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TITLE
Octogenarian Spinner, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_213
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12999
KEYWORDS
croftring
croft houses
thatched cottages
spinning wheels
Octogenarian Spinner, Skye

The substantial houses of the village of Portree in the background are a real contrast to the thatched, stone cottage by the shore, and the octogenarian spinning in front. These character photographs were often posed to portray the quaintness of Highland life and sold well to the tourist trade.

In reality, nearly all the garments worn by the crofter would be made from spun wool which was then woven or knitted into garments. Before the availability of the spinning wheels, a spindle was used for this chore. The wool was twisted and lengthened by dangling it from the spindle sufficiently weighted to spin when dropped. The spinner then wound the twisted wool around a piece of wood. This whole process could be carried out while walking, and as a lot of yarn was needed for the weaver or knitter, it was commonplace for the women to have wool and spindle with them wherever they went.

The later introduction of the spinning wheel made the job of spinning much easier and faster. The spinning wheel pictured is a type of Saxony wheel and would have been the more common style of wheel used in the Highlands.


This image may be available to purchase.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email
Skye and Lochalsh Archives

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Octogenarian Spinner, Skye

INVERNESS: Portree

croftring; croft houses; thatched cottages; spinning wheels

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

The substantial houses of the village of Portree in the background are a real contrast to the thatched, stone cottage by the shore, and the octogenarian spinning in front. These character photographs were often posed to portray the quaintness of Highland life and sold well to the tourist trade.<br /> <br /> In reality, nearly all the garments worn by the crofter would be made from spun wool which was then woven or knitted into garments. Before the availability of the spinning wheels, a spindle was used for this chore. The wool was twisted and lengthened by dangling it from the spindle sufficiently weighted to spin when dropped. The spinner then wound the twisted wool around a piece of wood. This whole process could be carried out while walking, and as a lot of yarn was needed for the weaver or knitter, it was commonplace for the women to have wool and spindle with them wherever they went.<br /> <br /> The later introduction of the spinning wheel made the job of spinning much easier and faster. The spinning wheel pictured is a type of Saxony wheel and would have been the more common style of wheel used in the Highlands. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />