Build Your Own

Build Your Own Spinning Wheel

Converting a Treadle Sewing Machine into an Indian Head Spinning Wheel

At long last, what you’ve all been waiting for: all the details and instructions you need in order to convert an old cast iron sewing machine treadle into a beautiful, heirloom spinning wheel.

Made popular by the First Nations people of the Cowichan, in Southern British Columbia, the ‘Indian Head’ Spinning Wheel, as it has become known, utilizes the power of an old cast iron sewing machine treadle. To the best of my knowledge, these machines have never been commercially produced and the dozens, perhaps even hundreds of treadle-mounted, Indian Head spinning wheels have all been built at home …and they are all unique!

Having encountered and used quite a few of these machines, it was clear that they were all slightly different and that they all worked well. Even the less-skillful craftsmen managed to produce a functional spinning wheel. The only thing lacking has been a clear set of plans to enable anyone to make their own. That gap has now been filled right here.

Build Your Own

Download the plans now

The build-your-own spinning wheel package contains no fewer than twenty nine detailed diagrams, plus many close up photographs, as well as a detailed description of the various parts and their attributes.

This spinning wheel is perfectly suited to creating heavy/chunky yarns and especially art yarns, which are often lumpy, bumpy, uneven and frequently too large to fit through the narrow orifices of most commercially produced spinning wheels.

These Detailed Plans Show How To Build Your Own Heirloom Spinning Wheel

For a small donation, you can build your own spinning wheel; one which will be passed on through the generations and considered beautiful in centuries to come.

There’s only one thing stopping you from jumping in and building your own – and that’s fear! Fear that you aren’t good enough to build it or fear that you don’t know how. With the Internet at your fingertips, there are thousands of people out there who willingly help others to achieve their goals. We live in the age of information, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still be manually creative. 

Spinning Tutorials

‘I absolutely love spinning, although I’m not what you might call a ‘fine spinner.’  I spin finer yarns for projects as necessary, but it took me a little while to work out that I spin those fine yarns out of necessity, not out of enjoyment.  Spinning chunky art yarns is my calling and I really enjoy sitting down at the big Indian Head treadle machine, that you will see, features quite often on this website, and trying something new.  I also enjoy sharing the things that I discover with other people, so every now and again, David sets up the video camera and we record a session.’

‘These are not designed to be crisp and formal tutorials; they are mostly quite informal, but at the same time I hope that you will find them informative. A bit like friends coming together for a coffee and a spinners gig! Beer and loud music does it for some people, but I prefer to here the birds singing, which I hope that you do to, since most of these videos feature background bird song. Our resident Stellar’s Jays are particularly vocal as you will discover!’


Long Draw Spinning ~ Making Thick-and-Thin Art Yarn

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