3-D Printed Spindles are About to Rock the World of Spinning


TurtleMade 3D printed Turkish spindles. Photo courtesy of Jen Kemery.

The addition of twist into loose fibers to create a strong, unified thread is a vital and ancient technology. It's also an evolving technology, and many people within our handspinning community look for ways to incorporate modern materials and design into our craft.


Recently, fiber artist Jen Kemery of TurtleMade teamed up with her husband, Scott, to develop spinning tools created using 3D printing technology. With Scott's background in design and programming and Jen's spinning expertise, the TurtleMade 3D Turkish Spindle was born. These wonderfully bright, plastic spindles quickly caught on and Jen is struggling to keep up with demand. She is looking forward to adding even more colors and widening her range of textile tools. There are four current Turkish spindle models, the largest being 1.2 ounces (25 g), with a 7 inch shaft and spindle arms that are 5 inches. Jen posted a video recentlysee it here.


How does it work? The printing process involves long filaments of plastic that are melted and extruded in layers by a special machine to form a three-dimensional object. Jen says that the arm surface is quite smooth and the final spindle is rigid, but just a bit flexible.


Jen is alongtime spinner and began the TurtleMade online shop in 2007. She and her family are based in northwestern Pennsylvania. Find her on Ravelry as TurtleJen and on the TurtleMade Facebook page.



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Kate Larson

About Kate Larson

Kate Larson loves using fiber arts as a bridge between art and agriculture. She is the author of The Practical Spinner's Guide: Wool (Interweave, 2015) and several videos, including How to Spin Yarn to Knit. Her work has appeared in Spin-Off, Jane Austen Knits, and more. Follow her at KateLarsonTextiles.com.

2 thoughts on “3-D Printed Spindles are About to Rock the World of Spinning

  1. I have two of these and just love them! They’re fantastic conversation starters, and they spin like a dream. Plus the bright colors make me happy! They were my first Turkish style spindles and I found them extremely easy to work with.

  2. I have a whole family of these and I love them. It’s not just about the colors or the novelty of using a 3D printed tool.. these spindles work, and they work well. I comfortably spun 25 grams of fiber on my Mini, which weighs 17 grams, so I can’t be more excited about these. They are well made, they are affordable, they are great gifts for newbies and experienced spinners alike…. I could go on and on. Give one a try, you won’t regret it.