Spinning frame

The spinning frame is an Industrial Revolution invention for spinning thread or yarn from fibres such as wool or cotton in a mechanized way. It was developed in 18th-century Britain by Richard Arkwright and John Kay.

Spinning frame01

Historical context

In 1760 England, yarn production from wool, flax and cotton was still a cottage industry in which fibres were carded and spun by hand using a spinning wheel. As the textile industry expanded its markets and adopted faster machines, yarn supplies became scarce especially due to innovations such as the doubling of the loom speed after the invention of the flying shuttle. High demand for yarn spurred invention of the spinning jenny in 1764, followed closely by the invention of the spinning frame, later developed into the water frame (patented in 1769). Mechanisms had increased production of yarn so dramatically that by 1830 the yarn cottage industry in England could no longer compete and all spinning was carried out in factories.[1]


Richard Arkwright employed John Kay to produce a new spinning machine that Kay had worked on with (or possibly stolen from) another inventor called Thomas Highs.[2] With the help of other local craftsmen the team produced the spinning frame, which produced a stronger thread than the spinning jenny produced by James Hargreaves. The frame employed the draw rollers invented by Lewis Paul to stretch, or attenuate, the yarn.

The roller spinning process starts with a thick 'string' of loose fibres called a roving, which is passed between three pairs of rollers, each pair rotating slightly faster than the previous one. In this way it is reduced in thickness and increased in length before a strengthening twist is added by a bobbin-and-flyer mechanism. The spacing of the rollers has to be slightly greater than the fiber length to prevent breakage. The nip of the roller pairs prevents the twist from backing up to the roving.[3]

Too large to be operated by hand, the spinning frame needed a new source of power. Arkwright at first experimented with horses, but decided to employ the power of the water wheel, which gave the invention the name 'water frame'.

For some time, the stronger yarn produced by the spinning frame was used in looms for the lengthwise "warp" threads that bound cloth together, while hand powered jennies provided the weaker yarn used for the horizontal filler "weft" threads. The jennies required skill but were inexpensive and could be used in a home. The spinning frames required significant capital but little skill.[4]


  1. ^ Hammond, page 50.
  2. ^ "Thomas Highs and his spinning machines". Cotton Times. 2006-10-10. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14.
  3. ^ McNeil, Ian (1990). An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology. London: Routledge. p. 827. ISBN 0415147921.
  4. ^ Hammond, page 51


External links

  • Essay on Arkwright, showing his links with Kay and Highs.
1775 in France

Events from the year 1775 in France.

1845 in France

Events from the year 1845 in France.


Arkwright is a surname, deriving from an archaic Old English term for a person who manufactures chests, and may refer to:

Augustus Arkwright (1821–1887), Royal Navy officer and MP for North Derbyshire

Chris Arkwright (born 1959), English professional rugby league footballer

Francis Arkwright (politician) (1846–1915), MP for East Derbyshire 1874–1880 and Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council

Francis Arkwright (cricketer) (1905–1942), English cricketer

George Arkwright (1807–1856), English politician

Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864–1944), British musicologist

Harold Arkwright (1872–1942), English cricketer

Henry Arkwright (cricketer, born 1811) (1811–1889), English amateur cricketer

Henry Arkwright (1837–1866), English amateur cricketer

Ian Arkwright (born 1959), English professional footballer

John Stanhope Arkwright (1872–1954), British politician

John Arkwright (rugby league) (1902–1990), British rugby league footballer

Joseph Arthur Arkwright (1864–1944), British bacteriologist

Marian Arkwright (1863–1922), English composer

May Arkwright (1860–1915), suffrage leader in the early history of the Pacific Northwest of the United States

Paul Arkwright (born 1962), British ambassador

Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792), Englishman credited with inventing the spinning frame

Richard Arkwright junior (1755–1843), his son, who further developed his father's inventions

Richard Arkwright (1781–1832), grandson of the inventor, MP for Rye 1813–18 and 1826–30

Richard Arkwright (barrister) (1835–1918), barrister and Conservative politician, MP for Leominster 1866–76

Robert Arkwright (1903–1971), British Army general

Cotton-spinning machinery

Cotton-spinning machinery refers to machines which process (or spin) prepared cotton roving into workable yarn or thread. Such machinery can be dated back centuries. During the 18th and 19th centuries, as part of the Industrial Revolution cotton-spinning machinery was developed to bring mass production to the cotton industry. Cotton spinning machinery was installed in large factories, commonly known as cotton mills.

