Flying shuttle showing metal capped ends, wheels, and a pirn of weft thread
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in the industrialization of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution. It allowed a single weaver to weave much wider fabrics, and it could be mechanized, allowing for automatic machine looms. The flying shuttle, which was patented by John Kay (1704–c. 1779) in 1733, greatly sped up the previous hand process and halved the labour force.