Sunday, November 7, 2010

More of My "New to Me" Shuttles!

Late in the ‘90s, or maybe in the early ‘00s, I learned about Aero shuttles.  Now, these were the German-made shuttles, but they were still better than the metal shuttles with the metal bobbins I had been using, so I bought one…or two…several.  They were great! …that is, until the bobbin and the notch inside the shuttle stopped playing nicely together; then the bobbin would free-wheel, and that was aggravating.

Then I learned that the German Aero shuttles were not the originals – they were copies.  The originals had been made in England, and rumor had it that they were superior to the German versions.  I started looking on auction sites and finally found one – at least I was pretty sure it might be one.  The seller was really selling a quantity of thread, and was “throwing in” this old grey shuttle marked “Alko – England.”  Alko?  I was pretty sure the seller was misreading “Aero,” so I put in a bid.  I was the only bidder, so I won.  Sure enough, when the package arrived, it was an Aero – England shuttle.  Then I bought some later Aero shuttles (still made in England) from Jane Eborall, and on occasion would win another of the older Aero shuttles.  Then came this find:
It’s a metal Aero.  I found a wonderful book on tatting shuttles by Pam Palmer (which deals with European shuttles primarily – it’s a great addition to your tatting library, and an excellent companion piece to Heidi Nakayama’s book Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors.) which discusses all the various Aero shuttles.  This one is indeed an English Aero made of metal – and it has a pick tip; Palmer states that this particular model was aimed at the American market.  It is a post shuttle; here is a side view that shows the post: It’s very lightweight and I enjoy using it.

I have more shuttles to show you, but it's been a rough couple of weeks (hopefully this will be the last couple of days I have to take medication for my back) and it's time for me to say goodnight.  Have a wonderful day!


  1. Very interesting! I'm the proud owner of one English Aero shuttle. The post shuttle is very interesting... something I think I'll look for!

  2. Sharren,
    I am so sorry that it had been a rough couple of days for you. I pray for you to get relief and feeling better soon.

    Just to add a bout the Aero Shuttles for your readers.. I found this out from a gal "La Cossett" from one of the etsy shop. She creates decorated Aero. She ordered new batch of the shuttles.. to her dismay..they are made in Mexico and were not aceptable ... so beware of where your next Aeros!


  3. Oh, the original Aero England shuttles used to be made about twenty miles away from where I live. Also the old Milwards. I've got a metal Aero like that too but didn't know it existed until I bought one off Ebay a few years ago. Pam's right - they must've been made for the American market as they never appeared in our shops. When I was a kid I loved the Milwards shuttles but was forever losing the hooks!!! Thanks for another interesting post. BTW have you read ALL those books on your bookshelves?

  4. Hope you feel better - sorry for the back & knee pain!

    I love seeing all the shuttles. I want a NATA one.

  5. the metal aero is very cool, does it hold the same amount of thread as the bobbin aero?

  6. I really like to use the metal Aero - it's slim and does seem to hold a lot of thread. I just lucked up on it on eBay --

    I just don't buy the German Aeros any more - I can keep some going for awhile, but others won't last a year! The bobbins, when they don't work in the Aero any more, get a second chance in a metal Boye - replacing the metal bobbin, which I don't like.

    The knee seems to be back to (semi)normal - at least it's not swollen to the size of a casserole dish! My back is better too - thanks for all the well-wishes.

    Check with Gale Marshall on the NATA shuttles - the last I read on her website, she was going to try to make them herself. She also used to sell the same tiny shuttle made from Corian (the countertop material) - I don't know if she has any left, but it wouldn't hurt to ask! :-)

  7. Catching up on the blogs! Agree very interesting what you have said, just love the Aero shuttles and it is a shame they don't make them in England anymore. Also purchasing the bobbins for them (well actually the pop-a-bobbin shuttles as they are the same!) became a real effort as no one in England, at first, was prepared to supply them in bulk so we had to get them shipped from USA, that stopped because Customs hit us hard! We did speak to the factory in Germany but were not allowed to buy directly from them. So so frustrating.
    Pleased you are feeling better.