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Cardboard spinning wheel/charkha

francorios's picture


I designed a spinning wheel made from cardboard. It really works! I used it to spin up a bunch of wool and alpaca fiber. I plied some of the wool to use as weft and then I made a little mini-rug with the yarn.

I posted all the information about building a cardboard wheel on my web page. You are free to use the design to build yourself one.


I'd be happy to answer any questions about making a cardboard spinning wheel. I'd also like to hear if anyone builds a cardboard spinning wheel for their own use.

Have a good day!

Franco Rios, Sacramento, Calif.

francorios's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
I didn't proof read well

I didn't proof read well enough the first time.

I plied some wool on the charkha for use as WARP!

And Charkha is what they call the little box spinning wheels in India. Charka means wheel. A charkha can also be an upright wheel that looks more like a traditional spinning wheel.

Okay, enough for now.

Have a good day!


Caroline's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
What Franco is too modest to

What Franco is too modest to tell you is that this idea was taken up by some small independant schools so that they could teach fibre crafts and spinning to their students. It made the subject affordable.

My upright charkha is made of PVC and a wheel-chair wheel, but was commercially made. If you use half inch furniture grade pipe, its plenty strong enough for wheels and inkle looms.

There are instructions for a large pvc wool wheel here - the text is almost unreadable in Firefox, but the photos are self-explanetary:


There are instructions for a wheel here:


And this lady built a beauty too:


If you Google "pvc spinning wheel", then switch to the images, at the bottom of the first page you will find a pvc weaving loom.

Happy hunting!

jeannine's picture
Joined: 06/10/2009
I just love those

I just love those diy-spinning wheels .Would like to try myself if one day i find the time. I have already one important part: an antique bike wheel : the hoop is in wood instead of metal.Wouldn't it be great ?

francorios's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
I'm bumping this message up

I'm bumping this message up because the cardboard spinning wheel was mentioned in Spin Off magazine Fall 2009.

Have a good day!

Joined: 06/15/2010
Golden Oldies

I'm a huge fan of Franco's charkha and Caroline has some nice links on this thread too. When I saw the announcement about all of the new Weavo members I thought that since many people might not think to do a search on cardboard spinning wheels, I would bump this one up again as one of my favorite "Golden Oldies".

francorios's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
Thanks WOGM, Every time I go

Thanks WOGM,

Every time I go out to the garage I see it on the shelf and I tell it "Soon, we'll bring you down for a spin and some improvements"

I'll keep you all posted.

Have a good day!