Crazy big spinning wheel & backstrap weaving

Updated: not a surprise and a risk of using embedded images, the first group of images has been pulled from Getty Images (“This image is no longer available for use.”) This pictures can all be seen on the photographer’s site. I will include links there.

Earlier this week, Getty announced many of its pictures could be embedded on non-commercial sites, so I looked around to see if I could find something fun.  I found this crazy big spinning wheel. Correction: as my friend M pointed out, I should have said a pair of crazy big spinning wheels. The wheels in other pictures don’t look as large in diameter (it looks huge because of the angle of the photo), but the rim is quite wide and the overall length is quite long.

It (and the others below) is titled “Man weaving yarn, Otavalo, Imbabura Province, Ecuador”—clearly he isn’t weaving, but presumably the location is correct. The pictures share the same caption “Weaver Jose Carlos de la Torre spinning and weaving yarn using centuries old techniques of carding, backstrap loom weaving with natural sheep wool, and final combing with natural thorny plant.” A few more photos from this photographer are here.

Another angle – winding what he spun onto the spindle

And another angle

And one with the unidentified woman carding (based on other information, I think it is his wife, but it would be really nice if she was given a name)

Another of the spinning wheel, “Man spinning wool, Imbabura, Ecuador” by Margie Politzer in Lonely Planet images collection, with the caption “Jose Carlos de la Torre and his wife are both in their eighties, and continue to use centuries-old methods to process sheep wool.”

Searching for the man’s name brings up four different pictures (but not the ones above), by a different photographer, giving a different location, a village outside of Otavalo.

“Jose Carlos de la Torre sits carding alpaca wool inside his workshop in Carabuela, Ecuador, Wednesday, November 22, 2006. Carding is the last step in preparing the wool for spinning which cleans, separates, and straightens the wool fibers. The finished batt or rolag of soft, fluffy wool makes spinning easier.”

“Jose Carlos de la Torre pieces together rolag made of wool that has been carded inside his workshop in Carabuela, Ecuador, Wednesday, November 22, 2006. The soft rolag is pieced together in long strands to prepare it for spinning into yarn.”

“Jose Carlos de la Torre weaves a scarf on a backstrap loom inside his workshop in Carabuela, Ecuador, Wednesday, November 22, 2006. The backstrap loom is made up of sticks, rope, and a strap that is worn around the weaver’s waist which is how the loom received its name. The one that Jose uses is made out of leather from the face of a bull.”

“Jose Carlos de la Torre uses a brush made up of teasel to smooth an alpaca wool scarf inside his workshop in Carabuela, Ecuador, Wednesday, November 22, 2006.”

There is also a nice photo of the spinning wheel on a couple’s travel blog.


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