My Ryukyu spinning wheel was made by Mr. Oshiro, a 3rd generation floor loom and spinning wheel craftsman from Haebaru, Okinawa-Japan.  It is handcrafted from cedar and bamboo.

Basho Spinning Wheel_w

Initially, i learned to use my wheel to spin basho banana fibers after the fibers have been retted, split, and hand-tied.

Basho banana fiber skeins: (1) retted and split (right) and (2) retted, split, hand-tied, and handspun (left)

Spinning basho fibers is quite different from spinning other bast fibers like linen, for example.  Since basho threads are joined together by hand-tyeing first, there is no need to spin the fibers together to join them.  Instead, the basho fibers are handspun while applying a slight twist to the yarn which strengthens the basho for the subsequent resist-tyeing, hand-dyeing and handweaving into bashofu abaca cloth.

Basho fibers retted, split, hand-tied and hand-spun

Now, i am utilizing my Ryukyu spinning wheel to explore handcrafting other fibers such as paper and cotton.  Each thread created is a means for chimugukuru, a celebration of the heart and soul of Okinawa.




Published by Ryukyu Heritage Textiles

Weaver. Fiber Artist. Photographer. Cook. Independent Traveler. Writer. Knitter. Fiber Spinner. Gardener. Geoscientist. Nature Lover. Angler. Marathoner. Wife. Observer. Taster. Technologist. Did i say Weaver?

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