Pierced steel shuttle, UK, late 18th century. Pierced steel shuttle, UK, late 18th century. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, acc. no. 560-1907.

A shuttle is a boat-shaped device used to carry thread. With respect to decorative needlework, shuttles are used for netting and tatting. Shuttles for decorative needlework are made of a variety of materials, including bone, ivory, metal, plastic, tortoiseshell or wood. They are usually made of three elements: top, core and bottom (the top and bottom are normally identical) and are of varying sizes.

The shuttles used for netting are considerably larger than those used for tatting. The shuttles may be plain or decorated. The terminology associated with a weaving shuttle is different, although the basic shape remains the same.

Source: GROVES, Sylvia (1966). The History of Needlework Tools, London: Country Life, p. 86.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 8th July 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2017 17:23
More in this category: Netting Gauge »