A hundred years ago June 22, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (June 22, 1921): Spinning wheel in India

It is easier and, for some, more congenial to pooh pooh than to prove the possibilities of the spinning wheel. Compared with its modern competitor, the power-driven jenny, the chakra doubtless suffers from many limitations. Some of these limitations are purely imaginary. Thus, it is often said that finer varieties of cloth could not be produced with it in quantities. That this is not a fact has been stated before, but it will perhaps bear repetition once more. This is what the latest writer on the subject, Mr. A.S. Wade, in his new brochure Cotton Spinning in Pitman’s “Common Commodities and Industries” Series, which gives a popular and authoritative account of the industry, says on Indian spinning. “Centuries before the Christian era,” he says, “Cotton was spun and woven in India into the very finest textures; the father of history, Herodotus, mentions them. India’s hand-spinning, indeed, seems to have gone on through the ages with the same degree of perfection, anticipating the delicacy and finish which came to us only when the spinning wheel was brought into being...”

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