How does a spinning wheel work?

Simple Machine

The spinning wheel spins thread by means of a spindle which twists the drawn fibers of cotton or wool together.

The old spinning wheel, so common to colonial houses, is a simple machine for spinning yarn or thread.  It has a large wheel that is turned by hand or by a fool pedal.

Spinning is the process of twisting fibers into yarn or thread.

To make thread on a spinning wheel, the spinner pulls some of the fibers from a roll of straightened wool or cotton and fastens them to the end of a pulley-driven spindle.

While drawing out the fibers, the spinner turns the wheel, which spins the spindle.  The spindle, in turn, twists the drawn fibers into one continuous thread, which winds around a spool.

Only one thread can be made at a time on a spinning wheel.  After the thread is made, it can be woven into cloth on a machine called a loom.

Today, most spinning and weaving is done in factories.  Modern spinning machines can make hundreds of threads at a time.–Dick Rogers

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