The Secrets of Spinning and the Spinning Wheel

Spinning is actually a process that is known for the transformation of cotton fibre into a thread or yarn. The fibers of the cotton will undergo a lot of stages to prepare them for the spinning process. Before the cotton undergoes the spinning process for yarn, the raw fibres are separated from their seeds, something termed as ginning.

Today, ginning is done with the use of particular machinery. But back then, women had to make use of their small hands or feet to gin the fibres. After the ginning process, the fibres are cleaned in preparation for spinning.

About the cotton

The cotton is cleaned by removing the bits of dirt, while the carding pulls the fibers to form a parallel line in preparation for the spinning process. They are then rolled over a very thin layer of carded cotton with a specific stick in order to come up with very tight cylinders that measure approximately fifteen centimeters long. Once these are accomplished, the cotton is now ready for the spinning process which will transform it into thread.

When cotton is spun, the shorter fibres are drawn out from the huge mass of cotton and then twists them all together into a very long and continuous thread.

Origin of spinning wheels

Most of the spinning wheels used in India are the ones the Natives called charka. Today, a portable and smaller version of the charka is widely used today. They were invented by Mahatma Gandhi as his donation to the khadi movement in order to enhance the self-sufficiency in India. The threads which were utilized were very fine and were used to come up of the muslin that could be spun using a hand spindle which was called the takli.

Managing the spinning wheel

The spinning machines actually have a spike made of metal which is given the term spindle. It is through this spindle that the threads are wind together. The spindle can be turned and attached to a pulley that is attached to a bigger wheel, if not a few wheels. A single complete turn of the wheel is capable of turning the spindle a lot of times, just like what occurs to the gears that are attached to a bicycle.

Each of these cycles only takes a few seconds. They are able to pull the fibres from the cylinder, getting to twist the threads and then winding them to a finished product. When the threads are finished, they can be now dyed and treated with different chemicals so that shrinkage or unnecessary creasing is prevented, if not totally avoided, before they are woven into a particularly patterned fabric.

Forming filaments

The earliest tools which Natives used for forming filamentous substances into a thread that is continuous, is most probably the spindle and the distaff. Although this certain method is still largely utilized by a group of Natives, it is regarded by many as part of the ancient barbaric period.

The invention of the spinning wheel was actually the first improvement to this very simple contrivance. With the spinning wheel, construction of fabrics had huge improvements which did not largely base in the skills of today’s artisans but instead are accomplished through mechanical means which guarantee more accuracy.

It is through the wide use of spinning wheels that products were created in a much more rapid pace and a quick increase in the number of today’s cotton manufacturers.