Used since Antiquity to hold fleece or flax while spinning. I find it really helps as you can pre-draft fleece and this makes the whole process quicker and easier and stops it getting caught in the spun yarn. It would originally be used to hold enough fleece or flax for the day's spinning, or as a handy tool of discipline!
If you want to spin authentically in the Anglo-Saxon period (and earlier) to the Tudors, you need one of these. The distaff is usually placed on a broken arrow shaft (it's just the right diameter) but this is included in the price.
Distaffs are also used to hold and pre-draft flax as it must be drawn through water before the twist enters the strick.
Hand turned in Shropshire using British timber off-cuts, this supports a cottage industry and makes use of off-cuts that would otherwise be wasted. Distaffs vary in design so please specify if you would like a particular style or take pot-luck.