Spinning is done by twisting loose fibres into each other, creating a longer and stronger thread. It can be done in several ways; for example, with one’s fingers, a drop spindle or a spinning wheel.
Spinning with your fingers is a very slow process that will produce an irregular yarn. Using a drop spindle will ease the process. A drop spindle is made of a round stick to which a flat round disk has been attached. A string is attached to this disk and the drop spindle hangs with the disk down. In one hand the spinner holds fibres to be spun, the other hand takes small amounts of fibres and adds this to the existing yarn. Use a free hand to spin the drop spindle and the twisting movement of the drop spindle creates yarn.
A huge improvement compared to the drop spindle is the use of a spinning wheel. Louët wheels have been carefully engineered to be easy-to-use, durable, low-maintenance and practical. The S10, which was developed in the 1970’s, has been such a success that it is a classic among modern spinning wheels.
The first generation Louët spinning wheels, like the S10 and S17, all have a single belt bobbin drive with an adjustable flyer brake to regulate tension. This results in spinning wheels that are very easy to learn how to spin on, and the wheels are very suitable to spin thicker yarns. The bobbins have a sheave with three settings that can be used to obtain three spinning speeds or ratios. By using different types of bobbins and flyers, Louët spinning wheels can be used to produce every kind of yarn, from coarse wool to fine silks.
The new generation of Louët spinning wheels, Victoria and Julia, have Scotch tension: single belt, flyer drive with an adjustable bobbin brake to regulate the tension on the yarn that you are spinning. The standard ratios are higher than those of the first generation, which makes it easier to spin very fine yarns. When using the high speed set the ratio increases even further.