L L is a frame moving on a centre at the top of the frame of the loom; L L are the two uprights of the frame; l is the bar that connects them; M is a frame carrying a great number of pieces of split reed, or sometimes fine wire, at equal distances; between these the threads of the warp are passed; the frame being supported by a piece of wood called the shuttle-race, which is fastened into the front of the pieces L L; each end of this piece has boards nailed to the sides, so as to form troughs; at a small distance above these are fixed two very smooth wires; their use is to guide the two pieces p q, called peckers or drivers; to each of these pieces a string is fastened; and these strings are tied to a piece of wood, which the weaver holds in his hand, and, by snatching the stick to either side, draws the pecker forwards very quick, and gives the shuttle (which is to be laid in the trough before the pecker,) a smart blow, and drives it along across the race m into the other trough, where it pushes the pecker along to the end of the wire, ready for the next stroke, which throws it back again, and so on.
The ends of the shuttle are pointed with iron; it has a large mortise through the middle of it, in which is placed a quill containing the yam; also a glass eye, having a hole in it, through which comes the end of the thread; and two small wheels to make it run easily on the race. The operations are as follow: - The workman, sitting upon the seat P, holds the stick in his right hand, and takes hold of one of the bars of the frame L L with his left; presses his foot on one of the treadles G H, which by means of the lambs E F, as before described, divides the warp; he then relieves the treadle he before kept down, and presses down the other; while he is doing this, he with his left hand draws the frame L L towards him, and then returns it. The use of this is to beat the last thread thrown by the shuttle close up to the one that was thrown before it, by the split reeds. As soon as he has brought the frame L L back to its original position, and again divided the warp by the treadle, he throws the shuttle again; when he has in this manner finished about twelve or fourteen inches of cloth, he winds it by turning the roller A with the stick, as before described.
Some very expert weavers will throw the shuttle, and perform the other operations, at the rate of 120 times per minute.
In shuttles of the common kind, great difficulties have been experienced in causing the thread or yarn to come off the bobbin or shuttle-cap with an uniform tension, without which it is impossible to produce a good and even cloth; to remedy this defect, Mr. Gosset, of Clerkeuwell Green, lately invented an improved shuttle, for which he obtained a patent; and as the construction of these shuttles renders them equally applicable to weaving all kinds of materials, including the metallic cloth, or wire gauze, we annex the following description of them, from the specification:-
In the annexed figures, 1 represents a longitudinal section, and 2 a transverse section of the improved shuttle; in this example, adapted to the weaving of metallic fabrics, or other stiff materials, a a is the body of the shuttle, made of hard wood, and tipped with metal at the extremities, as usual; b is the bobbin or weft roller, made like a pulley, and turning upon a polished pin passing through its axis, in the morticed cavity c, made in the side of the shuttle; the pin b is adapted to be taken out easily, that the bobbin may be removed or changed with facility, as often as may be desired; d is the regulating spring before mentioned, the ends of which are bent round and fixed, by driving them into the wood. To this large spring is fixed a smaller spring e, so curved as to bear and press upon the upper surface of the bobbin; atf is an adjusting screw, the head of which is sunk into the upper part of the regulating spring d, to prevent its becoming entangled with the threads of the warp; the point of this screw is inserted, and works in a fixed nut in the inside of the shuttle, so that, when it is turned, the small curved spring is caused to press with more or less force upon the surface of the bobbin, thereby creating a greater or less degree of resistance for regulating the tension at which the yarn shall be drawn off the bobbin, and through the eye g, of the shuttle.
The upper and lower surfaces of the shuttle are formed concave, (as shown by Fig. 2,) in order that the head of the adjusting spring may be sunk within it, so as to prevent their coming in contact with the threads of the warp. The regulating spring is in some cases applied by the patentee within the cavity c, when a hole is made in the upper part of the shuttle, for the insertion of a turn-screw, to operate upon the head of the screwf, and regulate the tension. By another modification, the patentee forms the shuttle like a box, with the lid sliding in grooves, or hinged on; in which case the regulating spring is to be fixed on the lid, or one of the sides, so as to give the required pressure to the bobbin. In weaving articles of stiff wire, with this improved shuttle, a casing or tube of some elastic substance is employed to surround the bobbin, shown by dotted lines; this tube has an opening or slit on one side, for the wire to pass through; and by closely embracing the bobbin, prevents the coil of wire from unwinding, becoming loose, or entangled, and allows it to be drawn off evenly and regularly, as it may be required.
When the wire is very stiff and hard, the patentee recommends the employment of a pair of small steel rollers, to be fixed near the eye-holes, by which means the wire will run out with considerably less friction.
The annexed form of shuttle is adapted to the weaving of fabrics of silk or any other material. It is hollowed out, as described in the former, for the reception of the bobbins, which are three in number; these bobbins being charged with the thread or yarn, may be worked, one after another, with the same coloured thread, or with thread of different colours successively, for weaving figured goods; and when it is necessary to change the colour, it will only be requisite to break off the end of the weft done with, and draw the end of the other colour through its eye or opening. The springs and screws in this shuttle are similar to those described in the first-mentioned shuttle, and therefore need not be particularized again. Any number of bobbins may be employed in these shuttles, according as the nature of the work may render desirable.