Quick recap: Cone Mills is shutting down their White Oak plant. It’s a pretty big deal and you can read more about that here. If you want a piece of history, now’s your chance. Cone Mills’ online shop has some goodies up for sale, not the least of which are actual wooden shuttles from their vintage Draper X-3 selvedge looms. If you don’t know, the shuttle is the part of the loom that helped to literally weave history. This wooden piece would hold a bobbin of thread as it oscillated back and forth across the loom, weaving between the warp yarns to slowly fill in yards of selvedge fabric.
During the weaving process, these bad boys would sometimes go rogue and turn into projectiles. Get caught on the wrong side of that transaction and you could have an extra rib thanks to that shuttle snapping one of your own into two. But don’t worry. These shuttles are dead now and can’t hurt you anymore. At least, not physically. Instead, they’ll serve as a constant reminder of the death of White Oak and American selvedge denim as we know it, only hurting you on the inside.
I’ve already ordered mine and I’m going to use it as a sick paper weight that weighs my conscience down for not doing something more to prevent this.
These wooden shuttles were actually used on White Oak’s famed Draper X-3 looms which wove selvedge denim. Each piece is unique, with its own patina, nicks, and scars. The longer a shuttle was used, the darker the wood. And, just so you know for sure that you’re getting the real deal, each one comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (i.e., Death Letter).
Available for $49 at White Oak Shop.