Posts filed under ‘Spinning Cotton’

New to Spinning Cotton

Cloud Spinning What words come to mind when you think about spinning cotton? Cotton Clouds recently posed this question to fans on Facebook, and you can see the words and phrases that were shared.  At, we make cotton spinning easy with quality tools and instruction. But you don’t have to take it from us! We asked Rebecca, to whom we recently sent our All About Cotton Spinning kit, to put in her own words, her experience spinning cotton for the first time! Take it away, Rebecca!

 A New Spinner’s Experience

Thanks to Cotton Clouds for the opportunity to share my experience here! I have been a knitter for 13 years and have been practicing my crochet skills for 5 years, you can see many of my projects on Ravelry. I have often admired the spinning I have seen at fiber festivals and workshops, and by my friends at our knit night. I have a drop spindle and have spun wool with limited success over the last few years. I love to try new things and the All About Cotton Spinning kit seemed right up my alley – everything you need to get started is in the kit!

I’m a very touchy-feely knitter – I like to give my yarn a good squish. When I opened up the kit, I was really impressed by how soft each of the different cotton fibers felt!  There was some lovely “squoosh” factor there. The variety of cotton was impressive: Pima, Acala, Brown and Green cottons, punis, and a cotton bolls are included in the kit.  My daughter, who is 6, thought it was wool at first! This was a fun little learning moment for her to see what cotton looks like before it is yarn!


Cotton Spinning is Easy with Quality Tools

Cotton has a short staple length and I had heard the more prepared it is, the easier it is to spin. I have practiced with the punis and cotton in sliver form.  A Tahkli spindle is included in the kit.  It is a small supported spindle from India, with a heavy brass whorl to help build up a lot of spin which will give the yarn the much needed twist to hold together.  I spent a while just practicing giving the Tahkli a little flick and letting it spin in the space created by my thumb and index finger.Since it is not a drop spindle, I let it rest on a flat surface.  Boy, that spindle can spin! It is mesmerizing to watch, it is like a toy top!photo(6)

As I said before, I’m a very green spindle spinner, so getting started with the actual fiber was the hardest part for me. I asked Irene about this, what I should use for a leader yarn, and she gave me the tip to use one of the punis – to pull a bit out, get it on the Tahkli hook, draft a bit and start spinning from there. That worked like a charm!

 Cotton Spinning is Easy with Quality Instruction

This video from Cotton Clouds was very helpful! I encountered slubs, but if there is enough spin, you can see the twist travel up the fiber! It is pretty neat to see that in action. I still need to practice making sure there is enough twist in the yarn before winding it on to the shaft and drafting the next section out. Interestingly, this practice did not frustrate me as I had experienced with the wool!

So what words come to my mind when I think about spinning cotton? Magic, fun and practice! I will be peeking in on CottonClouds’ I Spin Cotton Ravelry group. Maybe at some future point I’ll be able to post again and show you a finished object from my own cotton handspun! There are some great ideas on the CottonClouds Pinterest boards, don’t you agree? Thank you to Irene and – they do make spinning cotton easy! For all of you out there who also enjoy spinning cotton, stay tuned for more details as the 2014 Cotton Clouds Spinzilla team, Cotton Clouds Cottontails, will be ready for team spinner signups starting August 4, 2014! Keep your eye on the Facebook page and Ravelry group for Spinzilla updates as well!





06/12/2014 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Challenge Yourself!

Does February feel slower to you? We’re not running around for the holiday season anymore and depending on the weather in your area you might be experiencing a touch of cabin fever, having to stay inside to avoid the bitter cold and snow. What can you do to keep those creative juices flowing? We’ll turn to the Winter Olympics for a bit of inspiration!

Ravellenic Games


  • The Ravellenic Games are a virtual “competition” to work on projects that are a personal challenge for you!
  • Work from the comfort of your own home – connect with others on Ravelry.
  • During the Olympic Games (Feb.7 – Feb. 23., 2014) Spin, Weave, Knit or Crochet!
  • Continue the momentum after the Games end:  make your own challenge to follow March Madness or practice for this year’s Spinzilla event!

