat shuttle (I usually use EFS's exclusively) so I need all the help I can get!

Thanks for the advice!


Posted on Thu, 02/04/2010 - 00:03

Like others, I haven't been pleased with using a double quill shuttle.  I have have been most successful using a single bobbin with several threads.  In order to maintain tension on the threads when winding the bobbin, I used the tension box from Purrington looms,

Much as I prefer not to use multiple shuttles, I have used two shuttles in the same shed.  Inserting the shuttles from opposite ends worked to keep a neat selvedge.