21 January 2010

Talking about Aero shuttles!

An interesting comment on Aero shuttles has been made on Fox's blog here.

I did think about sending out the 'tat police' to arrest Fox for murdering an Aero shuttle  but then thought better of it.   She is after all a tatter!!!!

It reminded me of the one I've been using for about six months now.  I've scanned it to show you.  This is an England Aero but it has a crack.  Can you see it on the first picture?  It goes nearly the whole way across the shuttle.  I cannot bear to part with it until it has finally fallen to bits.  I use it constantly and push the bobbin in and out as usual.  It's still got the right tension, the hook is fine so why should I throw the poor wee thing away?  Then I see murder being committed on Fox's blog.  Ooooooh, I grieve!!!


  1. Judith9:36 am

    I use Aero shuttles, but find that the bobbins work loose and I can't keep any tension because the bobbin keeps spinning. How come you manage to use one for such a long time? I have found this problem with all aero shuttles. Obviously I must be ill-treating the poor things.

    Actually I haven't picked up a shuttle for ages but am beginning to feel like starting again. I thought of doing the TIAS, but think I had better brush up on technique first!


  2. Ah, there is a thought that the Germany Aeros are not as good as the England ones. I've a feeling myself that this is 'age' related. I THINK the modern Germany ones are not as good as the older ones. That's just my thoughts. I've got shuttles that I've been using for years and years and if a bobbin works loose I buy a replacement pack. I don't often have to do that either!!!

  3. I can see from the picture on Fox's blog that the Aero in question is one of the German ones.
    Don't grieve for one of the German-made Aeros -- it's not worth the time nor effort! I was not happy with the German Aeros as, with age and use, the bobbin would begin to free-wheel. I've also had the hooks to pull out from the shuttle! The English Aeros are so much better made, and I've had no problems with any of them. Sad that they're no longer in production in England.

    How did yours develop the crack in it?

  4. I wonder if that nail-repair glue would work for the crack and put off the inevitable?

  5. Sharren, I've no idea!!! I might've sat on it even!!! Seriously it's the only one I've ever had it happen to and I'm just SO surprised that it keeps going!! I noticed the crack months ago and thought I'd just keep using it. The bobbin inside is still firm and I take no extra care either when pushing it in and out.

  6. Thank you, you made me laugh. I saw the original post you mentioned and yes it really was murdered.

    I started to learn with the aero shuttle but didn't like it for the same reason as others, the tension. On the other hand I like having the hook for joining to iddy biddy picots. Now I use the clover shuttles but keep an aero in my bag just in case I can't make a join with the point.

  7. I, too, favor the Aero shuttle (mostly for that crochet hook on the end and the extra bobbins available). I would just rub some strong glue into that crack and I bet it will last for years to come.
    deanna in Texas

  8. My very first Aero shuttle was given to me by my MIL when she first taught me. It was of course the "old" English Aero. I used it profusely. One time I popped a bobbin in it and one whole side cracked. Can't pop a bobbin in it now or use it. The crack is just before the molded part of the hook. I have sent it to another tatter who is familiar with glues and plastic. She couldn't fix it. She mentioned it is some form of thermo plastic. So I am afraid it is doomed to be shelved. BUT I CAN'T PART WITH IT! It was my first shuttle and also my MIL gave it to me. Plus it is one of the OLD ENGLISH AEROS.
    Got any suggestions?

  9. I also love English Aero shuttles and there was a time when you went off them Jane - but returned. Um interesting comment by Tatman "pop a bobbin" isn't it?!!!

  10. I have a problem with the Aero's made in Germany spinning their bobbins!

  11. Poor little Aero. I love all of mine -- even the German ones. I've tried post shuttles and I just get so frustrated with them. The only one I really like is my David Reed Smith shuttle -- it's a thing of beauty to look at and to tat with.

  12. From someone who rarely uses traditional shuttles now, I have used the Aero. I could not stand the click-clack of the bobbin so I took the metal bobbins out of the old Boye bobbin shuttles and put them in the Aero. (The Boye had a tendency of marking the thread so they quickly became obsolete to me and just collector's items.) No more clacking from the Aero.

    I'd do nothing if the crack isn't catching the thread. However, on the other hand, I would want to stop the crack from breaking the shuttle and making it unusable. Glue has never worked in my favor so I'd try fire. Heat an implement hot enough to melt the crack. Just an idea?

    Doing anything else but fixing the bathroom...

  13. Jane, I would recommend superglue.

    I love my Aeros even if they are the German ones. For those with trouble with loose bobbins, my quick fix is to cut a piece of a 1/4 inch wide rubber band, roll it up, and put it in the bobbin hole. This will create enough friction that it is still usable.

