Sunday, 30 December 2007

End feed shuttle tension & selvedges

Having been reminded by Peg of Weavecast, the downloadable podcast from Syne Mitchell, I've just been happily sitting in my rocking chair, knitting the cuff at the end of the first sleeve of the jumper I'm working on, and listening to the latest episode. The only complaint I have about Weavecast, and this is a feeble complaint, is that it gives me more ideas of different things to do... and I already have a head full of ideas! I love Weavecast because it expands my knowledge of weaving and introduces me to other weavers, and it is very good indeed. Syne is just the person to do a broadcast like this on weaving. She has a sense of wonder and inquistiveness that she is able to express in a way that takes you with her. I don't feel like I'm an isolated weaver sitting at home on my own on a cold winter's night, with Weavecast I'm somewhere else, with Syne saying "now here's something to interest you..."

Back to my own weaving.

You may remember that I'm not entirely happy about my selvedges. The good news is... they have just improved no end. Look at the awful untidy mess in this next photo:

This was in a header row at the start of a sample warp. It is so bad, the worst I've woven recently. I could not carry on without fixing it.

I looked carefully. The other selvedge was perfect. How odd. I wove a few more picks, and noticed that the yarn didn't pull tight at the right hand edge, but did at the left where I was applying additional tension with my fingers.

I looked at my shuttle. It's a Crossley end feed shuttle with a Honex tension device - the yarn runs through a clip that is tensioned by using a screw to adjust a spring that presses on the clip. I used a different shuttle for a few rows, no problem. So, it had to be time to adjust the tension. Again, it was because of reading Peggy Ostercamp's books that I was more alert to this as a potential problem than previously. Out with the screwdriver, and this problem was soon fixed.

See - this is so much better!

The cloth you are looking at here is a 5-end repeat advancing twill, treadled in the same pattern as the threading.

Now for anyone not familiar with an end feed shuttle, here, posing with my Schacht boat shuttle (top) are three different Crossley end feed shuttles that I was lucky enough to obtain from Crossley's, of Todmorden, Lancashire, England, before they closed their business down, in 2006 (another family manufacturing business lost with the demise of the British textile industry, although I understood that their last industrial mill customer was in Canada).

The shuttles are beautiful objects, lovely to handle, as well as being good shuttles and a pleasure to use. They were designed for handweaving, therefore do not have metal tips (as fly shuttles do).

Each one is different, and code numbers on two of them indicate that one was made in 1993, the other in 2006, both are also marked AVL. A member of the Weavetech yahoo list who wanted some of these shuttles followed up this clue and discovered that AVL still have a few in stock.

And the next photo shows how the yarn runs through the tensioning device. The adjustments are made with a screw accessed from the side of the shuttle.


Leigh said...

I would dearly love to have at least one end feed shuttle, but they haven't made it to the top of my weaving financial priority list yet. Like you, I have figured out that my shuttle throwing tension creates problems for my weaving, though I don't always correct it as easily as I figure out what's wrong.

kim said...

Dorothy, having just received one of these from my dear husband for Christmas, it would be wonderful if you could discuss using an end feed shuttle. Do I wind the pirn differently then I would a bobbin on a boat shuttle? How do I trouble shoot my weaving using the end feed shuttle?

Any thoughts you care to share would be appreciated. Of course, I now need to warp the loom again so I can try the present out, but that's a whole other can of worms!

Sherry said...

See if you can track down a 'Signe's width holder' , they're made in Canada. The address I have is 40 Kingsford Cr., Kanata, Ontario, K2K I24. You attach it to each side of your loom, and once you have about two inches woven, you attach it to the selvedges. As you weave, you move it forward. It works like a temple, keeping your web taut, hence... nice, even selvedges and no temple in your way and/ or weighting down your weaving. If you e-mail me, I can send you a picture of one in action. I use it for everything I weave. It is one of the best doodads that I have bought for weaving, the best being an end feed shuttle. Sherry =

Cerita said...

I have just come across your blog, and was so happy to read your posts on EFS. I would love to get a Crossley EFS, so I keep looking. Mind you I have never used an EFS :). BTW, I am also a Linux user, and work under Ubuntu. I LOVE Linux!

Anonymous said...

I haven't had any luck finding a Signe's Width Holder ... any chance of posting a photo of the tool, and current information about the manufacturer? Thanks for all the wonderful information - you've really turned me into a weaver!

Dorothy said...

Sorry, I can't help with that - I have never, ever heard of such a thing apart from the mention above by someone called Sherry! I suggest you send a letter to the address she gives.