The Great Wheel

As time passed, spinning wheels evolved into what is called the great wheel or walking wheel. The diameter of the wheel grew to three or four feet. Legs were added to the base. The spinner gave a quick turn to the wheel and walked back from the wheel as the yarn twisted, and walked forward to the spindle to wind on the yarn. This style of wheel was usually used for spinning short staple wool and cotton.

Lack of space in small cottages limited its use. Great wheels were about two feet wide and six feet long. They were widely used in northern Europe and were still in use on some American farms in the early twentieth century.

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