According to the region they are from, the Portugese spindles can vary from carved in wood to having the top part in metal. The very top of the spindles, either in the carved ones or the metal ones, is shaped as a spiral, very much like a wide screw spiral. The weigh of the Spindle is important, and women choose the one that feels better. The carved ones that I have can vary between 23cm and 32cm, and they are made in heather wood. I bought them in a place in the mountains, and they are still being made, but with the forest fires the local heather wood is not reaching the desired width. The metal ones are not in production any more.