Yesterday afternoon, I was in a bookstore looking at the craft magazines when the following article from the latest edition of Spin-Off magazine caught my eye:
Farwell-Clay, Julia. "Jonathan Bosworth's Spinning Wheel Time Machine," Spin-Off, vol. XXXV, no. 1, pages 64-66 (Fall 2011).
|From Spin-Off article, page 64.|
The YouTube video above was taken during one such demonstration. In the video, he notes that, unlike a typical treadle spinning wheel, the spinner has "absolute control; there are no dead spots." That sounds very attractive for a spinner!
Despite Mr. Bosworth's impressive device, it is by no means clear that the ancient Chinese used such a wheel for spinning. (For a start, the rock carving he has used as inspiration does not seem to have a foot-operated treadle, as his proposed device does.) Still, I find the possibility that such a spinning wheel might have been in use in China by the third century C.E. to be intriguing--and I have yet to attempt any spinning. Those of you who are spinners, or are otherwise interested in the history of spinning, may wish to give Mr. Bosworth's experiments some of your attention.