A simple distaff

03.11.2017 by Rotschopf in Equipment, Material culture, Textile work

Whenever I was spinning in the last years, I just had the wool flocks held in my hand. It was practical enough when going by metro or train, where I would usually spin. But I have not been entirely content with that for some time and during my research for …well not really an impression but some accessories that fall into the theme of shepherds and outdoor equipment, I started thinking about having my own made.

During my visit at the museum Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig however, I got the right hint.
Because they have an extant distaff in their exhibition. And it is really just a simple stick, not even worked a lot, just smoothened and with some riffles at the bottom for more grip (?). Which is just perfect for a simple impression!

I used a fairly straight stick from the bushes beyond my house, took the bark off, straightened it further and sanded it down.

Some details on the top and the bottom…

….and it can be dressed. I found this tutorial by Katrin Kania helpfull for that, but there are other methods out there as well. I guess there is no right way to dress your distaff, I will just try what I can work with best.


And this is, what it looks like in “action”.



Collection of original pictures of medieval distaffs

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