A pirn or quill is a weft bobbin that is placed inside a shuttle in shuttle weaving. As the shuttle travels back and forth across the width of the shuttle loom, the weft yarn is unwound from the pirn through the eye (for ordinary shuttle) or slot (for automatic shuttle) of the shuttle and lay in the shed. The yarn on the quill is tapered at one end such that the yarn with drawl takes place continuously without entanglement.
Winding of a quill is different from the regular winding process. In quilling, the yarn is transferred from a larger package to the smaller quill, which is shown in figure. Also, the inspection of yarn is not part of the process, therefore, there is no yarn clearing zone.
The traverse mechanism is also different because of the different geometry of the quill. The traverse here does not go back and forth along the package. It only builds yarn on one part of the package at a time, which is shown in the figure. Therefore, quill building is somewhat similar to the building of a bobbin on a ring spinning frame. This type of winding helps reduce ballooning effects, maintain uniform tension, and reduce the possibility of slough-off.
The machines that are used to wind quill are called “quillers” or pirn winding machines. These machines are automatic, which means that when the quill is filled, it is doffed and an empty pirn is placed on the spindle automatically. With the elimination of the shuttle looms, the quill winding process is also disappearing.
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