- Simple to use
- Good for thick yarns
- You can use on any type of loom
- It´s flat – so if your loom doesn´t create a very wide gap for you to weave in the shuttle fits
- Slow and can be irritating to use compared to the boat shuttle as you have to unwind the yarn manually as you weave.
- If you want to use finer yarns it takes ages to load the shuttle as wind the yarn by hand
The shuttle most often used by craft weavers on table and floor looms. Available in different shapes and sizes, with or without wheels, open or closed on the bottom, in different shapes and sizes (avoid Ashford shuttles in our view as they are very narrow at the tip and it´s easier to make mistakes). You use them with commercially available quills (cardboard or plastic tubes onto which the yarn is loaded with a separate bobbin winder) most most people make their own by cutting ovals of paper and rolling them up and glueing them so they don´t unroll.
- Far quicker and more convenient to use than the stick shuttles.
- It´s a pleasure to weave with these aesthetically pleasing wooden shuttles which (see photo of Louet shuttles) are more ergonomically shaped.
- Bobbin winders (see photo of Louet winder, at left) help you to make perfectly wound quills every time.
- Convenient for fine yarns
- Not that great for thick yarns as you can´t load enough yarn on the quills
- Cost – more expensive than stick shuttles especially as you have to buy the bobbin winder as well
- Its size and design make this a great shuttle for weaving rag rugs
- Heavier than other shuttles
- Not as suitable for small looms or looms with poor shedding mechanisms
The professional craft weaver´s choice for production weaving. This shuttle is still manually operated by means of a system of a wooden knob attached to cords but enables you to weave far quicker than with the boat shuttles.
- Larger than boat shuttles so you can load more yarn. You don´t have to stop to change bobbins as often.
- Loom companies such as Louet make kits to adapt their floor looms quickly and easily to use their fly shuttles (see photo).
- Manual propulsion – no electricity required.
- You can weave quickly
- Used with an electric winder (most companies who manufacture fly shuttles also supply winders) it makes loading shuttles far quicker than the manual winders often used for boat shuttles.
- You can´t easily adapt looms that are not designed for fly shuttle weaving to the shuttles and mechanisms available on the market. Sizes are not standard but vary according to the brand. It can be very difficult to source the pirns which go inside old or ex-industry models of fly shuttle.
- Require practice in their use.
- The fly shuttle requires the addition of a box to the beater so it takes up more space and becomes heavier.