Spinner by Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

Photographic Prints

Small (12.0" x 8.0")

Available to buy on…

This is Hazel, Edinburghs punk spinner. Hazel can be found on Edinburghs Royal Mile. Scotland.

She spins sheep wool into yarn

HDR Tonemapped

3 bracketed images layered using Photomatix pro 4.02
Ev Spacing +2 0 -2
Nikon D70
Nikkor 28-80
Aperture f22.0
Focal Length 28mm
ISO 100
Aperture Priotirty
Shutter speed varied due to AEB

The spinning of wool and linen fibres into yarn has been practiced in Scotland for many centuries, as evidenced by the discoveries of early spinning devices. Early spindles consisted of a stick through the center of a flat disc attached to it for the weight. This was known as a whorl, or dealgan in Gaelic. The whorl could be made of wood, stone, and in later periods even a potato. Obviously, the ancient whorls which have survived were made of stone.

The type of spinning done with this device dates from prehistoric times, not only in Scotland, but in many other areas of the world. Some third-world countries, even today, utilize this method of spinning. A bundle of cleaned fibres could be attached to a staff, or cuigeil, to aid in the spinning process. It was kept upright at one’s side by being fixed in a belt fastened around the waist and steadied by the arm. This method of spinning was known as distaff spinning.

The distaff, or fearsaid, was not always used, as the spindle itself could be spun by being suspended so that the spinner could work while standing or walking, thus creating a greater length of thread. Having set it in motion by the fingers and thumb, the fibres, which have been attached to the spindle, are twisted into thread of the requisite fineness. The spinner continued to draw off fibre from the distaff, spinning until a convenient length was obtained, and then would wind the thread around the spindle, repeating the operation and removing the balls of completed yarn to be woven when a sufficient supply had been spun.

Spinning was a female task done in the home to provide bedding and clothing for the family. Most Highlanders lived in remote areas and small villages, so that all their possessions were hand-crafted. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 18th century that males started to spin as an occupation as part of “spinning schools” at the very start of the industrial revolution. This occurred in the larger towns and more populous areas.


spinner, echo7, hdr, edinburgh


  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawover 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your artwork with the Photomatix HDR Group!

  • Very welcome Bob, thankyou

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • GillBell
    GillBellover 3 years ago

    Terrific shot Don. So rare to see someone spinning these days. Great colouring. Love it. Instant fave.

  • Thankyou kindly Gillmonkey =D

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • WeeZie
    WeeZieover 3 years ago

    Fantastic image. Very unique. Great job.

  • Thanks a bunch buddy

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • Robin Reidy
    Robin Reidyover 3 years ago

    Great shot – And I really enjoyed reading about her!

  • Its quite something to see. makes you proud of your country =D Thanks very much

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 3 years ago

    Nice one, I have not seen her. Is that the City Chambers?

  • Well Tom. If you do see her. Dont stay for long…Shes crazy lol. Thanks bud & yeh your bang on. City Chambers right behind

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • virginian
    virginianover 3 years ago

    Great shot/HDR. Look at her hair!

  • Thankyou kindly Judy. Yeh everyone in Scotland has hair like this lol

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • Sharon Brown
    Sharon Brownover 3 years ago

    Fantastic shot Don. Love the colours, they really stand out. Great subject and post work.

  • Thankyou kindly buddy =-D

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • Thomas Eggert
    Thomas Eggertover 3 years ago

    Great shot Don!! Love the post production work. Great details on Spinning…T

  • Thanks very much T. Glad you liked it

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • LucyAbrao
    LucyAbraoover 3 years ago

    Great HDR image, Don. Very nice detail captured with this.

  • Thanks a million Lucy =D

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

  • Margaret Stevens
    Margaret Stevensover 3 years ago

    Terrific shot Don! Vibrant and colourful, a very interesting image.

  • The Rpyal Mile is something quite brilliant Margaret. Full of street performers. Thanks very much

    – Don Alexander Lumsden (Echo7)

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