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Spinning Wheel
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Spinning Wheel

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Spinning Wheel
Spinning Wheel
This is a traditional Shetland 'spinnie' from Unst, which belonged to a family of noted spinners and knitters of fine lace. These upright spinning wheels were made slightly smaller than those from the mainland so that they took up less space in the small Shetland croft houses.

Each home would contain several of these wheels, which were constantly on the go during the long winter months. They were usually made on a lathe from driftwood, and when used would create a very soft, fine, yarn.

The exact origin of the Shetland spinning wheel is unknown, however, it has been well documented how many wheels were imported to the isles from Hamburg during the late 18th century. One theory is that the Shetland spinning wheel is a descendant of these early German imports.
  • Shetland Museum