Quill of yarn; Spindle

Quill of yarn (Period)

Quill of yarn (Period)

Empty embroiderer's quill (Period)

Empty embroiderer’s quill (Period)

A quill of yarn is a cover for a spindle, onto which thread or yarn is wound; it can then be easily removed for use.  Mundanely, it’s also known as an “embroiderer’s quill”.  The blazon should include reference to yarn or embroidery, to help distinguish it from a “quill pen”.

The quill of yarn is a period charge, dating to 1558 in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Broderers [Bromley & Child 31].  It’s palewise, and wound with yarn, by default.  There are instances in mundane armory of empty quills, without yarn, such as the arms of von Haren, 1605 [Siebmacher 147], but the fact is always blazoned.

Spindle (Period)

Spindle (Period)

The “spindle” itself is also found, the winding piece of a spinning wheel.  It’s drawn as a slender cone wound with thread or yarn; it’s found in the arms of Hobby, 1610 [Guillim1 204], where it’s blazoned as a “fusile upon a slipper”.

For related charges, see drop-spindle, lace bobbin, spool of thread.  See also distaff, shuttle (weaver’s).

Katharina die Schneiderin bears:  Vert, a bend wavy between two quills of yarn Or.

Molda ókristna Starradottír bears:  Vert, three yarn quills argent threaded Or.

Maud verch Howell bears as a badge:  Per bend sinister sable and argent, on a bend counterchanged, two spindles palewise gules and Or.

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