Aside · knitting · Online Life

Medieval Spinning in Acre

I find this fascinating, but I can’t really say whether this is an accurate representation of what’s going on. The distaff is super thin and I can’t discern a whorl on the spindle.

Can anyone fill in the missing blanks or do we say “artist’s representation”?

Old Acre/Akko is a well preserved Crusader/Ottoman city on the coast of Israel, north of the city of Haifa, surrounded by both a sea and defense wall. Fascinating history too. Napoleon even slept there. 🙂


So a knitting friend replied via ravelry:

A medieval French spindle, called today a French spindle, and of which you can buy a reproduction, are the spindles that, you can see on many paintings. They have no whorl, just a sort of thickening of the stick on the bottom part. They are held in the hand or very close to the hand all the time, and you twirl them. It seems very slow work, but that’s the way spinning was done in this time and place!
The distaff seems a little thin, but otherwise correct.