distaff

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distaff:

see spinningspinning,
the drawing out, twisting, and winding of fibers into a continuous thread or yarn. From antiquity until the Industrial Revolution, spinning was a household industry. The roughly carded fiber was at first held in one hand and drawn out and twisted by the other hand.
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distaff

the rod on which flax is wound preparatory to spinning
References in classic literature ?
To-morrow you shall spin, and every day Shall find you at your distaff.
Then what am I making professions for; what am I bragging about; when it is fitter for me to handle the distaff than the sword?
I thought of those fine wigs of tow or hemp with which the distaff of [126] our Prudence was always entangled.