I saw these tapestry bobbins at the recent Wool House exhibition at Somerset House belonging to Victoria Crowe. She was there demonstrating and showing some of her work from the Large tree group. It’s always interesting seeing the tools other craftspeople use and I couldn’t help comparing these large bobbins with the smaller ones we use for lacemaking (below).
Bobbins for the English laces that developed in the Midlands are slim and straight, often decorated and weighted with beads. The beads form a loop at the end of the bobbin and were traditionally made of square cut glass. Also we use bobbins for all our threads, unlike tapestry where a warp is set up on the loom for most of the passive threads. However, we both seem to use half hitches to secure the thread to the bobbin. Interesting to see how tools develop for particular crafts.