A well known version of the spindle wheel, is the Great Wheel. The spindle wheel played an important role in the production of yarn and wool spinning for several years. The Great Wheel provided an efficient way to rotate a spindle by hand. The Spindle wheel was used to spin fine fibers, like cotton and silk, into fine thread.
The common spinning (flyer) wheel styles are classified as; saxony wheel, castle wheel, Norwegian wheel or the modern wheel.
When most people think of spinning wheel, the Saxony style is the most familiar. It is often referred to as the “Cinderella” wheel. The elements of a Saxony wheel are arranged horizontally, with a large wheel at one end and the flyer at the other, and normally has three legs. The Ashford Traditional and Elizabeth wheel are good examples of the Saxony wheel.
The component parts of a castle style wheel are stacked vertically with the flyer being positioned above the wheel. Good examples are the Ashford Traveller, and Majacraft wheel.
The Norwegian wheel looks similar to the Saxony wheel. It has a large wheel, four legs, and a horizontal bench. Kromski manufactures a Norwegian style wheel.
The modern wheels take advantage of technology for enhancing performance, increasing production, and has a more advant-garde appearance. Examples of modern wheels are Louet wheels and the Ashford Joy.
The Charkha wheel
The Charkha wheel gained popularity in India, by Mahatma Gandhi, because of its practical use for spinning cotton, and its portrayal of economic independence. It is still being used in parts of India today.
The box style is one variation of the Charkha wheel. It is small, very compact, and folds up into a box that can be transported. The method used for spinning on a Charkha wheel is similar to spinning on the Great Wheel. The spinner rotates the wheel with one hand while drafting the fiber with the other hand. The Charkha wheel is ideal for spinning very fine fibers like cotton, silk, angora, and cashmere.
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