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How to Spin Wool On Distaff

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The famous Romanian traditional fabrics are known to be the result of a hard work and some very special handcrafting skills. There aren’t too many peasants who still preserve the antique customs and traditions. Having the same working methods of the past, they master the art of creating genuine materials.

Spin Wool

           A Genuine Peasant from Bukovina  Hand Spinning Wool

She is spinning yarn with a primitive wooden spindle. Born in 1931, she lived rough times for peasants, when they had to manually create their essential things for a living: wool spinning, weaving, embroidering, knitting. She tells her story while showing how to spin wool on a distaff.



  • The wool is wrapped and tied on the distaff.
  • The distaff is held at the waist under your left arm – this might require some practice, until you get comfortable with the position. For starters, you can place the distaff in front of you, between your legs, or even drill a hole in the middle of a chair.

Now the distaff is prepared and you are ready to spin some yarn, it’s that simple: with your left hand you pick and pull some wool fibers, deciding the thickness of the yarn.

The fibers cling and stick to one another.

The yarn is spun with the spindle in your right hand.

First, you need to practice holding your spindle and making little wrist circles. You can also place the whorl on your foot, while spinning the shaft with your fingers, just like playing with a spinning top.

Primitive Hand Spindle 11″ Crafted


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