Great wheel.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Great wheel.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The spindle wheel is the earliest type of spinning wheel. There is no flyer and spinning is carried out in two separate movements; first, twisting and attenuation of the fibres, and then winding them onto the spindle. This means that spinning using this wheel is a intermittent proces. It is believed that the spindle wheel was introduced to Britain in the 14th century. It has many alternative regional names; Jersey Wheel (Channel Islands), Muckle Wheel (Scotland), Long Wheel (Ireland), Walking Wheel (United States). This simple wheel is an advance upon the pendant spindle which is believed to have originated in India. Its mechanical machine equivalent is the wool spinning mule.

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