Spinning artefacts at the National Museum pt II

I can't believe it has been 9 whole months since I last posted about the National Museum's collection. Since then, the Museum have updated their camera policy, hurrah!!
The exhibition areas in the museum are rather dark (good for the artefacts, not for photos) so please excuse the bad quality pics; I suggest going to visit the museum on Kildare St for yourself to really see just what our ancestors were capable of.

Some whorls, spindles and a suspected 'yarn winder' in the medieval display;
The following photos are from the 'Viking' display, mostly found around the Wood Quay / Fishamble St area in Dublin.
Imagine pinning up your hand-spun and hand-knit shawl with a modern reproduction of one of these;
More pins - again, I would love something like this for myself!
These teeny tiny spindles are about the same length as a crochet hook; the whorls were tiny...
... perfect for spinning very fine threads. The individual strands in this piece of woven fabric are finer than your average sewing threads today. I cannot comprehend hand-spinning such fine thread with such consistency, but it is clearly possible.
Shears and a yarn-winder;
Handles from weaving & carding tools;
Stone & bone whorls & sewing needles;
These items were labelled as a distaff and weaving tablet; not being a weaver I cannot figure out how this tablet was used, but I'm sure some proper research would be enlightening.
spindle & whorls;

At the top of the staircase, this woollen cloak is displayed; I just love the texture.

Even though the camera policy has changed officially I still feel rather bold taking photos in a museum; it's one of the very few places where I appreciate the value of strict rules.


  1. Thanks for the Twitter earburn :)

    I actually know what the weaving tablet is for!

    See http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/resources/authenticity/basickit/annex4.html

    ... believe it or not I did this with beer mats in a place called the Arts Factory when I was backpacking :)

  2. Thank you Lisa! I must grab some pieces of card & give that a go some time soon!

  3. smashing! Thanks very much for sharing these photos, just what i needed to see!


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