James Hargreaves

James Hargreaves (c. 1720 – 22 April 1778) was a weaver, carpenter and inventor in Lancashire, England. He was one of three inventors responsible for mechanising spinning. Hargreaves is credited with inventing the spinning jenny in 1764, Richard Arkwright patented the water frame in 1769, and Samuel Crompton combined the two creating the spinning mule in 1779.

John Kay

John Kay may refer to:

John Kay (flying shuttle) (1704–c. 1779), English inventor of the flying shuttle textile machinery

John Kay (spinning frame) (18th century), English developer of the spinning frame textile machinery

John Kay (caricaturist) (1742–1826), Scottish caricaturist

Sir John Kay (judge) (1943–2004), Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales

John Kay (musician) (born 1944), musician and lead singer of Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf

John Kay (poet) (14th century), English Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom

John Kay (economist) (born 1948), Scottish economist, Financial Times columnist and author

John Kay (cricket journalist) (1909/10–1999), British cricket correspondent for The Argus

John Kay (journalist, born 1944), British former journalist on Rupert Murdoch's The Sun

John Kay (Scottish footballer), Scottish footballer of the 1870s and 1880s

John Caius the Elder (fl. 1480), or John Kay, poet

John Kay (poet born 1958), British poet and teacher

John Kay (English footballer) (born 1964), English former footballer

John A. Kay (1830–?), architect in Columbia, South Carolina, US

John Albert Kay, engineer

Jon Kay (born 1970), BBC broadcast journalist

Johnny Kay (born 1940), lead guitarist for Bill Haley & His Comets from 1961 to 1967You may be looking for

Jonathan Kay (born 1968), Canadian journalist

John Kay (flying shuttle)

John Kay (17 June 1704 – c. 1779) was the inventor of the flying shuttle, which was a key contribution to the Industrial Revolution. He is often confused with his namesake, who built the first "spinning frame".

John Kay (spinning frame)

John Kay was associated with the invention in 1767 of the spinning frame, which marked an important stage in the development of textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. Born in Warrington, England, Kay was at least the co-constructor of the first spinning frame, and was a claimant to having been its inventor. He is sometimes confused with the unrelated John Kay, who had invented the flying shuttle, a weaving machine, some thirty years earlier.

Kay (surname)

This article is about people having the surname Kay. For Kay as a given name, and other uses of the word Kay, see Kay (disambiguation)Kay is a Celtic surname. The surname is a diminutive of MacKay and McKay. Notable people with the surname include:

Alan Kay, American computer scientist and visionary

Alec Kay (1879–1917), Scottish footballer

Alex J. Kay, British historian

Alexander Kay, British television presenter

Andrew Kay, American computer company CEO

Antony Kay, English footballer (see also Tony Kay below)

Barnaby Kay, English actor

Barry Kay, Australian scenery and costume designer; photographer

Beatrice Kay, American actress

Ben Kay, English rugby player

Bernard Kay, British actor

Connie Kay, American jazz drummer

Crystal Kay, J-pop singer

David Kay, American scientist

Dianne Kay, American actress

Don Kay (composer), Tasmanian composer

Dorothy Kay (1886–1964), Irish-born South African artist

Doug Kay, football coach

Elizabeth Kay, British writer

Guy Gavriel Kay, Canadian fantasy writer

Hadley Kay, Canadian voice actor

Iain Kay, Zimbabwean farmer and politician

Jackie Kay, British poet and author

James Ellsworth De Kay, American zoologist

James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth, British physician and politician

Janet Kay, British singer of Jamaican descent

Jason Kay, British singer Jay Kay of band Jamiroquai

John Kay (disambiguation), one of several people including

John Kay (flying shuttle) (1704–1780), English inventor of textile machinery, notably the flying shuttle

