As a craft, spinning has been around since prehistory and is not limited to Scotland. Garments of spun fibers have been found dating back to 20,000 years on almost every continent. Early spinning evolved from rolling fibers along the spinner’s leg, to twirling a stick, adding a spindle whorl, automating the spindle with a wheel and finally moving to the industrial spinning machines that spin fiber for our clothes today.

The spinners at the RenScots demonstrate various spinning methods using modern equipment to show this ancient survival skill. From supported spindles to modern spinning wheels, we explain the history of spinning and spinning tools, how to prepare fibers for spinning, how to spin and what you can spin. Cultural references like “black sheep of the family”, “dyed in the wool” and the tale of Sleeping Beauty come from our spinning heritage and are happily explained. We look forward to your visit!

Find Spinning in the RenScots Living History Village in the Wick and Woolery Pavilion.