Spinning Cotton


Is spinning cotton a personal challenge for you? Cotton Clouds has all the resources you need to take your spinning to the next level! We also have gathered tips and tutorials here on our website.

Weaving Spotlight


Have you woven lace yet? The Atwater Bronson Lace Scarves uses our best selling Bambu 12 yarn, in 4 seasonal color combinations. The interesting texture and warp floats are created by using 8-shaft weaving. When we look at this we are reminded of Pantone’s 2014 colors, so trendy!

We’re here to cheer you on! You can spin cotton, weave cotton, knit and crochet with cotton and have fabulous results! If you have a project you’re proud of let us know – share a link to your blog in the comments here or post to our Facebook page!

02/19/2014 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Introducing Spinzilla – Join Us!

Get out your spindles and wheels, Spinzilla is coming!

Spinzilla is a community-wide challenge to see who can spin the most yarn during Spinning and Weaving Week (October 7-13, 2013).

We’ll be spinning up a storm with Team Cotton Clouds, and we’d love to have you join us!

Can humble cotton win Spinzilla gold? We think so!

Can humble cotton win Spinzilla gold? We think so!

The Details

  • Who: Team Cotton Clouds
  • What: Spinzilla 2013
  • When to register: Register between now and September 23.
  • When to spin: Spin, spin, spin during Spinning and Weaving Week, from October 7-13.
  • Where: Wherever you want! Get creative and try to fit spinning into your routine as much as possible!
  • Why: Why not?! Can we make enough yarn to reach from one side of the U.S. to the other? Maybe around the globe, or even to the moon?

How Do I Join A Team?

Joining a team is easy. Simply click here to visit the TNNA website to sign up anytime between now and September 23rd. We hope you’ll join our team!

Though you can spin any type of fiber you’d like, our goal is to make Team Cotton Clouds the place for cotton during Spinzilla. We’ll be sharing cotton spinning tips and tricks, giving away cotton fiber and other goodies, and having a whole lot of fun along the way!

Get your cotton ready, Spinzilla is coming!

Get your cotton ready, Spinzilla is coming!

You can keep up on the action in a variety of ways. Each team has:

There’s a $10 registration fee to join Spinzilla, and all of the funds raised go toward starting a spinning program as part of the National Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP).

How Is The Winner Determined?

During Spinning and Weaving Week, participants will share photos of their spinning and submit their yardage to their team captain. At the end of the week, each captain (ours is the wonderful Connie Peterson) will calculate their team’s yardage and submit their spinning results, and the inaugural Spinzilla winning team will be crowned and inherit the Spinzilla trophy along with bragging rights for the next year. Can Team Cotton Clouds take the prize? We sure hope so!

The Prizes

In addition to the official Spinzilla prizes, we’ll be giving away goodies throughout Spinzilla. If you’re part of our team, you could win:

  • A $25 Cotton Clouds gift certificate
  • A package of our hand-dyed cotton sliver
  • A brand new copy of Hand Spinning Cotton by Harry & Olive Linder. This book is currently VERY expensive and hard to find because it’s out of print, but Cotton Clouds will be re-printing it so a new generation can appreciate this fabulous resource!

How can you work spinning into your daily routine? Join us as we spin without limits!

Stay tuned for more info about Spinzilla, team Cotton Clouds, and all the activities we have planned. Whether or not you join our team, we hope you’ll join in the fun during this exciting week!

08/29/2013 at 1:35 am 1 comment

We’ve Made Summer Cotton Spinning Easier with Free Shipping!

cotton-basketAs summer temperatures continue to climb, we’re happy to be surrounded by soft, cool clouds of cotton fiber. Cotton really is a dream to spin and knit in the summer months, and the finished yarn is perfect for everything from a woven set of placemats to a lightweight knit sweater. With a few days left in our extended Free Shipping Sale, now is the perfect time to grab a spindle and get to spinning!

