Thursday, October 27, 2011

Double Flier Spinning Wheels

The Han Chinese  (2,000 years ago) had treadle powered, double spindle spinning wheels so that a cotton spinner could spin with both hands.  In 1598, the British Parliament passed a law requiring spinning schools to teach their students how to spin with both hands and to have double flier spinning wheels so the students could practice the art.  It was one way to spin faster in a world without spinning mills.

Now, I have one!  Well, I do,  if a pile of  worm eaten oak counts?

She is broke, and has had major repairs at least twice in her life - done at a level of craftsmanship that is much lower than the original wheel.  The poor quality of the rather extensive repair distracts from the fact that the wheel was originally rather fine. At one time, she did a good bit of spinning because both of the flier/bobbin assemblies are worn, and the axle of the replaced bobbin is very worn.

The wheel diameter is ~15".  Wheel to bobbin ratio is ~ 1:10.  DRS is ~ 1.2, however, in the original bobbin, the whorl is very deep and narrow, so that actual DRS would depend on the width of the cord.  The drive wheel has two grooves, and the flier/bobbin assemblies were offset, so that each could have their own DD drive band and each flier/bobbin assembly has its own tension adjustment screw.  The hecks were set only 1/8th inch apart.  The bobbins are captive in the fliers, and the orifices are ~3/16th inch.

ETA 10/28 (not captive, just lots and lots of gunk in the way.)
ETA 10/30 Made in Germany circa 1900.


sharonwue said...

She's gorgeous! Do you have her pedigree, apart from the oak? Finding an old beauty is always a thrill. You will probably have her spinning a thread in no time. (Oh, yeah.. I mean two threads.)

Anonymous said...

I taught myself to spin with my left hand influenced by Paula Simmons and the info about small children being able to do it. Don't know if I could do 2 at a time though.