Spindle whorl

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Spinning with a whorl (c) on a spindle (b) and distaff (above)

A spindle whorl is a disc or spherical object fitted onto the spindle to increase and maintain the speed of the spin. For ages the whorls have been made of many different materials: amber, antler, bone, ceramic, coral, glass, metal (iron, lead, lead alloy), and wood (oak). Some types of local materials have been also used, such as chalk, limestone, mudstone, sandstone, slate, and soapstone.


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