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Puzzle [solved already]

Regular readers know that I occasionally post a puzzle. People email me with photos of odd things, and I ask the textile HiveMind for help (and if you have a puzzler, please send it!).

[This one was solved before I even got to post it, since I happened to mention this item to a friend who has a great deal of expertise in old textile equipment. She owns two, and told me exactly what this was.]

A friend who lives in Minnesota showed me this photograph, saying that she’d inherited the item from her grandfather-in-law.

rag rug shuttle filler

It looks kind of like a spinning wheel, specifically like a charka, but I didn’t see a bobbin or spindle, and couldn’t tell what other components it had. Or rather, it looked to me as if a charka mated with a grinding wheel! I asked her for a couple more pictures, and she was happy to oblige, supervised by Gunther.

rag rug shuttle filler

She tells me that it was certainly used by the grandparents on their Minnesota farmstead.

rag rug shuttle filler

Do you recognize it?

It’s for filling the tubes that go in the giant rag rug weaving shuttles. There’s a description with photos here.

I can certainly see thrifty and cold Minnesota farmers weaving a lot of rag rugs. I wonder if my friend also inherited the loom?

1 Comment on “Puzzle [solved already]”

  1. #1 Laura
    on Oct 23rd, 2010 at 1:15 am

    That’s pretty cool. Those shuttles look way more efficient than the stick shuttles I’ve always seen mentioned in weaving books. Plus there is the coolness factor of the nifty tool!