Continued from product description
on Home Crafts' Page Seven...
Background: Drop Spindles were in use before recorded
history. Most historians agree that the practice of spinning
fibers into yarn or thread existed over 10,000 years ago. The
drop spindle could have been used for over 9,000 years before
the spinning wheel was invented in India during the late Middle
Ages. The drop spindle has been documented back to the 1st century
A.D. In Middle Eastern archeological sites, whorls from drop
spindles have been dated back to 5000 B.C. No spindles have been
excavated because they were usually made from wood that biodegraded
over time. Some cultures used rocks for spinning, and this process
is still used today by nomadic tribes in remote parts of Asia.
There are several types of drop spindles available today.
The one made by Historical Folk Toys is the low-whorl drop spindle
with the whorl near the bottom of the spindle. There are other
variations, such as: the high-whorl drop spindle with the whorl
near the top of the spindle; a bead-whorl spindle with a one-inch
bead placed near the center of the spindle so yarn can be spun
above and below the bead; a hooked, high-whorl spindle with a
whorl located at less than half the length of the spindle and
has a hook on top; a hooked high-whorl spindle with two whorls
located near each other but with enough space to wind the yarn
between them; a cross-arm spindle which utilizes a piece of wood
or bone instead of a circular whorl; and a Turkish drop spindle,
which features a double cross-arm instead of a circular whorl.
The drop spindle used for wool needs to have a heavier whorl
than a hand spindle (4605) used for cotton because wool fibers
are longer. Wool fibers are generally around four or more inches
in length, whereas cotton fibers are only one to two inches long.
Fact: Spindles and spinning are such an integral part
of our world heritage that the mention of them is found in many
myths and folklore. Plato mentions the axis of the universe to
be like a spindle with the stars as the whorl. The goddess Spider
Woman taught the Navaho to spin. The goddess Minerva was challenged
by Arachne to a spinning and weaving contest. The three Fates
spun, and fairy tales such as Rumplestilskin and Sleeping Beauty
Please see our Wool Roving (4603)
for the historical background of wool roving.