Their Practical Use by Evelyn Simak and Eirwen
A spindle whorl is the disc-shaped object at the end of a wooden or metal shaft,
placed there for the sole purpose of balancing and steadying the motion of an ancient tool commonly known as a Spindle.
Spindles have been used by countless busy hands, since time immemorial,
to create yarns which we still admire today in the colourful garments
worn by so many peoples all over the globe.
Spindle whorls can be found in a wide variety of shapes, weights and materials.
They are individually crafted, at times beautifully decorated with old tribal patterns
and often kept as heirlooms over many generations.
Depending on local resources and craftsmanship, they are made from wood, metal,
clay, stone and parts of fruits or sea shells.
Just like the many-faceted beads, which they so closely resemble in their timeless beauty, spindle whorls bear witness to almost forgotten cultures and their traditions
and should be treasured accordingly.
One of our good customer / friends Eirwen is happily spinning in Wales and experimenting using our Whorls .. she has recently sent me some photographs of one of the Whorls in action, saying: I think it looks just beautiful and hope that I can do its maker and all the people who used it in the past justice, by eventually producing lovely yarn...as I'm sure they did...although it was probably cotton and not wool.
Click HERE to see the pictures.
An additional informative article on whether they are classed as beads - can be found on
For more information on spindles and spinning please contact:
www.wsd.org.uk Assoc. of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, UK
For a superb YouTube Video demonstration .. click HERE