This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Swivel. A minute shuttle, used in weaving small figures in silks and ribbons, and moved to and fro across the warps by slides, or by hand. These little swivels carry threads of various tints, used to obtain special effects in the shading of figures or flowers which are produced in the pattern of the fabric. Swivel silks are any of the ordinary weaves, such as faille, grenadine, satin, etc., in which are woven small figures by the swivel process. [See Loom]