  14. To be honest with you all I doubt I'll ever bother to try and repair this little beauty - I'm just intrigued with it's stamina!!!! I still have a 'few' England Aeros somewhere in a blue bag that I bought a few years ago. I'm keeping them 'just in case'. Also I'm now using a handmade wooden shuttle that my sister's hubby made. It's SO like the England Aero to use. Although it's made of wood it has the Aero bobbin inside and her DH has even made a wee hook - just like the Aero ones. Sally and I are still 'testing' them before they go for sale. Hard work testing tatting shuttles - NOT!!!!!

  15. LOL! I've murdered my share of Aeros by cutting off the winder end, sanding them all smooth & decoupaging scrapbooking paper on them. Many of them don't hold tension any longer, so I keep them for the hook.

    Now, my excuse is, "That was before I acquired my Silent Tatter." hee! hee!

  16. I am in a secret, undisclosed location and must be quick. The Aero vigilantes are on the hunt.

    You must know that my English Aeros are safe and LOVED and in their own special little box, secure.

    It was an accident. I didn't mean to do it.

    Oh-oh, I hear the clacking of angry shuttles somewhere nearby... Gotta go,

  17. I'll find you Fox!!!! You'll never be able to hide from the Tat Police - Aero division!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. My very first shuttle was (and still is lol) an Aero England - it is probably over 35 years old and still going strong (it is the shuttle I use most as well as it is my favourite) with no problem with the bobbin maintaining tension. I also have some Aero Germany's that would be 10+ years old and they all have "looser" boobins to one degree or another.
    So it can't be an age or use related problem - must simply be a quality issue?

  19. I too love the Aero's, German and English. I agree with you about the age of the German ones, though. The first German Aero I bought feels, and tats differently than the one I bought recently. By the way, the Aero was my first shuttle as well.

    As to the unwanted spinning action that some people have mentioned, there's an easy fix. Dip the shuttle in boiling water for a few seconds. Use tongs or something to hold onto it. Then, take the shuttle out of the water, squeeze the shuttle and dip it in cold water. As someone mentioned the shuttles are made out of a thermoplastic. The shape of a thermoplastic can be changed by heating it, and then cooling it to lock in the new shape. Please note, I haven't done this with English Aero's, only the German ones and the various Aero imataters.

  20. Based upon Jane's comment about her sister's DH's wooden shuttle design (still in product testing)-- Have I lost anyone? -- I now want TWO of them, at least!

    I have never used an England Aero, old or new, so these wooden marvels will be the closest thing to them I can find. Oh yes, I want them!

    As for the German Aeros, I have two and one of them went all loosey-goosey tension after a single use. Pitiful. But I will try Martha's suggestion about the rubber band.

    Is there anywhere a tatter can go to purchase one of the England Aeros these days?

  21. Judith (Threadnut)12:03 pm

    All the comments on the Aero shuttles have reassured me that I am not mistreating my shuttles!!

    Thanks for the hints about rejuvenating them. I shall certainly have a go.

    What would we do without this blog!

  22. I love these comments. Thanks Jane for starting this thread. Don't own an Aero shuttle but I do have a Birch (Australia) shuttle which looks exactly like the Aero. Did not like it when I first used it but I took it out to try again, after reading Fox and Jane's posts. Tats ok now!! Just wanted to say thanks to all.

  23. Hey Jane. I got it!!!! This is your favorite shuttle because of the hook? Why not run a string- if you have any- through the winder end and hang it around your neck!!!! Your tiny needle will be right there ALWAYS and you can keep a full bobbin in it with the thread you are using for the current project too!!!! Then you don't have to part with an old friend after all. Here in the US we also have those Aero shuttles made in England. I have 4 so far and have not had any problems. Yet! But when I do I now have learned of many ways to help keep them working a little longer. I love the fact that they hold more thread than the Clover, which I use for those smaller projects. I also have fashioned a wooden one for my own use that is similar to the Hoar shuttles. A little bulky to work with, but it holds a LOT of thread for those larger doilies and such.

  24. I broke 2! English Aeros, one week apart, just winding them. At the time I owned 2 English Aeros and 2 German Aeros and I was heart broken. Both broke right across about a half inch below where the hook is attached. DH filled the space between with hot glue and I've used them both like that for years. I won't part with them. I tat a lot, about a doily's worth of tatting almost every week and my Aeros really get a work out. For a crack that size in that location I'd try Krazy Glue or a very tiny amount of epoxy.

  25. Deanna544:21 am

    Thank you, Jeff! I can't tell you how happy this makes me and how grateful I am to you for your suggestion/help.
    I have 4 beloved Aero English shuttles and 1 I really don't know what it is as the printing is worn off, but ALL of them had the dreaded Spinning Bobbin Syndrome even with hardly used bobbins. I was desperate as I have a tatting class to teach soon and was looking at having to retire all 5 shuttles and buy new ones that would work properly. I have had these shuttles for years and hated to have to replace them.
    I just tried your method of immersing them in boiling water (even the 'unknown brand' one) holding the shuttle with pliers for 6 seconds then squeezing them gently and dipping them in cold water for 6 or 7 seconds and a miracle occurred!...THEY HAVE TENSION AGAIN! They don't free wheel anymore! They shall live on and I am overjoyed! You have saved 5 much used, much loved shuttles. If they loosen up again, I can resurrect them the same way. I also can tell future Aero shuttle tatters how to save their's as well and I will absolutely tell them that it was you who knew how and about this wonderful site.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge with us Aero tatters.
    I am very happy to have found this site and thread, thank you Jane!

