Tools Day: Thumb Guard

Have you ever drawn blood while winding a bobbin or quill? I have. First you feel the heat, and then, ouch! …the thread makes a little slice. Linen can do that. And wool can give you a little burn. True, my electric bobbin winder is fast, but I have experienced similar ouchies with my good ol’ Swedish hand-turned bobbin winder, too. That’s why I keep a woodcarver’s leather thumb guard at my bobbin winder station. I use it every time. For linen, wool, cotton, everything.

Leather thumb guard prevents cuts while winding linen quills.
Winding linen with the electric bobbin winder. Leather woodcarvers thumb guard keeps my thumb safe and sound, yet allows maximum mobility.

I first tried a leather golfing glove and found it too bulky; and then I tried a leather quilter’s thumb, but it was too thin and soon wore out. When Steve saw my predicament, he ordered some small leather thumb guards for me–the kind that woodcarvers use. Perfect! Convenient, sturdy, and no more ouchies. (We get the thumb guards HERE. You can also find them on I have no affiliate links.)

Woodcarvers leather thumb guard for winding linen quills.
Thumb guard is so comfortable that sometimes I forget to remove it; I’ll find it on my thumb later when I’m at the loom weaving.

May you keep your hands in good working order.

Happy Weaving,

7 thoughts on “Tools Day: Thumb Guard

  1. Hi Karen! What a great idea! I have been battling with the same bobbin winding burns! I have been using a glove but it is too bulky and I can’t get a good grip on the fiber. What size did you order? I need one for my index finger as well. Thanks for posting! And I love that RED!! So festive! xx

    1. Hi Gretchen, My fingers are not very big, so the thumb guards I have are size small. The elastic makes it a snug fit. You might want to go with medium if you think your fingers are a little bigger than mine.
      I am really enjoying the red, too!


    1. Hi Kate, I don’t have a source for you for electric bobbin winders, though I’m sure you can find them out there. My electric bobbin winder is one of a kind. I wrote about it HERE.
      I’m grateful. Karen

    2. Schacht make a great double ended one. It has a foot pedal like a sewing machine, so you have to decide how fast or slow you want it to go. I use them for my standard flanged (plastic) bobbins – particularly for fine threads. If you weave with quills, I would advise to continue with your Swedish style bobbin winder, which is an excellent winder for quills, since you can control the pack in and arrangement of threads much better.

      1. Great point, Nancy! The Swedish bobbin winder is excellent for winding quills.
        My electric bobbin winder has a variable-speed foot pedal which gives me a considerable amount of control for winding quills.


  2. Bobbin winders are pricey. I took my husbands old electric drill used a broken drill bit the correct diameter for my bobbins VOILA! Other weavers have used old hand held electric mixers just cut off the beater part and use the shank, or use an old external sewing machine motor. This is what most electric winders are made from. Check WEBS they sell winders. WEBS is a yarn wholesaler in Northampton Ma. where you can purchase weaving yarn by the oz, or by the grocery cart. The more you buy the bigger the discount. A fun store to go see the back room is open to all and grocery carts are at the door. happy weaving PL&J, linda

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