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Spinning Output, part 3

I have done half an hour spinning with each of my treadled spinning wheels now. One of them is single-drive, quite small, lends itself well to fast treadling, and has a ratio of approximately 5.4 : 1 for spinning. That’s the old wheel that I learned how to spin on, and I managed 41.5 m in the 30 minutes.

The other wheel is a double-drive second-hand spinning wheel manufactured in Finland sometimes in the seventies (last century, of course) and originally has a ratio of wheel to whorl of about 10 : 1. I have, however, tuned it to a ratio of about 18 : 1 for spinning high-speed, high-twist fine yarns and managed to churn out 73.5 m in the half hour on the tuned wheel. That was quite demanding (partly because it’s not perfectly aligned and tuned yet, but mostly because that means really fast drafting).

So my order of output is:
hand-spindle (as would have been expected) – 47 m/h
single-drive treadled wheel ratio 5.4:1 – 83 m/h
Great Wheel replica (yes, it was a production tool) – 129 m/h
double-drive treadled wheel tuned for the occasion, ratio 18:1 – 146 m/h

Now… for the fine print. The tools I know best and have worked with the most are my hand-spindle and the small single-drive wheel. Both are tools that I could use in my sleep, or at least a very sleepy state, and that I can wield with great precision.
Both the Great Wheel and the double-drive treadled one are rather new, have not been used much for spinning yet by myself, and I am convinced that at least the Great Wheel has quite a lot of potential in regards to speed.

I have not decided on how I will do a quality assessment on the four bits, but I will probably ply them and then use the last metre or so of the middle, un-plied, to wrap it onto a survey card for comparison. Another thing I have not decided on is where to ply, possibly I will take my small wheel for all four samples to have good control and a little more speed than on the hand-spindle. It remains… not a mystery, but quite exciting!

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One Response to Spinning Output, part 3

  1. Thank you for posting the results of your experiments. While "everyone" knows that wheels are faster than drop spindles, I find it interesting that the great wheel had a higher output than one of your modern wheels. I imagine a woman's reaction when she received one of those wheels would have been rather like when a modern woman first received a microwave. It would have radically shifted her daily schedule.

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