can anyone identify this spinning wheel? Newbie question


Greetings -

My Mom left me this cool old spinning wheel. I don’t really know anything about it.

It stands 3’ high, and the wheel is 16" across.

Is there a way for me to tell when it was made, who made it, its “style” (or whatever you’d call it), or anything else about it

I’ve attached a bunch of photos. Any thoughts are welcomed!






Hello - thanks for the reply to my post. There was not any content in your post. Did you have something to tell me?


No, sorry! I’m not a spinner so I just tagged someone who might be able to help. Answer may be delayed due to holiday though.



Hi Richard,

This is a Castle style wheel, meaning the ‘mother of all’ (the maidens, flyer & bobbin) sit above the drive wheel.

It is a single treadle (ST), double drive (DD) wheel.

Couple of things to change around …

In your 2nd picture:
The basket type thing is a birdcage distaff (used to hang & tie on flax to spin from) is currently sitting on the ‘table’ of the wheel. It fits into the hole of the distaff arm (front left of the picture).
On the floor in front of the wheel from left to right is the bobbin & whorl, the front maiden and the flyer. Something looks quite strange to me with the bobbin. It could be a double bobbin (I’ve never heard of one before, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist) or there is an extra piece stuck on to the end of the bobbin (towards the wheel). The flyer doesn’t have anything for the bobbin to sit on. It could be broken, missing or not original to the wheel.

This is the way the flyer & whorl works … see the hole in the flyer on the left side? This is where the fiber that has been twisted into yarn enters the flyer and winds on to the bobbin.

Here is what a full flyer/bobbin/DD whorl assembly looks like:

and a modern one:

Your 3rd photo:

Put the front maiden where the birdcage is.

The flyer is missing

The end of the the flyer fits into the front maiden, the bobbin fits (small end first) on the shaft of the flyer, then the whorl. It isn’t uncommon for the whorl to unscrew to the right (instead of the left … no ‘rightey tightey, lefty loosey’). The drive band goes around twice. Once around the pulley on the bobbin to the drive wheel, up to the pulley on the whorl, back around the drive wheel up to the bobbin. It is one continuous loop. This whole assembly is inserted into a small hole into the block that goes up and down on the far side. This controls the tension of the drive band, which in turn controls how quick your fiber take up is … but that is the spinning portion and not the mechanic portion.

It needs a good cleaning & oiling and the flyer/bobbin assembly figured out.

I don’t have a clue about the maker or how old it is.

Hope this helps you out.

(Thanks for the tag, @Jan_in_CA)


Look up cardarelle Spinning Wheel. Also look up clemes and clemes traditional spinning wheel. Cardarelle predates clemes and clemes. It’s probably about 1960s.