If you’re new to spinning cotton, don’t be intimidated! There are a wide variety of resources to get you started, and once you learn, you’ll be hooked! Wondering about terms like boll, punis, or sliver? For a quick primer on the different types of cotton fiber, click below to watch our Cotton Fibers for Spinning from Seed to Sliver video (or read more about it in this recent newsletter). It’s a quick walkthrough that will take the mystery out of cotton terminology, and it will also introduce you to the different types of cotton fiber available for spinning.


When it comes time to pick your fiber, the options are nearly endless. Our All About Spinning Cotton Kit is a perennial favorite and includes a tahkli spindle, expert step-by-step illustrated instructions,  plus samples of many different types of cotton for you to experiment with. Once you’re done trying things out, choose from one of the many types of prepared cotton for your next project. You’ll find a full selection on our website, but here are a few of our favorites:

If more instruction is what you’re after, you’ll be happy to find that there is a great selection of DVDs and e-books. Try one of these options to take your cotton spinning skills to the next level:


From left: Cotton Spinning with the Takli by Joan Ruane, Cotton Spinning Made Easy by Joan Ruane, Spinning Cotton by Stephenie Gaustad, and Cotton: From Growing to Finishing by Spin-Off Magazine.

And don’t forget about our Free Shipping Sale, which has been extended until August 19th. You’ll receive free shipping on any order of cotton spinning fiber or cotton kits when you use promo code SPINCOTTON at checkout!

Stay cool, and happy spinning!

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07/27/2013 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Celebrating Spinning & Weaving Week! The Gift of Cotton

We welcome our guest blogger: the lovely denise renee grace!

I consider myself to be a bit of a magpie- I like to use found materials to my advantage.  I was talking with Irene at the WARP tour and dinner that Schacht hosted, and told her that I was saving all of the “cotton” from my vitamin bottles to spin someday.  She looked at me over the top of her glasses and said “honey, that is NOT cotton.  I will send you some cotton.”

A few weeks later, I received my first package of beautiful naturally colored green cotton.  I leapt for joy!  I took it home, tried to spin it and I was completely intimidated.

Luckily, Spinning 2 with Maggie Casey was right around the corner!  One of the many things she covered in her class was how to spin cotton.  We started with a cotton boll which to my surprise was much easier than the sliver.  You fluff the cotton boll a little, hold the seed between your fingers and just allow the cotton to slide off into the twist.  It is a great way to start a conversation with cotton.  We continued the dialog with cotton pima sliver and I was hooked!

It is no wonder Irene is drawn to this amazing fiber, that is so much like her.  She had polio when she was young.  Some might think this might make her fragile, but I have only known her to be super strong!  She runs her own business, loves Nia, spins like a champ, and has a wonderful cheery attitude.  Cotton is a short staple fiber, so it can seem very fragile.  If it is spun with a lot of twist, it can be super strong.

Irene does an amazing job of inspiring people to spin cotton!  After I broached the subject of doing a guest blog, she sent me MORE cotton.  I had to go home and spin it immediately!

I watched her video and finally got the confidence to dive into the Morning Glory hand dyed SuPima Cotton with my Ladybug ‘Aja.’  It was like learning to spin all over again.  Words came out of my mouth such that I was glad small children were not near.

As I continued to spin, my chat with the cotton got more comfortable.  My inchworm short draw became a short modified draw, which moved into a long modified draw, and then I started to get the hang of the long draw.  Luckily, I had the soothing view of the mountains to calm me.  I found my best spinning occurred when I was looking out at the mountains, or talking to my partner, and just let my hands do the work.  When I let go, the strength was able to emerge.

