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TITLE
Spinning - a saxony wheel, Knoydart
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_93154_09_08
PLACENAME
Knoydart
DISTRICT
Lochaber
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Glenelg
CREATOR
I F Grant
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38540
KEYWORDS
spinning
wool
wheels
work
Spinning - a saxony wheel, Knoydart

This photograph shows a woman operating a saxony spinning wheel outside her house in Knoydart. Spinning wheels were common in the eastern Highlands in the late 18th century though it was nearly a hundred years before they became prevalent in the west and the Hebrides. There were two kinds of spinning wheel - the "muckle wheel" and the "saxony wheel".

The early spinning wheel, the muckle wheel, had a simple design. A drive belt linked the large wheel to a small spindle (usually a thin iron rod) to which the teased wool was tied. A slow turning of the large wheel with one hand while holding and twisting the wool with the other would cause the spindle to quickly draw more wool from the bundle. The wheel could then be reversed so the spindle wound up the wool that had just been spun.

The muckle wheel was eventually replaced by the Saxony wheel which had a number of advantages. It was smaller and had a drive-belt system which turned not only a spindle but also a bobbin. This allowed the wool to be twisted as it was wound on the bobbin. This type of wheel was turned by a foot pedal which let the spinner sit down. The "saxony" type wheel is still used today by the handcraft wool spinners.

Knoydart is a peninsula opposite the southern end of Skye. It is formed by the long sea lochs of Loch Hourn to the north and Loch Nevis to the south. The region is mountainous and very remote with no road access into the central or western areas


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Spinning - a saxony wheel, Knoydart

INVERNESS: Glenelg

spinning; wool; wheels; work

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

This photograph shows a woman operating a saxony spinning wheel outside her house in Knoydart. Spinning wheels were common in the eastern Highlands in the late 18th century though it was nearly a hundred years before they became prevalent in the west and the Hebrides. There were two kinds of spinning wheel - the "muckle wheel" and the "saxony wheel". <br /> <br /> The early spinning wheel, the muckle wheel, had a simple design. A drive belt linked the large wheel to a small spindle (usually a thin iron rod) to which the teased wool was tied. A slow turning of the large wheel with one hand while holding and twisting the wool with the other would cause the spindle to quickly draw more wool from the bundle. The wheel could then be reversed so the spindle wound up the wool that had just been spun. <br /> <br /> The muckle wheel was eventually replaced by the Saxony wheel which had a number of advantages. It was smaller and had a drive-belt system which turned not only a spindle but also a bobbin. This allowed the wool to be twisted as it was wound on the bobbin. This type of wheel was turned by a foot pedal which let the spinner sit down. The "saxony" type wheel is still used today by the handcraft wool spinners.<br /> <br /> Knoydart is a peninsula opposite the southern end of Skye. It is formed by the long sea lochs of Loch Hourn to the north and Loch Nevis to the south. The region is mountainous and very remote with no road access into the central or western areas <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: central.edsc.library@edinburgh.gov.uk">Edinburgh Central Library</a><br />