Pirns are used in the same way as bobbins in a shuttle, but with some distinct differences.

Pirns are typically used in end-feed shuttles because the weft yarn unwinds from the tip of the pirn as the yarn pulls through the tensioning device.

Pirns can be made of wood or plastic and are tapered with the widest part being at the base for winding purposes.

While bobbins are wound from end to end, pirns are wound from the base forward to prevent snags and tangles.

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