Do any of you use Aerlit shuttles?  I have a Boye shuttle that I've used since I was a teenager.  I love it, and I love the fact that it has a removable bobbin.  In fact, the bobbins from my sewing machine (Singer Featherweight 221) fit it perfectly, and I can use the machine to wind the bobbins.

HOWEVER (you knew this was coming, right?), my sister wants me to teach her to tat when I visit her next month.  I was planning to get her a Boye shuttle just like mine, only to find that they're no longer made in the U.S., and the Chinese-made ones are a thinner metal, prone to cutting fingers.  Not gonna go there.

I saw the Aerlit shuttle also has a removable bobbin, but I'm wondering how well they work and how durable they are.  Any feedback?

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I use Aerlit bobbin shuttles a lot and have been using them for years.  They works well and last!  I like them a lot!

I have used Aerlit, the new Clover bobbin shuttles, and Shuttle Brothers bobbin shuttles as well as the Boye.  Frankly, I prefer the Aerlit or Clover versions over the Boye and Shuttle Brothers tools.  I find them both easier to use and kinder on my hands.  Of the two, I actually recommend Clover for teaching, as it does NOT have the hook on the front, only a traditional point.  For new tatters, that hook  can become a significant stumbling point.

I have been using the Clover shuttles that have a removable bobbin. I love them and they come in 2 colours - white and brown, so you know which is #1 and which is #2 if using them both!!  You can get packets of more bobbins, too, and each packet, both shuttles and bobbins, have a "holder" that also has a projection on one end for holding the bobbin while hand winding it. I believe they also fit on the sewing machine winder, but I have not tried that way.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your "new" student!! I hope she takes to the craft, and enjoys it.

Yes, they do fit the bobbin winder, both on my Singer sewing machine, and the stand-alone, battery-operated bobbin winder.  That last if very handy, by the way!

Elizabeth Ligeti said:

I have been using the Clover shuttles that have a removable bobbin. I love them and they come in 2 colours - white and brown, so you know which is #1 and which is #2 if using them both!!  You can get packets of more bobbins, too, and each packet, both shuttles and bobbins, have a "holder" that also has a projection on one end for holding the bobbin while hand winding it. I believe they also fit on the sewing machine winder, but I have not tried that way.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your "new" student!! I hope she takes to the craft, and enjoys it.

How do you do joins without a hook??

Kathleen Minniti said:

I have used Aerlit, the new Clover bobbin shuttles, and Shuttle Brothers bobbin shuttles as well as the Boye.  Frankly, I prefer the Aerlit or Clover versions over the Boye and Shuttle Brothers tools.  I find them both easier to use and kinder on my hands.  Of the two, I actually recommend Clover for teaching, as it does NOT have the hook on the front, only a traditional point.  For new tatters, that hook  can become a significant stumbling point.

She's not the first person I've taught to tat, but I'm really looking forward to it (as well as spending time with her).  She has watched me tat off and on for years, but never mentioned wanting to learn until a few weeks ago.  (Wait 'til she sees the needlelace and Hardanger I'm bringing, and maybe some Lefaritiko if I can find the right ground fabric!)

Elizabeth Ligeti said:

I have been using the Clover shuttles that have a removable bobbin. I love them and they come in 2 colours - white and brown, so you know which is #1 and which is #2 if using them both!!  You can get packets of more bobbins, too, and each packet, both shuttles and bobbins, have a "holder" that also has a projection on one end for holding the bobbin while hand winding it. I believe they also fit on the sewing machine winder, but I have not tried that way.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your "new" student!! I hope she takes to the craft, and enjoys it.

Just to clarify, do both the Aerlit and the Clover bobbins fit on the Singer bobbin winder?

Kathleen Minniti said:

Yes, they do fit the bobbin winder, both on my Singer sewing machine, and the stand-alone, battery-operated bobbin winder.  That last if very handy, by the way!

Elizabeth Ligeti said:

I have been using the Clover shuttles that have a removable bobbin. I love them and they come in 2 colours - white and brown, so you know which is #1 and which is #2 if using them both!!  You can get packets of more bobbins, too, and each packet, both shuttles and bobbins, have a "holder" that also has a projection on one end for holding the bobbin while hand winding it. I believe they also fit on the sewing machine winder, but I have not tried that way.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your "new" student!! I hope she takes to the craft, and enjoys it.



Trinity said:

Just to clarify, do both the Aerlit and the Clover bobbins fit on the Singer bobbin winder?

Yes, they do.  I've used the wide clear plastic bobbins that come with the Shuttle Brothers tatting shuttles, as well as the narrow metal bobbins from the Boye on both the sewing machine and the portable winder.  The little springy wire on the post ensures that it will snuggle up no matter which size the hole is and how wide the bobbin is.  I do not, however, usually feed the thread through the friction loop, as the larger diameter threads just jam it up.  For larger balls, I put them in a cup, and set that next to my winder, then loop the thread around the feed spindle and onto the bobbin.

You're right to avoid the Chinese ones. They have edges like a knife blade.

Aerlit works great. I haven't broken one yet, but I haven't done much tatting lately. They're comfortable and a little smaller and I like them. They have a metal hook. I like that, too. It is neater than the Boye one.

Aerlit above with #80 thread

Boye below with what I think is #100 thread

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