  26. Deanna544:49 am

    Jeff's method for Spinning Bobbin Syndrome really works!
    Thank you so much, Jeff, for sharing your experience and knowledge with us Aero people. I have 4 Aero English shuttles and 1 that I'm not sure what it is as the printing has worn off and it's whiter than the English ones. They varied from no tension at all to barely acceptable. I tried your method of a boiling water dip followed by a cold water dip, immersing them each time for 6 seconds and squeezing them in the cold water. They have tension now and are nearly perfect. You have saved 5 much loved shuttles from retirement! I shall spread the word to my tatting friends and tell them who is responsible for knowing how to resurrect Aero shuttles. And many thanks to you, Jane, for this wonderful site!

  27. Deanna547:50 pm

    I don't know why there are two messages here, each slightly different, but to quote Maxwell Smart "Sorry about that".

  28. Anonymous3:06 am

    I have one English Aero (would love to get my grubby mitts on more!!) and several German ones. The grey German shuttles aren't as nice as the English one, but they're still usable. The plastic hooks on all of my black German shuttles promptly broke off and the "butt" on the other end doesn't hold the bobbin for winding. Did anybody else have better luck with their black shuttles? Also, if anybody knows where I can purchase another English Aero shuttle or two, I would be eternally grateful. My address is: kathy at ericwade dot com

  29. Hello,

    When I first started tatting I had 2 shuttles one of them was a metal bobbin shuttle (a Boyle I believe it was), & just like Judith I found it was awful. The bobbin held very little or not enough thread and I could never get or keep the tension very tight as the bobbin was always spinning. However, I came across the "Aero" shuttle & thought it seemed better & would also work better. So I ordered what were supposed to be authentic "Aero" & not "Aero style" & here is the what I found & would like to know. After receiving it I practiced using it & found several things. First the bobbin held enough thread much more than the Boyle did. I also found that the bobbin does not spin as freely as the Boyle did, it definitely keeps the tension much better. However, if you want some extra tension & to make sure the bobbin can only be moved with a good bit of tugging, all you need to do is squeeze down on the center of the shuttle where the circle intendeds (that are over the connections for the bobbin) are & the bobbin will not move easily, not without good tugging. The question I'm having is, after I received the shuttles I am not sure they are actual authentic "Aero" shuttles & not just "Aero Style". There are several reasons why I say this. First of which is that the sight I purchased them from says they are made in Mexico and not in either England or Germany as you mention on your site. The other things that make me question the authenticity of the shuttles are that they do not say Aero anywhere on the shuttles nore do they have any other markings indicating whom they are manufactured by. Finally I saw when looking online the extra bobbins for the "Aero" shuttles have 2 small metal balls on them where the hole or tract is. These bobbins do not have them. So are they really authentic "Aero" shuttles or just "Aero style" as I suspect? Thanks for any help someone can give me.

  30. Hi unknown. There's a lot known about the Aero shuttles and still a lot unknown. The originals were made in Redditch when Aero was 'Aero'. The factory was taken over a few times and once moved to Germany where the shuttles continued to be made but a poorer quality plastic used. The best ones are ones marked with Aero England on but these sadly are rare to find. The new on the market Aerlit shuttles are a very good copy of the originals and can be found here. http://www.hhtatting.com/
    I've not come across the Mexico ones so can't comment on those and I suspect they are as you say, 'Aero style'.

  31. Hi :) Happy New Year to everyone.

    I cannot say I am really new to tatting, but in a way I am. I have learned tatting long before 1989, when on the market of the country I live in there were no shuttles, so the first shuttle we had was manufactured with many efforts.

    I started tatting again less than a month ago, when I bought a Milward shuttle which looks very much like an Aero one. I had no idea that the end of it can be used for winding till I read this in a post where they were saying that some of the tatters are getting rid of the bobbin winding end. So there is an use for that cross screw-driver like end, but I couldn't figure out how to actually use it. Can any of you please give me a tip?



  32. I was looking for Aero shuttles - they are not available in Poland, and I came here :) I've got one English Aero - someone gave it to me as a present. I think Aero is much better than Aerlit or Pony shuttles - it works and works... It's my favourite one. I hope you had repaired your shuttle, I woud try to do that.

    1. Aero is the best make, KasiaN. Least in my opinion!!! The best place to buy them is from Ebay.


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