John Kay (spinning frame) (17??-17??), English developer of textile machinery, notably the spinning frame (not the same as John Kay immediately above)

John Kay (caricaturist) (1742–1826), Scottish caricaturist

Sir John Kay (judge) (1943–2004), Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Wale

John Kay (musician) (born 1944), musician and lead singer of Canadian rock band Steppenwolf

John Kay (poet) (14th century), English poet laureate

John Kay (economist) (born 1948), Scottish economist, Financial Times columnist and author

John Kay (journalist, born 1944), British journalist on Rupert Murdoch's The Sun

Joseph Kay, British economist

Karen Kay, British entertainer and mother of Jay Kay

Kathie Kay, Scottish singer

Kay Kay, Indian playback singer

Lesli Kay, American actress

Lily E. Kay, historian of science

Lisa Kay, actress

Lori Kay, artist

Manuela Kay, German writer and journalist

Marshall Kay, American geologist

Melody Kay, American actress

Michael Kay (announcer), American radio and television personality, play-by-play commentator for the New York Yankees

Michael Howard Kay, British software developer

Neal Kay, British DJ

Norman Kay (disambiguation), multiple people

Paul Kay, American linguist

Phil Kay, Scottish stand-up comedian

Peter Kay, British comedian

Ray Kay, Norwegian film director

Robert Kay (disambiguation)

Scott Kay, Jewelry Designer

Sonny Kay, American record label owner

Susan Kay, writer

Tony Kay, English footballer (see also Antony Kay above)

Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, 1st Baron Shuttleworth

Ulysses Kay, American composer

Vanessa Kay, American model and actress

Vernon Kay (born 1974), British television presenter

Wendell P. Kay (1913-1986), American attorney and politician

William Kay (disambiguation)

Philippe de Girard

Philippe Henri de Girard (February 1, 1775 – August 26, 1845) was a French engineer and inventor of the first flax spinning frame in 1810, as well as the name-sake for the town of Żyrardów in Poland. He was also the uncredited inventor of food preservation using tin cans.

Richard Arkwright

Sir Richard Arkwright (23 December 1732 – 3 August 1792) was an English inventor and a leading entrepreneur during the early Industrial Revolution. Although his patents were eventually overturned, he is credited with inventing the spinning frame, which following the transition to water power was renamed the water frame. He also patented a rotary carding engine that transformed raw cotton into cotton lap.

Arkwright's achievement was to combine power, machinery, semi-skilled labour and the new raw material of cotton to create mass-produced yarn. His skills of organization made him, more than anyone else, the creator of the modern factory system, especially in his mill at Cromford, Derbyshire, now preserved as part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Later in his life Arkwright was known as the "father of the modern industrial factory system."

Richard Arkwright (1781–1832)

Richard Arkwright (30 September 1781 – 28 March 1832) was an English politician.

He was the oldest son of Richard Arkwright (died 1843) of Willersley Castle, Derbyshire, and grandson of the entrepreneur Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792), whose invention of the spinning frame and other industrial innovations made him very wealthy.

Young Richard was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He and his five brothers were endowed as landed gentry by their father, who gave Richard £30,000 on his marriage in 1803 (equivalent to £2.69 million in 2019).

He managed his father's estates at Normanton Turville (near Thurlaston, Leicestershire) and Sutton Scarsdale in Derbyshire.Living at Normanton Turville, he served as an officer in the yeomanry, and as Member of Parliament for Rye from 1813 to 1818, and from 1826 to 1830.

Ring spinning

Ring spinning is a method of spinning fibres, such as cotton, flax or wool, to make a yarn. The ring frame developed from the throstle frame, which in its turn was a descendant of Arkwright's water frame. Ring spinning is a continuous process, unlike mule spinning which uses an intermittent action. In ring spinning, the roving is first attenuated by using drawing rollers, then spun and wound around a rotating spindle which in its turn is contained within an independently rotating ring flyer. Traditionally ring frames could only be used for the coarser counts, but they could be attended by semi-skilled labour.

