Wooden Bobbins

Here are the different types of wooden bobbin I have been using recently. All three are made by local artisans. The top one is made by Ronan Mac Brian and is inspired by the reel in The Medieval Household- the same one pictured in this post in Haandkraft. This bobbin wasn't designed for tablet weaving and the wide section is just a little top wide for passing through the shed. It works very nicely for reeling thread onto, which is handy for when you want to do a continuous warp and need to have the same colour on more than one reel.

The second one is one of three is by Lowrans Wilyamson and along with the warp spreader he made me was payment for the bands I made for his Lady earlier this year. He made them after a discussion we had about the bobbins in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves although as you can see they aren't that similar. Lowrans wasn't at all sold on the bifurcation- partly because I couldn't think of a good reason for it, and partly because it would have been a pain to turn on his lathe.

These bobbins are a bit painstaking to reel because of the narrow stem so Lowrans has made me some more of the third type above. These ones were inspired by finds detailed in Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Wood and Woodworking in Anglo- Scandinavian and Medieval York" by Carole A. Morris (right). The point makes it easier to find the shed.


  1. Maybe I've been looking at bobbin winders for too long but my immediate guess is that the birfucated pins on the end are to plug it into some sort of winder to it can be easily loaded with thread.

  2. Ooh, did they have those in the 15th century?


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