I was so inspired that I went straight for the natural green cotton that she had originally sent.  To my surprise, it was NOT like riding a bike.  The discussion was awkward at first and there were more “adult only” words before I started to get in the groove.   With patience, the groove came and I was comfortable in my mountain spinning again.  I just thought….. keep going.  It will turn into something good.  That is how art (and life) are a lot of the time.  It looks horrible to start, but if you just keep going, it morphs into something good!  And sometimes I find that it doesn’t morph into something good until the very last step.  It is like a leap of faith.  Of course when I was finished, I was so excited to weave the yarn with my new Baby Wolf that I totally forgot to take pictures of the beautiful yarn  and it just went right on the loom.

 The gift of cotton comes full circle round.  I spun it, wove it, and gifted it back to the giver.  In celebration of National Spinning & Weaving Week, consider giving the gift of cotton to yourself, or to your favorite spinner/weaver.

And…….Irene loves her handspun, handwoven scarf gifted to her by denise!

Thank you denise! YOU are my gift of cotton!  Irene

10/02/2012 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

Cotton Spinning Tips: Part 2

Spin Cotton! It’s the new luxury fiber–tenderly soft and lofty with a fresh, clean hand. Now you can spin in luxury without the expense!

Our 33 year love affair with spinning cotton is translated into these very helpful hints and tips, demonstration videos, and more!

Cotton Clouds provides you with Quality Cotton Spinning Fibers in a variety of preparations that make it easy for any beginner to get started spinning and for the experienced spinner to explore the limitless possibilities of creating the most advanced, delicate yarns.

We highly recommend these excellent DVD’s devoted to cotton spinning:

Cotton Spinning Made Easy

Cotton Spinning With A Tahkli

Spinning Cotton

Current Cotton Clouds’ Blogs on Spinning Cotton:

Fearless Cotton Spinning

Cotton Fiber Preparation: From Seed to Sliver

Spin Cotton On Any Spindle or Wheel

Putting Your Handspun Cotton to Good Use: Part 1

Putting Your Handspun Cotton to Good Use: Part 2

Helpful Tips & Videos for Successful Cotton Spinning:

Seven Tips for Successful Cotton Spinning

How to Choose the Right Cotton Fiber

How to Spin Ginned Cotton

How to Spin Sliver Cotton

Spinning Cotton on a Support Spindle

Plying Yarns on Your Spinning Wheel

How to Finish Handspun Yarns

Successful Cotton Carding

Good Posture for Spinning

09/22/2012 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

Cotton Spinning Tips: Part 1

Cotton Spinning Tips

Cotton needs a lot of twist to hold together as a yarn! You can’t overtwist it!

Practice spinning cotton on a support (Tahkli) spindle to get the feel!

Begin with a long staple (Pima) cotton fiber either in lint (ginned) or Puni (carded into a rolag) form.

Set your wheel’s spinning ratio (wheel to revolutions of bobbin) to the highest, or sit farther back from the orifice.

Adjust your spinning wheel so that there is just enough draw-in to have control of the fibers as you spin.

Relax, sit back, take a deep breath and have fun spinning cotton

Cotton Fiber Preparation

09/22/2012 at 8:43 pm 1 comment

Putting Your Handspun to Good Use, Part Two: Spinning a Consistent Yarn

I have been a spinner where I “let the fiber tell me what to do”. This is not a bad starting place However, when you are spinning for a project, most likely you will not spin all that you need in one day. The second day the fiber could “say” it wanted to be thicker or you could just be in a different mood. The size of your yarn changes and thus, your project yarn is inconsistent. Here are a few tips to help maintain consistentency.

  • Finer yarns are easier to spin consistently and cotton as a fine fiber “wants” to be thin.
  • Keeping the yarn consistent occurs in the drafting zone. The amount of fiber that you allow into the drafting zone determines how thick or thin the yarn will be.

