Table of Contents


Brief History of Spinning

Handspinning - Why?

Wool and Other Fibres for Handspinners

Preparing Wool for Handspinning

Thoughts on Learning to Spin

Basic Rules for Spinning with a Flyer Wheel

Spinning Wheels

How Flyer Wheels Work

Choosing a Spinning Wheel

Buying a Spinning Wheel

Indian Book or Box Charkha


Introduction to Handspindles

Spindle Reviews

Tips and Tricks for Spindle Spinning

Building Your Own


Lazy Kate

Knitting Needles





Links - Handspinning on the Web



Life on the Farm


Address and legal information

Home / Accueil / Startseite > La Hottee - Contact Information > Handspinning > Brief History of Spinning > How Flyer Wheels Work

The pictures shows where the treadle, drive wheel, drive band, flyer and bobbin and distaff are located on a castle wheel.

How Flyer Wheels Work

Flyer wheels are spinning wheels that wind on the spun thread automatically. The basic principle is that a loop of string (the drive band) runs over a big wheel (the drive wheel) and over one or two smaller wheels (the bobbin-whorl, the flyer-whorl or both). When you move the big wheel (generally by treadling), the drive band makes the flyer turn around the bobbin and twist the fibres. When bobbin and flyer turn at the same speed, the yarn is just twisted, but not wound onto the bobbin. For winding on, a speed difference is needed.

There are three methods for having flyer and bobbin rotate at different speeds:

(The distaff shown on the picture is mainly used for keeping the fibre organized when spinning flax - its presence or absence has no influence on the function of a spinning wheel.)

Page updated: 07 April 2007