(View exact match)distaffCATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rod around which fiber is wound for spinning
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DEFINITION: The extrusion of liquid fiber-forming material, followed by hardening to form filaments; a technical process by which fibers are twisted together to make continuous threads. The wool was fixed as a mass on the distaff. A thread was drawn out by one hand and fixed on the spindle. Attached to this last was a stone spindle whorl. As the spindle was spun around the whorl gave momentum on the flywheel principle. The thread from the distaff was twisted and then wound on to the spindle. Rarely are the threads, or cloth woven from them, are found in archaeological contexts, unless preserved by desiccation, waterlogging, or metal corrosion products. Proof of spinning comes more commonly from the discovery of a spindle whorl, loom weight, or comb. Spinning was engaged in during Neolithic times.