New Shuttle for Inkle/Rigid Heddle Looms AND a Double Shuttle

I’ve tried a variety of materials (wood, plywood, acrylic), and my best result is from solid 1/4" wood. It takes longer to give it the smooth edge shaping than it does to cut and engrave this.

Works great! Nice balance and feel in the hand. I’m using really thin yarn (10/2 cotton, like for crochet), but thicker yarn would work even better. The design allows you to advance your weft yarn while still keeping it under control.

Shown on the loom is a new rigid heddle reed for basic inkle band weaving. It’s most durable made from acrylic, not wood, but I learned not to use dark material. Even in good light it’s hard to get the yarn into the right position. Once that’s done though, it doesn’t matter what color it is.

Technically, you can use heddle strings instead of a reed, but anything that’s hard on my fingers I don’t use. I’ll design something to not use manual heddle strings.

I’m designing a 2-bobbin shuttle next, for my 15" rigid heddle. That will show up this evening; I’ve got an online class that will start soon.


That is lovely, and the extra shaping make it look like it feels just as lovely as it looks! What did you use for the tiny tube in the center?


It’s a mason bee tube. I cut the first one with a box cutter, but the rest I’ll do in a batch on my scroll saw. Had to figure out the right length before going to town on them.


This looks great!


Thanks for all the likes and good advice! Here is my double-bobbin prototype:

It’s about 11-1/2" long, 1-3/4" wide. I can get two out of my 1/4" wood slabs.

Why make a double? If you want two different colors or textures of yarn in the same shed (weft pick), you either need two shuttles or a double shuttle. Winding the two yarns on the same bobbin will give you tangles or uneven feed the further you weave, since the two yarns will never come off the bobbin the same. One eventually is more slack than the other.


I love to see people make things on GlowForge to help with their other artistic endeavors, particularly fiber arts.


The wonderful thing about this double shuttle is that it’s a compendium of advice received from others, me checking out how forum members make their own projects, and comments about all of it. There’s no way I’d have come up with this on my own.

This forum rocks!


I agree completely!


What a lovely shuttle! I honestly don’t understand a word of how you use it but it doesn’t matter. I’m sure you are weaving great things. I want to see them when they’re done!


Any time we can make something useful … it gives joy. Well done!


:grin: I had to pronounce it out loud a few times to make sure I didn’t know what it meant. It sounds kind of poetic.



My brain tripped over itself trying to learn all the spinning and weaving terms, about 5 years ago. So I learned to ‘sing’ the phrases, and they began to make sense.

Just for completeness:

  • heddle - a device that constrains a warp thread
  • rigid heddle reed - a flat device that is peirced at regular intervals to separate and contrain the warp yarns across the width of weaving
  • inkle [loom] - a loom for limited width weaving (rarely over 3") that allows for plenty of length in a compact space
  • inkle band weaving - narrow but sturdy woven ribbon where the warp threads (long threads winding around the inkle loom) are pulled close together to make a warp-faced weave

    This is my dragon-shaped inkle loom that I took to a card-weaving class.

Here is the ‘final’ design in acrylic. I used “smoothie straws” for the bobbin. They have an inner diameter of 0.38", even larger than the mason bee cardboard tubes.

The yarn path was engineered so it’s a flat, smooth travel from bobbin through the opening (orifice) and into the weaving. It’s not heavy enough to “throw” like you would a boat shuttle, but it behaves well, otherwise.

There are three layers of acrylic, so the outer edges don’t crack under the stress of going through the shed. Even with a blunt edge, it beats the weft in firmly.


That’s really cool.

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