Spinning wheels transform animal and plant fibres like wool, silk and cotton into yarn and thread. These wheels range in size from large machines that require 3 to 4 feet of space to small wheels that measure a foot across. Each brand of spinning wheel offers special features, making it possible to find the right spinning wheel for you.
Louët, a Holland company in operation since at least 1975, creates low-maintenance spinning wheels that you can add accessories to when needed for speciality spinning needs. Louët wheels operate by a single belt, a rubberised band that makes the bobbin, an accessory around which yarn wraps as you spin. You can control the rate that the spinning wheel moves with an adjustable brake. These wheels range in size from 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall, and one model is collapsible and portable.
Ashford Handicrafts, a New Zealand company in business since 1934, produces a range of spinning wheels. This company offers a traditional wheel, or a large wheel mounted to a frame that you move by pushing a single or double pedal called a treadle, as well as more modern wheels, like small, collapsible wheels that measure just over a foot high. These wheels come with a range of accessories, adjustable tension and can be used to spin fine yarn up to chunky yarn. Ashford also manufactures charkas, which are small, tabletop wheels used to create fine, thin yarns.
Lendrum Spinning Wheels, a Canadian company in existence since 1976, has two wheels -- a traditional spinning wheel and a collapsible, portable wheel. The Lendrum Saxony, which is the traditional spinning wheel, comes in cherry, maple or walnut woods. The wheel measures 28 inches in diameter, although the entire spinning wheel is more than 3 feet wide and 3 feet high. The Original Lendrum folds flat for travel and measures slightly more than 1 foot wide and 3 feet tall. Both spinning wheels have adjustable tension for the drive band. You can spin all sizes of yarn on these spinning wheels, from fine to chunky.
Schacht is a company based in Denver that sells several types of spinning wheels. The Schacht-Reeves, the company's traditional, Saxony-type wheel, comes in 24-inch and 30-inch models, and is available in ash or cherry woods. You may also opt for a double or single treadle, the pedal or pedals that power the wheel. A range of accessories are also available for this wheel. The Matchless spinning wheel measures almost 3 feet high, and the website boasts that it provides the most responsible handling of any wheel on the market. The Ladybug model is meant for the beginning spinner, standing 29 inches high and offering ease of use. All have adjustable tension.