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Paper quills

April 13, 2009

One day I ran out of plastic bobbins –  they were all full of yarn which I didn’t feel like emptying .   So I made a paper quill.    They are inexpensive – a sheet of paper makes two and  is always available!    It is easy to overfill a plastic bobbin and one can think that the edge is there to keep your yarn on the bobbin.    By using paper quills you  learn how to wind a bobbin properly.  And one more bonus – they are quiet.

paper-quill00012 To make a paper quill I cut an oval from a firm piece of paper. I used an 8 x 11″ folded in half (8 x 5.5″) then   folded again and cut a half oval (makes it somewhat even) ,  it doesn’t have to be fancy!

The width of the oval should be slightly narrower than the inside width  of  the shuttle you are using.    Brands of shuttles are all slightly different, this allows you customize your quill and forget about putting beads or whatever at the ends of the bobbin to stop it from sticking.

To use begin by wrapping around the shaft of your bobbin winder making sure you are going in the right direction for winding on, or you will unwind your quill!  Insert the end of your thread under the flap and begin winding. I have found the are reusable if the paper is of good quality.

Premade  quills are available  in various lengths and if not the length you need, get some slightly larger and cut to size.

Top  to bottom


– homemade paper quill

– heavy pressed cardboard quill ( Louet)

– stiff cardboard paper quill – Leclerc

– partially wound paper quill

– partially wound bobbin

I am not saying my quills and bobbins are wound perfectly, but these show the general idea.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2009 3:30 pm

    Thanks for the scoop on how to make paper quills!!! So far I always use the Louet cardboard quills, but I’m definitely running out.

    Do you know if there are some shuttles that can only use bobbins, not paper quills? (I know end feed shuttles use pirns….so I’m asking about boat shuttles.) Sorry to ask a question in a comment, but if you do know off the top of your head that would be great for me to know too! I’ll check back here to find out the scoop!



    • evelynoldroyd permalink
      April 13, 2009 4:15 pm

      Sue – I have used quills in all kinds of shuttles and I have had quite a few types – still do! But yes those that take pirns are out. Damask shuttles, Leclerc, Schacht, and a couple that have no manufacturer’s name. It really is about adjusting the length of the quill you make to fit the shuttle – too short and it isn’t as easy to use because it will move back and forth too much. Too long and it won’t turn freely. I have found that some shuttles don’t like the plastic bobbins because the get stuck – hence the beads on either end. Evelyn


  2. April 14, 2009 1:54 pm

    Thanks Evelyn!!! Good to know!! Now that I have 2 looms (and actually a third on loan to me for a while), I find that my 2 shuttles are constantly getting moved from loom to loom. It’s probably time to buy a few more!!



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