1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Spinning Wheel

The spinning wheel is an ancient machine that turns fibers into yarn


Distaff Spinning Wheel

Distaff Spinning Wheel

The spinning wheel is an ancient invention that turned plant and animal fibers into thread or yarn, which were then woven into cloth on a loom. However, no one knows who invented the first spinning wheel, but it most likely originated in India between 500 and 1000 A.D. By the 13th century, spinning wheels appeared in Europe.

How The Spinning Wheel Evolved

Before the spinning wheel, fibers was twisted or spun by hand into yarn onto a stick or spindle. It was a natural evolution that spinners invented a way to mechanize the process. The hand spindle was held horizontally in a frame and turned, not by hand twisting, but by a wheel driven belt.

In 1764, a British carpenter and weaver named James Hargreaves invented an improved spinning jenny, a hand-powered multiple spinning machine that was the first machine to improve upon the spinning wheel.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.