Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Spinning with the distaff
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_MCIAN_11
DATE OF IMAGE
1847
PERIOD
1840s
CREATOR
R R McIan
SOURCE
Highland Folk Museum
ASSET ID
19774
KEYWORDS
occupations
craftsed
Spinning with the distaff

This is a postcard showing the work of the Scottish artist R R McIan. It is one of a series of illustrations in which he portrays aspects of rural life in the Highlands. The illustrations were published in the book 'Gaelic gatherings, or the Highlanders at Home on heather, river and loch', published 1847-49, with accompanying text by James Logan.

This picture shows spinning with a distaff, a forked stick which held the wool or other fibre. It could be tucked into a belt or held under the arm. A spindle can be seen dangling from the distaff. The spindle was used to pull and twist the wool into a thread or yarn. This form of spinning continued in the Highlands even after the introduction of the spinning wheel. Distaffs and spindles were inexpensive and could be home-made. They were also portable, enabling women to spin while performing other tasks.

On the left of the door, fish are drying on a frame

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Spinning with the distaff

1840s

occupations; craftsed

Highland Folk Museum

R.R. McIan Illustrations

This is a postcard showing the work of the Scottish artist R R McIan. It is one of a series of illustrations in which he portrays aspects of rural life in the Highlands. The illustrations were published in the book 'Gaelic gatherings, or the Highlanders at Home on heather, river and loch', published 1847-49, with accompanying text by James Logan.<br /> <br /> This picture shows spinning with a distaff, a forked stick which held the wool or other fibre. It could be tucked into a belt or held under the arm. A spindle can be seen dangling from the distaff. The spindle was used to pull and twist the wool into a thread or yarn. This form of spinning continued in the Highlands even after the introduction of the spinning wheel. Distaffs and spindles were inexpensive and could be home-made. They were also portable, enabling women to spin while performing other tasks.<br /> <br /> On the left of the door, fish are drying on a frame