Pirns and Twist: End Delivery Shuttle No. 1

Here is an illustration of an end-delivery shuttle. I’m having a hard time deciding how to present information about end feed shuttles in short posts. Look for more information coming soon. For now, consider twist which is a big part of knowing about these wonderful shuttles.

Instead of bobbins, pirns are used in the shuttles to hold the weft yarn.

Pirns and Twist: As the yarn is unwound from an end-delivery pirn, its twist is changed by a small amount, because the yarn comes off the end of the pirn. Actually, this twist change occurs when yarn is taken off the end of any pirn, bobbin, spool, or cone. When yarn is taken off the side of a pirn, bobbin, spool, or (not likely), a cone, the twist is unchanged.

I demonstrated this effect to students with a roll of toilet paper. If I pull the paper off the top end of it, everyone could see that the paper comes off twisted. It is easy to see the diagonal lines in the paper to determine the direction of the twist. Then, I turned the roll of toilet paper upside down and pulled off some paper. Of course, it is twisted again, but in the opposite direction from the first example. The last part of the demonstration was to pull the paper off the side of the roll. Voila! No twist!!

You can change the twist by how you put the pirn onto the bobbin winder’s spindle—that is, with the base facing the motor, or away from it. Try both ways and examine which way your winder adds and which way it subtracts twist for a given yarn. Check the twist as you take the yarn off the pirn. Differently wound pirns can create a noticeable difference in the woven cloth. (More about the directions of twist to come.)

7 thoughts on “Pirns and Twist: End Delivery Shuttle No. 1”

  1. Thanks for this reminder. I love the toilet paper example, it so clearly demonstrates the principle. I also want to say that although I don’t respond to each post. When one of your blog posts shows up in my email inbox, it makes me smile and I look forward to reading it.

  2. this is so very interesting! But then when we warp on a warping board taking the yarn from the top of a cone, we are also adding twist: isn’t there a problem?
    Forgive the question if too naive, I am a new weaver – and I adore your blog, and inehaustible source of weaving knowledge!

    • Nothing it too naive especially your question. Stay tuned. (yes there is twist but the manufacturer knows that so it’s usually ok–but not always!) Again, stay tuned.
      Thanks for letting me know what to do next!


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