Maker: Made in India
Weight: 20 g / 1/4 oz
Length: 7" Shaft 1" Whorl
Style: Tahkli Support Spindle
Brass Whorl, Metal Shaft
These spindles are made for spinning short stapled fibres like cotton much easier. Alden Amos says that until recently, they were almost always used exclusively for cotton. Especially in India from the 10th century on.
My sample isn't quite finished yet. I am spinning using punis, which are made from hand carded cotton and rolled into a tight rolag. I find they make cotton spinning easier because they are the perfect size and all you need to do is simply hold the puni in your fibre hand and let the spindle do all the work. I am spinning 10 punis at a time to make my skeins. I just LOVE cotton spinning, and at first I had a real hard time "getting it". After practicing on my charkha and my bead spindle it just clicked one day. I also gained a lot of inspiration from my friend Deb, who has done wonderful things with cotton and written about them in Spin-Off magazine and other publications (and she let me use her Bosworth charkha <3!) I have had this spindle for a long time and this is the first time I have actually used it.
Because the shaft is so skinny, you can fit more yarn on these than you may think. I have about 6 punis on this spindle currently and have lots more room. 10 punis is about 13g (3/8 oz) of fibre in this case.
This spindle holds its spin for a very long time and I find I'm the one stopping the tahkli and not the other way around. On any flat surface this spindle will go and go and with little effort.
It's quite comfortable in my hand and you really don't need to worry about breaking it too easily. There is more a chance of you stabbing your hand or leg (be prepared for that). This isn't the prettiest spindle either, but it doesn't need to be. It does its job and it does it very well. One thing I am not very happy about is that after spinning for a while, my hand smells like metal and sometimes feels sticky.
**Whenever you go to thrift shops, it's important to keep an eye out for "spindle cases" and "spindle bowls". You would be surprised to hear some people use them for candles, tea bags or food. How silly of them!
Length of spin: 23.9 seconds (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: Not to shabby
Looks: Better than bad
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
If you are interested in giving cotton a try, pick one of these up. You can find them all over the place and they usually range from $13 - $20 or you can get them in many learn to spin cotton kits OR you can make one yourself. If you look in The Big Book of Handspinning by Alden Amos, he gives instructions for making one from a coin and a dirt bike spoke. Kinda cool.