“Sett” is one of those fabulous old-fashioned weaving words that might seem strange at first, but refers to something pretty simple: how many strands of warp yarn there are in a single inch of weaving width. Because sett describes how many warp ends there are in an inch, it is commonly expressed using the term “ends per inch” or “epi” for short. A project with a sett of 20 epi, for example, has 20 warp ends in each inch of weaving while the project is on the loom.
You’ve done all the hard work of setting up warp and dressing your loom. You sit down and press a treadle (or flick a table loom lever) to throw that satisfying first pick and… nothing happens. The threads just sit there. Or maybe they open a little, but certainly not enough to throw a shuttle through comfortably. You, my friend, have a small (or missing) shed.
‘Beating’ is one of those weaving words that sounds much more dramatic than it really is. Each time a weaver throws a line (or ‘pick’) of weft, they need to push that weft into place to make a clean and even grid. This is called beating the weft. On a multi-shaft loom, you beat by swinging the beater bar towards you. On a rigid heddle loom, you use the rigid heddle reed to beat the weft. Some styles of weaving, like tapestry weaving and some rug weaving, require a special tool called a hand beater, which is a heavy wooden comb used for heavy beating. The tools are different, but the goal is the same: to get each pick of weft exactly where it needs to be.
Every shuttle is a work of art. Finding the one that’s perfect for your hand and your weaving style is a joy! Gather stocks over a dozen models of shuttle so that you can find your shuttle soulmate. Get started on the hunt with this handy shuttle guide.