Object Stories: Ethel Mairet’s hackle

This might look like an instrument of torture but in fact a hackle is really a giant comb used to blend different colours and types of yarn for spinning. ⁠

This one was used at Gospels, Ethel Mairet’s weaving and dyeing workshop in Ditchling. It was mounted on a wall with the tines facing outward and heated by a candle to soften the lanolin content in wool as it was eased through. ⁠

H Taylor & Sons Ltd, Belfast⁠
Hackle, c1920s⁠
Wood, metal ⁠

#ObjectStories are short and sweet tidbits written by the museum’s Curator Donna Steele. Each fortnight we’ll share another gem from our renowned collection.⁠