Spinning thread with a drop spindle

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by DKR, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Yes, you do not need a spinning wheel to make thread. You can use something much simpler, a drop spindle.
    Like this:

    There are lots of sites that deal with spinning - a hobby that can be useful in hard times. Here is a good place to start -
    Drop Spindle Spinning: Ultimate Guide to Drop Spindles - Interweave

    Thee also plenty of How to YT on this as well.

    Materials are inexpensive, and the spindles can be made at home from scrap.

    I was moved to post this after looking at an earlier post about an HG Wells book - the War form the Air. In the book (1907) Wells makes the point that most urban dwellers of his time (and today) don't know how to make basic cloth - and thread is needed before you can begin to weave.

    This can also be a great Art project if you have smaller kiddos or Grand kids with a sense of adventure.

    I hope this topic is of interest for you - I know it is for me.

    Have fun.
    Zimmy, Ganado, Sapper John and 4 others like this.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Good one, look up Inkle looms, I made some out of scraps for a grade school art class, and you can weave a simple fabric that is 3 to 5 in wide, they used to in Africa, then use thread to connect these strips to make larger pieces of cloth, robes, blankets, etc. You can with a few darning needles, large eyes, and scraps go from raw wool to usable heavy fabric. I don't know where that is shown, but drop spindle, inkle or card weaving, making rope or cordage, tanning hides, making moccasins, are very handy and a lot of kids used to get into doing it before smart phones and video games, I know that we did as well as debris shelters, etc.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    It is very interesting to me and never knew you could spin yarn without a wheel. Definitely would take practice and patience. My Aunt used to make her own yarn, starting with shearing the sheep.

    Two different spindles and that is a lot of work for a small amount of yarn. Lots of patience needed till one gets good at this.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
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  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    All of those beautiful textiles from the Andes mt regions were done with thread and yarn spun on drop spindles as they did not have the spinning wheel. Most was done as they watched sheep, guarded gardens etc and made use of "wasted time"
    Zimmy, Ganado and Dont like this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Small looms with widths of up to 49 inches are on the market.

    Rigid Heddle Loom demo'd

    small, easy to use. PITA to set up tho...

    Still, if you sit in the winter and watch a lot of TeeVee....
    Zimmy and Ganado like this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Rather than a big spinning wheel - use a charkha instead.

    thread or yarn.

    and part 2

    Even with this device, making thread is still a two-handed job.

    I just don't think most modern folks have the patience for this.
    Zimmy, ochit and Ganado like this.
  7. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    all great information I tried to get ahead of this picking up bolt cloth and large spools of all types of thread and assortments of needles and stitching sewing gear for clothing harness and web gear.
  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Zimmy and Motomom34 like this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    old school Egypt.
    Zimmy likes this.
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Like totally Medieval man

    The point of all the images is to show spinning with a drop spindle has been around from well before 3000BC
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  11. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I think I'm going to be in a buckskin loincloth and Superbowl LVII Dallas Cowboys t-shirt during most of the apocalypse.

    Spinning thread looks like an Arctic winter pastime.
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The old standby was linsey woolsey to most of the poor. Been around long enough to be banned in the Bible as Shatnez, either to holy, the priests wore a girdle of it, or used by the people that the Jews fought and their priests. Linen warp had the strength and didn't shrink so cloth held its shape when wet and when washed, woolen weft of thicker strands could be varied in diameter to make different hefts of cloth that could be used for clothing or lite blankets. Wore like iron, was warm, was fairly cheap to make, and thus was worn by the poor and the slaves. Flax was the miracle plant in its day, grew well in cold wet climates and on poor land, as far back as the Romans people knew that a little flax seed in the diet was healthy and kept you "regular", we now know that linoleic acid or one of the other fatty acids are one of the things we have to have in order to survive, my mother and grand mother used a poultice of crushed flax seeds and lye soap to draw boils, etc, linseed oil was the basis of most paints, cloth soaked in it and dried were the so called "oil skins" that were the only really water proof ones available, thus the "rags" the soldiers of Washington's wore on their feet in the winter, multiple applications and drying lead to the floor covering known as linoleum, the stalks were soaked in water and "retted", crushed, combed and the short fibers separated out, called tow and used to calk the seams of boats among other uses, and the long fibers were spun into threads and woven into linen cloth. Sheets, summer clothing etc were made of the linen, and the Pharoh's mummies were wrapped in it 5,000 years ago and the linen they were wrapped in had about 500 threads per inch. Up until the invention of the cotton gin linen was probably the most important fabric in the world. It would be a real pain to make linen or even linsey woolsey, but cotton is not an option as a crop in New Hampshire and yes I do have some flax seed in my survival seeds. It took weeks to make one sheet in colonial days, from planting the flax, to making the thread, to weaving the cloth, and in today's money, a single sheet would cost hundreds of dollars, so needless to say, the introduction of cotton mass produced cloth rapidly made linen a rare item. It is one of those things that would be necessary in the short time if TSHTF, but as soon as possible, some one some where would get the basic production of at least simple mass production of cotton cloth back and make a fortune in the process yet again as the mills did in the 1800's. For most of the world, the climate is not suitable for cotton, so flax or hemp are the only crops suitable for making thread and while animal fibers are good for knitting, they have limits in weaving as they stretch and shrink. .
    A simple wool or linen spinning wheel and a small loom would be of great value, they were to my grand parents in the 1890's and to their parent's before them, as were hand made shoes, but mass production then and now soon made them into artistic or hobby items.
    Didn't mean to hijack the thread, but flax, as is vinegar, is one of my obsessions and I tend to go over board.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I inherited 2 looms (dads collection) and if I venture into this craft I'm making a spinner of my own ,giving it my own twist as it were .
    As fascinating as it is to learn the primitive ways things were done, and knowing how to do them , the lazy part of me likes to find more efficient ways to accomplish the same things .
    Even the Indians making canoes went from carving to burning the wood that was in the way, to making a frame and covering it with skins or bark . they found better ways to do things and did not go back to the old inefficient ways of the past.
    We have a trend , a good one , of learning old ways , however ,we have a lot to be thankful for with our newer technologies that shouldn't be forgotten as well. I think .
    duane likes this.
  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    A lot of the old "crafts" are useful survival tools, but in doing them now, we find out that the reason they faded away when modern production was introduced, is that it took a long time and was a lot of work, and for most of us at least during the learning process, the old product is inferior.
    Zimmy likes this.
  15. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    Most of my prepping had been learning the old ways of doing things to provide for myself. No amount of inventory lasts forever. If it did, I couldn't afford it anyway.
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