Projects and Science



cross spindle
The arms, one of them decorated with carvings, are inserted into each other and can be taken apart and rotated. This makes it possible to store the spindle in a flattened position that needs less space. The hook however prevents a complete disassembly of the spindle as it is possible with Turkish spindles. Therefore the yarn that is wrapped around the arms crosswise while spinning can´t be pulled off as finished skein. Length of the arms: 5.5"; Length of the iron shaft: 4.92"; Weight: 134.30 g.
Albania, spindles

Albania, shoemaker´s spindle
Iron wire spindle or shoemaker´s spindle with twisted shaft.
The name "wire spindle" refers to the material from which this spindle type is made (iron) and not to the solid ply-yarn produced with it. (For an explanation and use of this spindle type see "Wire spindles from Romania"). The only difference between this wire spindle from Albania and those from Romania is that here the finished yarn is wound onto the spindle shaft below the whorl. Length: 12.8"; Whorl diameter: 2.08"; Weight: 92.10 g. Late 19th – early 20th century.
Albanian distaff (origin presumably central Albania). Length: 29.3".
Distaff. 1999. Length: 38.58".

Albanien_Albania, Spinnrocken, distaff

Distaff with carved birds (turtledoves?). Late 19th - early 20th century. Length: 30.31". Below the wing-like crossbar with the representations of birds the initials A.E are carved onto the side of the staff. Above the cross-piece the original letters were apparently removed and a little further along the shaft replaced either by the number "55" or the initials S.S.


Albanien _3
 Distaff with cross and carved snakes against the evil eye. 1st half 20th century. Length: 34.6”.


 Distaff carved on both sides with floral and geometric patterns. 1st half 20th century. Length: 35.4”, max. width: 6.7”. 

Albania, Shkroda, woman spinning
Shkodra, Albania, c. 1906-1910. Supported spindle without whorl, rotated between the fingers.
Albania, Shkroda, distaff
Distaff from the District of Shkodër (Albanian: Shkodra), Northwestern Albania. Length: 32.87

Albania, woman spinning

Woman with distaff and spindle spinning. The image description on this postcard is "A walking flax spinning machine." Is this to be considered as a compliment for the hard working woman, or rather as insult? She seems not to be seen as a person but as an object (a machine).


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