  • To help maintain consistency keep a sample of the yarn you have spun that you like. If the goal is a single, break this sample off the bobbin and keep it with your wheel. If the goal is a 2-ply, pull a yard or so off the bobbin and see  what it looks like plied back on itself. Keep this as a sample but also  keep some of the single as that is what you are aiming to spin.
  • If your goal is 3 or more plies you will need to spin and ply more. Spin and ply what you want your final yarn to look like and keep a sample of the final yarn you want and a single to use as reference. Feel and look at the single before you start spinning and check your spun yarn against it throughout all the spinning for your particular project or batch of fiber.

Using a commercial yarn as your guide:

  • The second option is to find a commercial yarn that you like. If it is the thickness you want your single than use it as your sample. If it is a 2- ply and that is what you want then untwist it so you can see and feel what the single is like to recreate the yarn.
  • The yarns above on the left are commercial cotton weaving yarns. Starting at the top, there is 3/2 cotton (like a fingering to light sport weight knitting yarn). Then a 5/2 – light fingering to lace, 8/2 lace weight and 10/2 fine lace weight. On the right are two handspun cotton yarns. The top one is comparable to a 5/2 and the bottom one is comparable to a 10/2. These yarns all make  good standards to use as a sample to spin by. The 3/2 is the thickest I would ever spin a single cotton yarn.

Tips for Consistent Plying

Plying can make or break a yarn. With fine yarns and cotton more twist is needed in plying. Here are a few tips to try to keep your plying even and perfect for cotton.

  • I like a little tension or drag on the bobbins on the lazy kate . If you don’t have a brake you can put a fleece fabric or felt where the bobbins. This prevents the bobbins from backlashing and allows the yarns to come off more evenly.
  • Position the bobbins on the lazy kate so when the yarn is pulled off the bobbins rotate in the same direction.
  • Keep the back hand still. The forward hand should be the only one moving. This keeps the yarn from tangling and gives a more even feed.
  • Keep a finger between the ply in the forward hand and the back hand. This helps the yarns ply evenly and not wrap around each other sporadically.
  • Count your Treadles: With a finger between the yarns, move the forward hand toward the orifice and count each time the right foot presses down on the treadle – usually 1-3 times. Then move the forward hand back allowing the plying twist to follow behind your finger while continuing to count the treadles. Note the total count of treadles – mine are usually 4-7 depending on the size whorl I am using. When your forward hand reaches your back hand move toward the orifice again and then back allowing the twist to follow behind your fingers keeping that total count of treadles. After several passes like this, check the yarn between the bobbin and the hook or thread guide. If that is the yarn you like then continue counting the same number of  treadles. You can increase the plying twist by shorting the length of the draft or treadling more. Decreasing the plying twist is just the opposite – lengthen the draft or decrease the number of treadles per draft. Counting keeps the ply twist even. Some spinners will establish a rhythm after a few countings. Then they do not need to continue to count.

For Knitting & Crochet Projects to Calculate the yardage needed:

  • Make a  generous swatch.
  • Measure and multiply the length and width of the swatch to get the number of square inches.
  • Unravel the swatch and measure the number of yards in the swatch.
  • Divide the number of yards by the number of square inches to get the number of yards per square inch.
  • Calculate the number of square inches in your project and multiply that by the yards per square inch. This is easier than it sounds. Using the pattern multiple the length and width of each part: the back, the front, the two sleeves. Add these together for the total number of square inches in the garment. Don’t worry about the armhole and neck decreases. Including them will give you extra yardage. This allows for swatching and a little extra yardage if needed.
  • An alternative is to use a pattern that you are intending to use or that resembles your project and use the yardage suggested in the pattern. Spin extra yarn for sampling.

Click Here to download this free knitting pattern.

This is a quick little project. The bag is nice for gifting, for storing jewelry or hanging around your neck when knitting/weaving/crocheting to store scissors and other supplies – in other words a little treasure bag to hold your treasures.

With practice you will learn how to spin your handspun cotton for a specific project. The possibilities are endless. We hope that you will post your finished projects on our Facebook page or on our Ravelry “I Spin Cotton” group. We’d love to see it!

