A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn which comes from the natural or man-made fibers. The initial step up in spinning technology was the spinning wheel, which was invented in India between 500 and 1000 A.D. It reached the Europe passing through the Middle East in the European Middle Ages. It replaced the former method of hand spinning with a spindle. A sequence of improvements occurred in the 1700s and concluded in the first rotor or open end spinning mill in the US in 1790.
The rotor is kept spinning, and the fibers in the roving are separated, thus open end, and then wrapped as the yarn is drawn out from the rotor cup gets simultaneously twisted. Advance machinery may offer even faster yarn production consists of the friction spinning, an open end system, an air jet system, spinning a drafting system.
The change in the modern spinning techniques have had their object; which is the providing of automatic means to rotate the spindle, an automatic method of drawing out the fibers, and devices for working a large group of spindles together, at speeds before unachievable.
There are numerous types of spinning wheels which exist, including the great wheel also known as walking wheel or wool wheel which is known for rapid long-draw spinning of woolen-spun yarns; and the flax wheel, which is a double-drive wheel which is used with a distaff for spinning linen; Saxony and upright wheels, all-purpose treadle driven wheels used to spin worsted-spun yarns; and the charkha, native to Asia.
The charkha is a small, portable, hand-cranked wheel and is ideal for spinning cotton and other fine, short-stapled fibers. The charkha works in the same way to that of the great wheel, with a drive wheel being manually turned, while the yarn is spun off the tip of the spindle. The ground charkha and the great wheel closely bear a resemblance to each other.
The great wheel is typically over five feet in height. The great drive wheel turns the much smaller spindle assembly, with the spindle rotating many times for each twist of the drive wheel.
The traditional pointed distaff spindle is not a familiar feature with the treadle wheel. Most modern wheels make use of a flyer-and-bobbin system which twists the yarn and winds it onto a reel simultaneously. These wheels can be of single or double-treadle; which is a matter of liking and does not affect the operation of the wheel.
The flax wheel is a good illustration of a double drive wheel. The double drive wheel is named after its drive band, as it spins wheel twice. A single drive wheel has one drive band, when compared to the double drive wheel, where the drive band goes around the wheel two times. Most of the drive bands for single drive wheels are prepared from synthetic cord, which is elastic and does not trip easily on the wheel.
The spinning wheels have been a catalyst for the rapid development and progress of today's textile industries.