Projects and Science



Greece, spindles
Left: wooden top-whorl-spindle with a hook made from an iron nail, length: 11,4".
Right: bottom-whorl-spindle with a stone whorl. The spindle shaft is made like the Bulgarian supported spindles only here a whorl has been added so it can be used as drop-spindle. Length: 12,2".
Greece, bottom-whorl

Greek bottom-whorl-spindle with metal hook, 1947. Length: 11,22"; whorl diameter 2,36".Carved in Greek language on the side of the wooden spindle whorl:

ΤΗΣ 5/3/47

 OF 5/3/47

Greece, iron spindles2

Iron spindles. Left: smaller center-whorl-spindle. Weight: 38.54 g (1.35 oz.); Length: 12.2". Right: larger spindle with the whorl situated on the upper part of the shaft. Weight: 99,60 g (3.51 oz.); Length: 15.94". Both disc-shaped spindle whorls show holes. This can be decoration as well as contribute to weight reduction.

Greece, wire spindle
Large iron spindle (wire or shoemaker´s spindle) used for plying. Weight: 133.5 g (4.7 oz.); Length: 13.33". Initially a four-ply yarn (2 two-ply yarns plied from one white and one blue yarn - Detail right) was wrapped on the shaft of this spindle (far right). However the ply-yarn had to be removed before restoration.
Greece, distaff 3
Distaff with four pointed ends. 19th-20th centuries. Length: 28".
Greece, distaff

Elaborately carved distaff with hook. 20th century. Length: 36.6".

Greece, Kinouria, distaff
Hand carved Greek distaff from the province Kynouria, Arcadia, Peloponnese. Early 19th century. Length: 31,5".



Greece, distaff 2
Distaff with two hooks on the backside. 19th-20th centuries. Length: 32".
Greece, distaff 4
Distaff with female figure and missing board. Length: 35.4".



Greece, distaff 6

Distaff with female figure. The inserted cross-shaped board shows the inscription "Γ. Ι. Μπαλωμενοs 1914". The present length of the distaff is 23.6", but a comparison with a similar distaff (see below), but with missing board, suggests that it was once longer. Either the distaff was intentionally shortened or rounded at the point of break.

Greece, distaff 7
Distaff with female figure. On the "wings" scenes from the Greek romance Erotokritos are carved into the wood. Length of the distaff: 36.6".One scene depicts the title character Erotokritos as he sings under the window of the princess Aretousa. Inscription: ΕΡΟΤΟΚΡΙΤΟΣ.
"Erotokritos" is a romance composed by Vikentios Kornaros in early 17th century Crete.
For more information see:  

Greece, distaff 5
Distaff with anthropomorphic figure. Length: 37.4".

Greece, stamp with distaff
Stamp with distaff.

The distaff is of the same type as the distaff from the province Kynouria, the distaffs on the postcard with the group of spinning women and the distaff of the woman riding on a donkey (detail right). 

Greece, group of women spinning
Group of Greek women spinning. The distaffs used (see detail on the left) are of the same type as the one from the Province of Kynouria shown on this page. 1918.
Greece, old woman spinning
Old woman spinning. C. 1907-1915.
Greece, woman riding a donkey, spinning

Greek country woman spinning.

Greece, Crete, Sitia, woman spinning
Woman from Sitia, Crete, spinning.
Greece, women spinning and weaving
Women spinning and weaving. C. 1907-1915.
Greece, woman spinning
Woman with spindle and distaff, 1988.
Greece, Thasos, woman spinning

Woman spinning, Village of Panaghia, Island of Thasos.

2 Greek women spinning

Greek Women spinning wool. Although both use the same spindle type they apply it differently.
The woman on the left holds the spindle with the spindle whorl down, has clamped a distaff under her arm and spins fine yarn. The woman on the right holds the spindle the other way around (whorl upwards), has no distaff, and spins very loose yarn, possibly for the production of a Flokati (pile carpet).

Image from the video on Youtube: Το γνέσιμο-Όλγα και Χαρίκλεια Θάνου 4.8.2008 

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