Have fun spinning cotton!

06/22/2012 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Putting Your Handspun Cotton to Good Use: Part One

I’m always knitting; sometimes with my handspun!

I admit that I often spin just for the delight of spinning with no thought of what I will do with the yarn.  At best, I will try and make a consistent yarn for whatever batch of roving or sliver I am spinning so I will be able to use it for a project. I usually do turn these yarns into something knit, crocheted or woven.

I have also spun for a specific project. I highly recommend that at least once, you spin for a project. The exercise of spinning with a project in mind teaches you how to plan, choose the right fiber, calculate and complete your project.

Handspun, hand-dyed cotton yarn with swatch
Planning in progress

Where to Start: Pick a Project.

Weaving with cotton handspun:

  • It is best to use 2-ply cotton for warp.
  • After some experience you can use a cottton single as warp. Use a higher twist in the single than you would for the weft.
  • Singles can successfully be used for  weft.
  • Your first cotton handspun no matter how irregular can be used for weft with a commercially spun yarn for warp.
  • Some spinners will go straight to the loom with their handspun cotton without any finishing.
  • You may want to first sample to check the shrinkage. Watch for differential shrinkage – in other words the 2-ply warp may not shrink as much as the single weft causing a puckered fabric.
  • Leave your handspun cotton on your bobbin overnight to temporarily set the twist. The yarn does not tangle as easily. To permanently set the twist handspun cotton requires boiling or steaming.

Commercial Warp, Handspun cotton weft

Knitting with cotton handspun:

  • Two or more plies are the most common yarns for handknitting.
  • Use a 2-ply yarn for lace (opens up the lace more) and 3-ply for socks (stronger yarn).
  •  For “British” or “American” style (AKA throwing the yarn) knitters, spin Z and ply S. This way the yarn does not untwist while knitting.
  • A single can be used if finished (boiled or steamed) to set the twist so the knit fabric will not bias. Be sure to do a swatch if you try this.
  • Cotton yarns are heavy – much heavier than wool. Keep this in mind when choosing your project.
  • Finer cotton yarns (lace, fingering or sport weight) will make lighter garments.
  • Needle size is important  – start with one size smaller needle than for a woolen yarn of the same diameter. A very open knit fabric in cotton has no body – maybe desirable for lace but not for a sweater.

Lace and Cable sweater
Handspun 2-ply cotton

Crocheting with cotton handspun:

  • Crochet fabric is thicker than knit or woven fabric in the same size of yarn.
  • Again the finer yarns here – lace or fingering – will give the best results for garments.
  • Hook size may need to be a little larger to keep the crocheted fabric soft – depending upon the project, of course – a potholder needs to be firm. Swatch until you get the fabric you want.
  • Some spinners will spin S and ply Z for crochet. This really depends upon the crocheter. There seems to be less untwisting of yarn in crochet.

Filet Crochet Table Runner
Natural Brown Handspun Cotton

Next Blog: Spinning and Plying a Consistent Yarn

Start planning your project!

06/22/2012 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Spin Cotton On Any Spindle or Wheel

I first learned to spin cotton in a Cotton Spinning Workshop by Harry and Olive Linder. It was an amazing class. There was so much information; I was too new to absorb it all. I wish I could take the class again, but alas, they are no longer with us.

I left the class able to spin cotton slowly on my double drive band Saxony-type wheel. It took many support spindles and finally a Tahkli spindle before I really loved to spin cotton.

Support Spindles

Support spindles are the very best way to learn the “feel” of drafting cotton. The nice thing about support spindles is you are in control of the twist , you can stop them any time and they don’t reverse directions on you. Drafting cotton is a lovely thing. It is a very light and easy draft due to the short staple length of the fiber.  If you can, start with a puni. The fibers are compacted and have a better tendency to cling to each other.

