Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spinning Paper

 I'll admit it, I like fiber related tools.  My favorite is the Japanese spinning wheel.

It's beautiful, but it's very large, and I can't travel with it.  I also have a Japanese bobbin winder, which is a bit smaller.  
One of my favorite 'spinners' is a western style bobbin winder.  I can put it in a plastic box, and take it to workshops.

 Ever since I started spinning paper, I've wanted to try an Indian charkha.  My friend Aimee and I tried to make box charkhas last year, but I wasn't happy with the final results.  I ended up buying one a few weeks ago.  (ebay)

“The literal translation of the word Charkha or charka is wheel, During Gandhi's time there

was a strong movement to promote self-sufficiency in India. A box spinning wheel was

designed and made compact enough so that every Indian family could own one and spin

cotton yam for their cloth. Gandhi himself contributed to the design of the Charkha by adding an accelerated wheel drive for greater speed. On many occasions he would spin and recommend spinning to others, saying it would bring them peace of mind. Cotton spinning was also meant as a political snub of British colonial rule.”

The charkha arrived from India.  The packaging was a sewn cotton 'bag.'

If you own a charkha, then you know that the spindle is on the wrong side.  I believe that it was installed incorrectly, because if I have it the other way (facing the left side of the box), the tip almost touches the ground, making it impossible to spin.

This is my first attempt at spinning Thai unryu.  I'll need a lot of practice to get a smooth cord.

If you order a charkha, they do not come with assembly instructions, or info on spinning.  However, there are many good resources on the internet.  Make your own charkha!


1 comment:

  1. I find this very interesting, as every one of my husband's family members has a model of one in their home. I will have to look for a working one at some point.