Spinning Workshop for Romani Arts

Spinning Workshop for Romani Arts :

click here for tutorial https://youtu.be/XduBcxMg9n0

Romani Arts on YouTube https://youtube.com/user/romaniarts

Using a Navajo / Diné style spindle, also known as a South West, lap, hip or floor spindle.

These are the online resources I used to explore and learn the technique of spinning on a Navajo / Diné style spindle, and it is so valuable to watch cultural elders demonstrating craft techniques, and I respectfully thank these elders for sharing their skills with us too;

Clara Sherman; https://youtu.be/D_p7OIghMVw

Mary Louise Gould; https://youtu.be/QQvhnn3tGfo

TahNibaa Naataanii https://youtu.be/bJYmbEj2_KY

Navajo Pollen Trail; https://youtu.be/se-TqaoLVlk

Navajo Gramdma; https://youtu.be/3PZHb6EXHJQ

Jayde’s Creative Corner; https://youtu.be/f1ToitsvR4E

Short documentary on Navajo / Diné craft process; https://youtu.be/DeAlIgHhPAE

Research lecture on Chahta / Choctaw textile history with Jennifer Byram; https://youtu.be/nFHZELroeSE

Academic paper by Jennifer Byram;

“Reawakening Chahta Nan Tvnna (Choctaw Textiles)”




“How to Weave a Navajo Rug and Other Lessons from Spider Woman” by Lynda Teller Pete & Barbara Teller Ornelas, Illustrated by Mychal Yellowman

This book has an excellent background into Navajo / Diné cultural weaving and spinning with practical guidance and lessons;



Tools and Equipment

Schacht Spindle at George Weil;

Schacht Navajo Spindle

Bodrighy Wood, hand made spindles and niddy noddy;



Ashford Medium Niddy Noddy (1.5m skein);

Niddy noddy (1.5m skein)

Spinning bowl;

This can be any simple wooden bowl with around 10cm diameter and a wide base, used to guide your spindle as you practice, (low and wide is best, and too small and tall will tip over);

Olive Wood Round Dipping Bowl 9cm

Wool Roving;

This is usually supplied in 100g packs, I’d recommend getting a mix of different wool breeds; British rare breed wools are really interesting and varied, and make up sets of sample yarns to see what you enjoy and perhaps weave a sampler with the different yarns you spin.

Fibre Hut; https://www.fibrehut.co.uk/collections/fibre

North Ronaldsay; https://www.northronaldsayyarn.co.uk/Results.asp?category=6

Saltwater Rose; https://saltwaterrose.com/shop/spinning/

(*if you would like to purchase the ethical Southdown I use, please get in touch*)


You will also need;

Linen or cotton yarn for a leader (used at the very start to begin spinning) and also for skein ties (they are cut away before weaving so simple yarn is fine).

Metal hooks for hanging and drying wet skeins (I use a set of copper kitchen hooks)


Hanging ceramic weights (or old tea cups to act as weights)


Small scissors https://merchantandmills.com/store/equipment/scissors/baby-bow/


Other links;

Heritage Crafts Association https://heritagecrafts.org.uk

Romani Arts https://www.romaniarts.co.uk

Christabel Balfour https://www.christabelbalfour.com

Jessica Mason https://thekeepboutique.com/blogs/in-conversation/in-conversation-with-jessica-mason


Enjoy exploring spinning and good luck,

All best wishes,


Imogen Bright Moon 2021 for Romani Arts https://www.romaniarts.co.uk

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