A foreign word or phrase can mean all the difference to finding out information about fibre arts tools.
Take for example rukinlapa for distaff in Finnish and ручная прялка (ruchnaya pryalka) for distaff in Russian. Run them through online image searches. You'll get some unrelated results but mostly you'll see bat-shaped distaffs with carved designs. Imagine a man carving one for his sweetie back in the day.
The search results are a lot more satisfying than results with the other Russian word I found last month for this sort of distaff, lopastka, which is more like the word blade, shoulder blade or trowel blade.
There's a china pattern called Rukinlapa by Raija Uosikkinen based on these distaffs' shape and carving designs.