The string that you see in the center is just string that Christine used to hang it. It was not there when it was purchased. I didn't measure it but my guess is that it's about 16"+ in diameter.
UPDATE ON MYSTERY: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
|looks very much like this. something fits over the spokes to hold the thread around the wheel.|
FINAL UPDATE THANKS TO GERALDINE IN THE UK. ---Dec. 9, 2011
It looks like Geraldine took a picture off of her tv screen of what she saw.
|winding the silk on the wheel before weaving. it was on a UK program called 'Manor Reborn'. It appears to be a renovation of Avebury Manor. They are capturing the silk to weave the curtains.|