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Spinning Wheel

This wooden spinning wheel arrived at my workshop with many of its parts separated or missing altogether and overall in great need of extensive restoration and repair. It is an antique, most likely from the late 19th century, and very probably originating in the UK.


It is not clear where or when the spinning wheel first came into use. Some reports state that the it was introduced in Europe in the 1500’s, after travelling along trade routes through the Middle East from India, where it is thought to have been invented and initially broadly used. The spinning wheel turns fibers into thread or yarn which can then be woven into cloth using a loom. It represented an advance over manual spinning where individuals, usually women, extracted fibers from a quantity of wool or flax wound around a rod or stick and twisted together turning the fibers into yarn that could be woven on a loom into fabric.

 

The advent of the Industrial Revolution in mid-1900’s brought with it improvements in the loom which incorporated mechanized spinning of the fibers, thereby putting the spinning wheel out of business.


There are several YouTube video clips that show different aspects of how traditional spinning wheels work, among them: Spinning Wheel Basics, and Spinning wheel demonstration at the Walter Peak farm, Queenstown, New Zealand.

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