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Maryland Sheep & Wool, May 4th & 5th

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Traditional Spinning Wheel


Our Traditional Wheel is a versatile, durable wheel with old world styling and construction. The single treadle, double drive design makes this wheel both ergonomic and efficient for spinning a variety of sizes and styles of yarn.

  • Double drive
  • Single treadle
  • Optional Bulky, Quill, and Distaff
  • Approximately 2.5 ounce bobbin
  • 5.5 and 6.75 ratios
  • Current estimated lead time is six months to twelve months
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Product Description

This is the wheel we started with in 1970 – an upright castle with a 16” drive wheel. Similar to the wheel founder Henry Clemes built as an apprentice under Anthony Cardarelle, Henry standardized the design of his wheel parts, making it the first wheel on the West Coast to be made in small batches rather than one at a time. This shift to standardized parts meant not only a decrease in production time, but the availability of additional bobbins, accessories, and replacement parts. New parts made today are made to the same specifications as the day production began.

In both its design and manufacture, the Traditional Wheel lives up to its name. The frame is assembled with mortise and tenon joints, lacking metal screws or other fasteners that would not have been available to old world wheel builders. Each spoke in the wheel is pinned in place by hand with a dowel – a task that proves difficult even when performed by a seasoned craftsman. Once a wheel, frame, flyer, and remaining parts have been matched for color and woodgrain they are stained (if ordered) and receive a durable lacquer finish. After final assembly, each wheel is thoroughly tested to ensure it meets our lofty standards of craftsmanship and quality.

Flyer whorl ratios of 5.5 and 6.75 give the Traditional the capability of spinning any weight of yarn from laceweight to bulky. Set up for double drive, the flyer whorl ratios will spin similarly to an 11 and 14 using Scotch or Irish tension. If you are unfamiliar with double drive, tension types, and ratios, please read our FAQ for further explanation.

Tension is easily set using the tension knob and rarely needs to be changed as the bobbin fills. Bobbins are changed quickly and easily by removing the front maiden, which allows for the removal of the flyer. The flyer shaft, tension block, and front maiden should be oiled every time a bobbin is changed. The front and rear of the wheel axle and the treadle bars require occasional oiling, depending on frequency and volume of spinning.

Each wheel is supplied with three bobbins, a threading hook, and a bottle of spinning wheel oil. Additional bobbins, as well as our JMac lazy kates, are available finished to match. A bulky adaptor, quill, and distaff are also available.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Weight 30 lbs
Dimensions 20 × 20 × 36 in

Maple, Fruitwood Stain, Walnut Stain

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Katrina W.
Tried and True

My first wheel is a Clemes and Clemes from 1974. It's almost as old as I am! It was an unexpected "inheritance" from the mother of a deceased friend and is a treasured mainstay of my textile art tool collection. I'm a tall woman so I really appreciate the height of the castle, and it has a lovely weight to the wheel - when it gets rolling it stays rolling. I find it easy to spin for hours even though it is a single treadle. I also enjoy the ease of the double drive - as the description states it requires much less adjustment as the bobbin fills, even with jumbo bobbins.
I am so grateful that Clemes and Clemes started producing their Traditional again so that I was able to purchase additional accessories (like the Jumbo flyer and bobbins) for the old girl. With plenty of oil and care I know she'll last my lifetime and likely beyond as well. Thank you Clemes and Clemes!

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