Textured spinning has unique demands on spinning equipment. The best spinning wheel for spinning art yarn is one that has the mechanics of bulky and textured yarn spinning considered in its design. I have made a list of these important spinning wheel features, and explain why they matter if you want to spin the fluffiest of textured yarns. Plus I’ve included as examples some of my favorite spinning wheels to showcase each of these spinning wheel design features.
The orifice is the cylindrical portion at the front of the flyer that the yarn must past through before winding onto the bobbin. When you have a yarn featuring a lot of texture, you will want to make sure that all the texture you spin can fit through its orifice. I have had the unfortunate experience of spinning the most amazing coils yarn, only to have to stop treadling so I could manually shove my beautiful fluffy coils through the orifice and onto my bobbin. I made it work, but it was a less than relaxing spinning experience.
The Ashford Kiwi Super Flyer Kit has a 27mm (1⅛”) diameter orifice, so it won’t hold you back from spinning the puffiest of puffy coils!
No Orifice, No Hooks, No Problem
SpinOlution has completely solved the orifice diameter problem by replacing their orifice with a hook. Now, there is no narrow space for the bulky yarn to squeeze through. SpinOlution also uses pegs on the flyer arms which helps get that textured yarn onto the bobbin without it getting hung up on hooks, or stuck in the orifice of the yarn guide.
Check out the SpinOlution Echo Spinning Wheel with the Art Yarn Package.
Slow Spinning Speed
Another design feature that helps when spinning thick yarns is to have a slow spinning speed. What does this mean exactly?
Spinning wheels work by putting twist into the yarn you are spinning. Most wheels have a pully system. As you step on the treadle to turn the drive wheel, the attached drive band will turn the flyer a certain number of times.
If you want to understand more about spinning wheel ratios, check out this video tutorial I made!
When you spin bulky yarn, you don’t need to add a whole lot of twist. You want to find a spinning wheel with a slower ratio such as the Majacraft Aura 4.1:1 Ratio.
Large Bobbin Capacity
Another thing to consider is the capacity of the bobbin on the spinning wheel. A thin yarn can pack tightly and fit many yards onto a smaller bobbin, but if you are spinning textured yarn, you need a large bobbin.
For bobbin capacity, the Ashford County Spinner 2 can’t be beat with its massive bobbin capable of holding 2 pounds of yarn!
Bobbin Led (Irish) Tension
While double drive tension is the queen of lace, bobbin led (Irish tension) is the queen of bulky yarns. When you spin with a bobbin led (Irish tension) system, the drive band encircles the drive wheel and the bobbin. The break is placed over the neck of the flyer.
What does this mean for the spinner? It means you can crank up a very strong tension with this system. This is very helpful for spinning jumbo diameter yarns, and using certain textured yarn techniques. It guarantees that all your yarn will get pulled onto the bobbin with less effort from you.
When I think of bobbin led tension, I immediately think of Louet wheels. In particular, the Louet S10 Art Yarn Spinning Wheel is my go-to choice of Louet wheels for spinning an amazing textured yarn.
My Personal Favorite Art Yarn Spinning Wheel
I used to have a Louet wheel that I had to sell during a long distance move, and I have missed that wheel ever since. It was an awesome wheel for plying yarn as well as spinning thick singles!
I also dream of one day spinning with a Majacraft Aura. However, if I could choose any spinning wheel for exclusively spinning bulky, textured yarn, I would have to go with the Ashford Country Spinner 2.
It is not designed to be a jack of all trades, it is designed to spin large capacities of the thickest yarn. It meets every specification on my list above, and has easy to control treadles so you can stop and start your spinning with your feet while manipulating your fiber with both hands. To me, the Ashford Country Spinner 2 is the best spinning wheel for spinning art yarn. Ah, well…a girl can dream.
If you want to read about the spinning wheel I custom painted, check out this post next!