River Maun

The River Maun is a river in Nottinghamshire, England. Its source lies in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and from there it flows north east through Mansfield (which takes its name from the river), Edwinstowe and Ollerton, these being the heart of the Sherwood Forest area. It becomes known as Whitewater near the village of Walesby and connects to the River Meden temporarily where the Robin Hood Way crosses them. They diverge, and near Markham Moor it merges again with the River Meden this time becoming the River Idle. Its main tributaries are Rainworth Water, Vicar Water and Cauldwell Water.

The river has been an important source of power, from at least 1086, when there was a watermill in Mansfield. A big increase in the number of mills began in the 1780s, when the frame knitting industry was decimated by the advent of Richard Arkwright's water-powered spinning frame. William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, encouraged the building of textile mills to relieve unemployment and poverty. Most were converted to do "cotton doubling", and several later became hosiery mills. The conversion of watermills which had formerly ground corn to textile mills led to the building of windmills to carry on milling corn. Although water power has largely ceased, there is still an operational water-mill at Ollerton.

Spinning jenny

The spinning jenny is a multi-spindle spinning frame, and was one of the key developments in the industrialization of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution. It was invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce cloth, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology advanced. The yarn produced by the jenny was not very strong until Richard Arkwright invented the water-powered 'water frame', which produced yarn harder and stronger than that of the initial spinning jenny. It started the factory system.

Spinning wheel

A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres. Spinning wheels were first used in India, between 500 and 1000 A.D. Spinning machinery, such as the spinning jenny and spinning frame, displaced the spinning wheel during the Industrial Revolution.

Super Star (ride)

Super Star is a fairground ride once manufactured by Northern Amusements (NA Superides).

Carol and David Ward of Northern Amusements saw the sketches of their proposed Super Star, and the Autumn of the year saw a ride debut for Patrick Burton. The ride features a different approach to obtaining the looping and spinning motions, lifting a single boom arm which then twists around its own axle, lifting a spinning frame of 8 main arms with a 4-person seat gondolas In the rear of the gondola there is a hydraulic ram which pulls the seating units into an outward position. Once in this position the riders will be at a 90 degree angle when the ride is lifted to its 45 degree position. A safety system will then engage at the bottom of the ride to prevent the gondola from coming down in the event of an emergency.

When the ride is in its elevated position, the operator has the choice of rotating the main boom clockwise, or anti-clockwise. On some Super Stars, the boom can be lowered while the ride is in the fully inverted position. This form of operation is only used on one Super Star worldwide. The ride is packed onto one semi-trailer and has a fairly quick build-up time.

Super Star rides are capable of having a complete back-flash fitted with airbrushed artwork and neon lighting.

The Super Star is loosely related to the Move-It.

Water frame

The Water frame is a spinning frame that is powered by a water-wheel. Designed for the production of cotton thread, it was first used in 1765. Water frames in general have existed since ancient Egypt times. The water frame was able to spin 128 threads at a time, which was an easier and faster method than ever before. It was developed by Richard Arkwright, who patented the technology in 1769. The design was partly based on a spinning machine built for Thomas Highs by clock maker John Kay, who was hired by Arkwright. Being run on water power, it produced stronger and harder yarn than the then-famous 'spinning jenny', thus, greatly ushering the factory system.Another water-powered frame for the production of textiles was developed in 1760, in the early industrialised town of Elberfeld, Prussia, (which is now in Wuppertal, Germany), by German bleach plant owner Johann Heinrich Bockmühl.The Water Frame is derived from the use of a water wheel to drive a number of spinning frames. The water wheel provided more power to the spinning frame than human operators, reducing the amount of human labor needed and increasing the spindle count dramatically. However, unlike the spinning jenny, the water frame could spin only one thread at a time until Samuel Compton combined the two inventions into his spinning mule in 1779.

The water frame was originally powered by horses at a factory built by Arkwright and partners in Nottingham. In 1770 Arkwright and partners built a water powered mill in Cromford, Derbyshire.

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