Projects and Science




Indonesia, Lombok, spindles 4

Wooden spindles, Sasak People, Lombok Island, early to mid 20th century. Lengths: 11.81" to 12.6".

Indonesia, Lombok, spindles 1
Wooden center-whorl-drop-spindles from Sembalun, Central Lombok, Sasak People, Lombok Island, early 20th century. The whorls are made out of a coconut shell. Lengths: 11.5" and 13.2". Whorl diameters: 2" and 2.44".

Indonesia, Lamalera, spindle
Bottom-whorl-spindle from the whaling village of Lamalera, Lembata – East Indonesia, late 20th century. Bamboo and fish vertebrae. Length: 15,47".
Indonesia, Timor, drop spindles
Drop spindles from Timor with whorls of yet undetermined organic material, wood and ceramics.
Lengths and weight: A = 9.05" (broken tip) / 15,92 g; B = 10.11" / 25,7 g; C = 11.61" / 24,95 g; D = 10.78" / 21,36 g; E = 9.52" / 23,36 g; F = 11.25" / 31,99 g. Early 20th century.

Indonesia, Timor, drop spindles, details
Detailed view of the drop spindles from Timor. A to C: whorls of yet undetermined organic material; D: wooden whorl; E to F: ceramic whorls. Upper right:  the notches or thickened upper tips of the spindle shafts. Early 20th century.

Indonesia, Lombok, yarn winder

Teile traditioneller Garnhaspeln (siehe Bild unten) der Sasak, Lombok,
mit Längen von 18,5 bis 27 cm, frühes bis Mitte 20. Jh. , Holz.

Indonesia, Lombok, woman weaving
Parts of traditional Sasak yarn winders (see image below), Lombok Island, with lengths from 7.28" to 10.62", early to mid 20th century.
Indonesia, Lombok, spindles 2
Wooden spindles, Sasak People, Lombok Island, early to mid 20th century. 11.81" to 12.4".
Indonesia, West Timor, spindles2
Spindles made from the heartwood of New Guinea Rosewood (Pterocarpus indicus), High Land Atoni Region, West Timor, early 20th century. Lengths: 7,74" to 10,23". These spindles were used supported in small or large bowls. Smaller bowls are sometimes made of coconut shells (bottom middle), larger ones can be woven baskets made of palm leaves in which a ceramic dish is placed (bottom right). The upper tips of the spindles (see details upper left) are occasionally formed into small, sometimes decorative carved knobs. These knobs suggest that these spindles can also be used as drop spindles.
West Timor, Boti woman spinning
Boti woman spinning yarn with a phang-like spindle supported in a bowl.


West Timor, Boti woman and girl spinning
Boti woman and girl spinning yarn.

Boti, West Timor, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. 01.07.2002 (with kind permission from Jerry Redfern)


Indonesi, Savu NTT, supported spinning
Woman on Savu spinning.

The spindle with clay spindle whorl is supported in a broken shell (probably a nautilus) that was put into a basket. 

On Savu the spinning technique for yarn is of the type 'supported' spinning. It is either done in a shell or in a broken glazed plate. There is a whorl made of clay.  Drop spinning on Savu is done when two threads are plied together in order to produce weft threads for weaving.
Image courtesy of Geneviève Duggan.

For more information on textiles from Savu visit Geneviève Duggans website:
Research on Savu, eastern Indonesia   

Drop spindle spinning, Kodi, Sumba, province of East Nusa Tenggara.

The woman is sitting on her veranda, doing drop spinning. The second image shows the spindle and whorl.

Image courtesy of Geneviève Duggan.

Indonesia, Kodi, West Sumba, woman spinning

Timor, woman spinning cotton

Woman on Timor spinning. The spindle is supported in a basket with a plate inside that seems to contain a white, powdery substance. Her right hand that holds the spindle too is covered with this substance. Perhaps it is crushed chalk or rice flour used to provide a better grip to sweating, and therefore slippery fingers.

  Image from a YouTube-video:
Cotton Spinning Timor


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