Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Spinning Frame

Yesterday I was sharing some of my mother-in-law's collection of antique spools or bobbins.  On my most recent visit, I had the fun task of selecting five to bring home with me.  Among the more traditional looking bobbins were a few funny looking ones.  I wasn't really sure if they were bobbins or perhaps another part of textile machinery, but I brought one home just the same.

I thought it might take a little research to figure out the function of this odd shaped part, but I stumbled onto the answer very quickly.  In fact, this is a bobbin, known as a spinning frame. It was also called a beehive because of the shape of the base.  The graduated ridges at the bottom gave the yarn something to grip when they started a new run.  The smooth top prevented any snagging.

Though I checked my information with a number of sites, I particularly like Becki's Bobbins. She has some wonderful pictures of old textile mills and good descriptions of the different bobbins.  About the spinning frame she goes on to say, "Cotton or wool rovings were transferred from a larger spool via the spinning process onto the frame bobbin. Different frame sizes were used for different weights and thickness of fibers."  

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