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Favourite things: Drop spindles

March 17, 2012

Drop spindles have been used for thousands of years to turn natural fibres into yarn. Some are crafty masterpieces in themselves, combining artisan skill and aesthetic beauty with practical use.

From top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Don’t drop glass spindle
  2. Carved Moose Antler and Ebony Mini Rim Weighted Top Whorl Drop Spindle
  3. Golding Rudraksha Ring Spindle: Made with birds’ eye maple, rudraksha beads from India strung on silver around the edge, and the inset is Tibetan silver and turquoise
  4. “From left to right, a Guatemalan spindle with some of the highly prized natural brown cotton called cuyuscate, the spindle from one of the walking wheels in Otavalo Ecuador and a Mapuche spindle”. From
  5. Turkish spindles
  6. Russian supported spindle
  7. Second century spindle whorls from the site of Martres de Veyre.
  8. Navajo spindle
  9. Tahkli spindle from India, which is a small supported spindle with a heavy brass whorl for building up lots of twist.


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