Tribute to Spinning Around the World– Supported Spinning

And now for the last instalment in the spinning around the world tribute, supported spinning. I really enjoyed sharing all the spinning videos and loved the comments people shared with me.

To start our supported spinning week I shared a video of Support spinning on the go from the Hills of Himachal, this isn’t the first video I’ve seen of a women using a spinning spoon tucked into her belt for support sIpnning on the go, but it is the most recent. See, support spinning isn’t always a sit-in-one-spot type spinning!

Next I share some supported spinning from the Himalayan Mountains

This is a longer video featuring the Navajo spinning, which starts about 1:30 in. This spinning is done with a long spindle that is supported on the ground next to the seated spinner and spun by rolling on their leg.

Tribute to Spinning Around the World– Suspended Spinning

Continuing in my celebration of spinning around the world, I bring suspended spinning.

Here is a video from Peru, note that she uses a hand distaff but does not USE the distaff in the same way as with grasped spinning, she uses her left hand to hold onto the fibre and has to take her right hand away from the spindle to draft the thread out. Compare this to most grasped spinning we have seen last week where the distaff held the fibre and the left had drafted it out while the right hand spun the spindle.

Next I shared another suspended video from Peru, this one without a distaff.

Then a video of plying from Western Mongolia

And then off to see a Himalayan yak herder spinning yak wool

Then we we traveled to Northern Thailand to see cotton being spun

Tribute to Spinning Around the World– Grasped Spinning

I realised I never posted the compilation of my facebook posts featuring videos of the three main spinning styles, grasped, suspended and supported, from around the world.

So today I bring you the compilation of videos of Grasped spinning.

First up is this well-known romanian clip of a woman spinning with a distaff and spindle. I’ve seen much finer thread spun using this method, the spindle hand forms a funnel shape and the wrist flicks the spindle and as it rolls in the hand it spins.

This video is from Ecuador but I have seen similar technique in other parts of the world also. Here the spindle is spun from the ‘other’ end and supported between the hand and the thread comming off from the disaff.

This is a wonderful video from Western Serbia of a whole room full of grasped spindle spinners

I had a video from Bosnia showing a lady spinning with a distaff and spindle but it has sadly been removed from youtube.

D.Benta shows us how to spin with a “roca” and ‘fuso”, or a distaff and spindle

This video is of Trinidad Catagua, Master spinner and weaver from Zapote, Manabí spinning cotton. We saw a similar grasped style of spinning earlier, this one features a distaff that stands on the ground.

And I finished the week with a video from Ethiopia. There are just a few snippets of a woman spinning cotton on a top whorl spindle as you watch this video.

Mythbusting Monday

While writing a presentation on spinning I was working on a section on Myths about the European Medieval Spinning technique. I though it would be fun to share some, so for the next few Monday’s keep an eye out for them here 🙂

Distaffs are only used for flax.


Distaffs are only used for long fibres such as long haired sheep and flax.
Distaffs are used for short fibres like cotton. While for some spinning techniques such as drop spindle spinning a distaff does not take an active role in the spinning process and thus tends only to be used for longer fibres to help organise them, in many European styles the distaff is needed for the drafting and spinning technique regardless of the fibre length.