This image, from the 1568 Book of Trades (Trachtenbuch) by Jost Amman, depicts a man dyeing black fabric. Instead of a reel, he uses a stationary post to work the fabric into and out of the dyevat. The vat itself is wood, though the steam behind it indicates that it is heated in some way.
The dyer wears an apron and stands on a block. His stirring stick rests beside him. In the background, dyed fabrics is stretched out on hooked poles to dry.