Wind very narrow fabric strips on quills and put them in a boat shuttle. It’s efficient. It’s faster to wind a quill than to load fabric on a ski shuttle. Plus, I like the advantage of sending a boat shuttle across rather than a ski shuttle. This rag rug on the drawloom has fabric strips that are only one centimeter (~3/8”) wide, instead of the usual two-centimeter-wide (~3/4”) strips for an ordinary rag rug. Grab your boat shuttle and pay attention to a few simple tips. Your very narrow fabric strips will be woven up in no time.
Tips for Using a Boat Shuttle to Weave Very Narrow Fabric Strips
- Use fabric that has minimal fraying at the edges. Trim off any long threads. Loose dangling threads that are long enough to wind themselves on the quill will make you wish you had used a ski shuttle.
- Wind the fabric with the right side down. Then, when the quill unrolls, the right side will be facing up.
- Handle the wound quill as little as possible to prevent fraying the fabric edges. Simply wrap the tail end of the fabric strip around the filled quill. Do not wrap the end into a slip knot around the quill because the fabric will fray as you release the knot.
- Unwind enough weft for the pick before you throw the shuttle. Pull the weft out straight from the quill. When a quill unwinds in the shed, the weft comes off at an angle. And as such, if there are any loose threads at the edges of the fabric strips, the threads will wind themselves on the quill and bind it up. And you will wish you had used a ski shuttle.
May your hands enjoy their work.
10 thoughts on “Tried and True: Use a Boat Shuttle for Rag Weaving”
Oh thus is so lovely! I cant wait to see it! Thanks for all the tips! Its wuite an impressive piece!
Hi Geri, This design is good for a single-unit beginner like me. Very simple. But I think the outcome will be quite impressive, as you say.
beautiful. does the weft not shed threads as it is walked on? happy new year.
Hi Ellen, As with any rag rug, yes, the weft will shed threads as it is walked on. My main concern about keeping the fabric edges from fraying is so the fabric strips will roll off the quill unhampered.
Happy New Year,
Beautiful! Love that blue.
Hi Betsy, The color is very pleasant, with subtle variations. I am also going to introduce some more shades along the length of the rug.
Very interesting even for a long time weaver. Excellent way! Kudos to you for sharing this information.
Hi Ladella, I’m glad this interested you. It’s always fun to learn new ways of doing things.
All the best,
Good morning Karen,
About 5 years ago I bought a tabby woven rag rug with the warp deliberately saw cut at a craft show. The result was/is a shaggy rug. the first few washings freed the loose ends. Now it has settled.
Your post is on the other end of the spectrum of rag rug weaving. I love it.
Hi Nannette, There are many different styles of rag rugs. I’m having a good time with this one.