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What does Shuttle mean?

In vintage shuttle looms, it is the device that carries the weft yarn across the loom.  One unique characteristic of shuttle looms from modern, mass-producing looms is that they can create a finished edge, also known as a selvedge.

Heddels explains Shuttle

The shuttle is the spindle-shaped device used in weaving to hold the weft, or filling, yarn and is passed back and forth through the shed. In 1733 John Kay patented the flying shuttle, a device that threw the shuttle through the shed by a lever.

The flying shuttle greatly decreased the amount of time needed for weaving. In addition, it allowed for wider fabrics to be woven, as now the loom was no longer limited by the weaver’s arm length to pass the shuttle from one side to the other.

Additional Resources

Working on a shuttle loom:

Raw Denim Term - Shuttle

Source: 58bits.com

Shuttles containing thread:

Raw Denim Term - Shuttle

Source: pacificwoolandfiber.com