al-Hiba: Spinners

Date: 1960s

If a spindle is meant to be used by a man then it is notched on the short end, if it is for a woman then the long end is notched. Occasionally both ends are notched so that both genders can use it. All spinners wrap the wool around their wrists and the finished thread around the spindle above the whorl. Men use the “drop and spin” technique (Z spin) from a standing position, and women spin crouching/sitting and rubbing the spindle along their right thigh. They move the spindles counterclockwise (S spin). Once the spindle is full skeins are created by winding the new thread around the left upper arm and hand. See also: Loom Maker; Maker of Spindles; Weaver; Yarn Spinner; Woven Spinner and Knitter; Wool Weaver; Dyer.

Citation: Ochsenschlager, Edward. Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the Garden of Eden (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2004), pp. 217-19.