The HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts


Spinning wheel making


The making of spinning wheels to spin yarn from natural or synthetic fibres. (See also spinning)


Status Critically endangered
Craft category Wood
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 1
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required



Spinning wheels were first used in India, between 500 and 1000 AD. Spinning machinery, such as the spinning jenny and spinning frame, displaced the spinning wheel in industry, though its use has continued in cottage industry and artisan production.





Local forms






Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • There is an upsurge in knitting and weaving and there are a number of small multinational suppliers of spinning and weaving equipment that meet the demand. These companies tend to use modern materials and high end equipment to make an acceptable product at a competitive price.


Support organisations



Craftspeople currently known

Woodland Turnery has recently closed following retirement. Owners Clive and Joan Jones tried to sell the business with five potential buyers all dropping out for various reasons. They have now sold on their demo wheels.


Other information

Valerie and David Bryant have been researching early spinning-wheel makers in the UK for many years.



Lumb, Dorothy, Spinning wheels made in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales during the 20th century