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TITLE
Kitchen Interior including a saxony wheel, South Uist
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_97107_18_01
PLACENAME
unidentified
DISTRICT
South Uist
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: South Uist
CREATOR
Margaret Fay Shaw (Mrs J L Campbell)
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38876
KEYWORDS
spinning
wool
wheels
work
Kitchen Interior including a saxony wheel, South Uist

This photograph shows Mrs Roderick MacLeod operating a saxony spinning wheel in the kitchen of a croft house on South Uist. 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 in the Hebrides. There were two kinds of spinning wheel - the "muckle [large] 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 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, seen here. It 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. The wheel was turned by a foot pedal which let the spinner sit down. The "saxony" type wheel is still used by the handcraft wool spinners.

South Uist is the second largest island in the Outer Hebrides with an area of 79,136 acres. Its east coast is dominated by the sea lochs of Loch Skiport, Loch Eynort and Loch Boisdale and the hill-ridges of Hecla (606m / 1988ft), Beinn Mhor (620m / 2034ft) and Stulaval (374m / 1227ft). Its western side is characterised by a large number of freshwater lochans set behind almost 20 miles of unbroken beach. Lochboisdale, the only village on the east coast, is the island's ferry link with Oban, Mallaig and Barra. In the north the island is connected to Benbecula by O'Reagan's Bridge (1943) which crosses the South Ford


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Kitchen Interior including a saxony wheel, South Uist

INVERNESS: South Uist

spinning; wool; wheels; work

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

This photograph shows Mrs Roderick MacLeod operating a saxony spinning wheel in the kitchen of a croft house on South Uist. 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 in the Hebrides. There were two kinds of spinning wheel - the "muckle [large] 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 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, seen here. It 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. The wheel was turned by a foot pedal which let the spinner sit down. The "saxony" type wheel is still used by the handcraft wool spinners.<br /> <br /> South Uist is the second largest island in the Outer Hebrides with an area of 79,136 acres. Its east coast is dominated by the sea lochs of Loch Skiport, Loch Eynort and Loch Boisdale and the hill-ridges of Hecla (606m / 1988ft), Beinn Mhor (620m / 2034ft) and Stulaval (374m / 1227ft). Its western side is characterised by a large number of freshwater lochans set behind almost 20 miles of unbroken beach. Lochboisdale, the only village on the east coast, is the island's ferry link with Oban, Mallaig and Barra. In the north the island is connected to Benbecula by O'Reagan's Bridge (1943) which crosses the South Ford <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 />