Spinning History

I love watching old film footage especially of handicrafts. I cane across this silent film made in Germany in the 1930’s of the process of setting up a distaff (never seen that!), and then spinning and winding a skein. It was really neat and I thought someone here would enjoy it.

(I really want to learn how to spin, but not having someone on hand to make sure my antique spinning wheel is set up and tensioned properly, and the time (and roving) to work on it, means it remains a project for the future.)


Similar, but focusing on the process of spinning, narrated, and by British Pathé. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pLtdyFIe_VA

Those are both fun videos. I especially love the details of the flax spinning - everything, including the top knots, the wall paper, the techniques, the clothing. Wonderful. Thanks!

This German video is very similar to one I saw by a spindle spinner by the name of Josefin Waltin. https://youtu.be/UUeYJKOYrSk
I have grown and harvested my 2nd crop of flax to turn into linen and am learning how to spin it. This was one video I found of how to load a distaff. There is another I found later that shows a different way of loading a distaff. https://youtu.be/j4kQTtfGj7g

@Floppy2 those were neat! That second video reminded me of cotton candy.

I think everyone thought that. It is fun to see how different folks do the same task and why they do what they do. I would never have thought to fold the bottom edges of the flax underneath to make such a neat cone as the German woman did. Go figure.

That video I will use in the future to tell others who ask about what I am doing. It is so well laid out and explains everything very well indeed. So little in the spinning world has changed in thousands of years. That is comforting to me.

I enjoyed the first video from Gremany. The outfits the women were wearing are from the region my Mama grew up in.

@matushkaanna thanks for sharing those. i especially loved the elegance, care and perfection with which they did everything… the wheel, the distaff and all of the tool are beautiful, and the women are so precise in all they do.

An excellent example to follow! These days, this type of precision is looked down on, mocked or termed as “too much work”. No wonder sub-standard is now the high standard and good enough is enough.