The Tahkli Spindle

The Tahkli has the added benefit of spinning very fast. This quickly adds  the high twist needed to hold cotton together as a yarn. You can produce an amazing amount of yarn faster than you think spinning cotton on a Tahkli.

Backward Draw

I suggest using a backward draw to spin on a support spindle. In the backward draw the twist is going into the fiber as you are drafting back. You almost cannot feel the draft – it is so light. It is easier to watch the twist go into the drafting zone; holding the fiber very lightly, keep pulling back to stay just ahead of the twist so it stays in the drafting zone and does not move into fiber you are holding in your hand. This is sometimes called the point of twist draw.

This is the only draft you can use on a supported spindle or a Charka as one hand is needed to spin the spindle or turn the wheel on a Charka.

Top whorls, Bottom whorl

Suspended Spindles

For a suspended spindle (AKA drop spindle) you can use the backward draw or a short forward draw. The short forward draw gives you a little better control, at least at first, for a more consistent yarn. It is a slower way of producing yarn but it will work on almost any suspended spindle. I have not tried in on spindles that weigh more than 1 ½ ounces.  The densly compacted fibers of a puni are conducive to spinning on a suspended spindle.

Tips for starting to spin cotton on your wheel

Once you have the feel of drafting cotton you can spin cotton on any wheel. There are some adjustments that will make this easier. The primary aim is to decrease how fast the yarn is wrapped onto the bobbin so that sufficient twist will be added to the newly spun yarn so that it will strong enough to hold together.

Very fast flyer, Lendrum
Note the small whorls

Spinning Wheels & Ratios

  • A wheel with a fast flyer or a lace flyer will spin cotton more effieciently.
  • Fast flyers or lace flyers are made to add more twist in your yarn during spinning.
  • These flyers have high ratios. A high ratio would be 24:1 or higher.
  • A ratio is the number of times the flyer goes around (inserting a twist each time) for each revolution of your wheel.
  • The wheel goes around once each time you treadle.
  • So if the ratio is 24:1 then the flyer goes around 24 times inserting 24 twists for one treadle.
  • If you are using a short forward draw –for example a one inch draw – for each treadle then 24 twists will go into that one inch of yarn. (Probably not something you would want).
  • If you are using the long backward draw and you draw back seven inches and let the yarn go in for each treadle then those 24 twists will spread out over those seven inches.

Cotton Friendly Wheels

Thankfully spinning wheel manufacturers are making fast flyers for our spinning wheels today. Ashford, Louet and Schacht, all available at Cotton Clouds, have fast flyers for many of their wheels.  The Ashford wheels also have the Lace Flyer Kit designed to give ratios up to 30:1 to 40:1  for the Traditional and Traveler spinning wheels.

Flyer Driven Wheels

  • If you have a fast flyer, use that starting with the largest whorl. If you do not have a fast flyer start with the smallest whorl you have.
  • For all wheels, decrease the tension on the drive band on the wheel until the wheel does not turn at all, and then slowly increase the tension on the wheel just until the wheel turns.
  • If your wheel has a  brake do the same with the brake–take the tension off the brake then slowly increase the brake until the leader on the bobbin starts to be pulled into the orifice. This is your starting point for spinning cotton.
  • Adjust the tension on the brake first if you need to increase the uptake—that is the “pull-in” of the newly made yarn.
  • If you have a double drive band you will need to increase the tension on the drive band to increase the uptake of your yarn.

Bobbin Driven Wheels

  • For Bobbin driven (the drive band is on the bobbin) wheels, you may need to take the brake off completely to slow the uptake of yarn.
  • If you are still having trouble with your yarn being pulled into the orifice too fast you can slow down the uptake  by criss-crossing the yarn on the hooks and starting to spin on a half full bobbin.

Happy Cotton Spinning!

Visit for all you cotton spinning supplies: fibers, tools, wheels, DVD’s, books and more!

06/12/2012 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

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