Tahkli

After wanting one of these for months, I finally decided to just order one already. So I did as a little birthday present for myself. Birthday present? and I’m just getting it now? Yes indeedy- because it made quite the journey from India.

Note the 'Speed Post', indeed

I love getting mail from India. Usually it’s cards and letters from Mr. Pieknit’s family but it always has an interesting array of stamps, markings and whatnot. This package is certainly a prime example. I was so eager to open it after picking it up at the post office (which even the postal worker gave a little disbelieving laugh upon seeing it) but I felt it warranted its own photograph.

hand-stitched closed

Wrapped in muslin cloth and hand stitched closed, the customs forms are even sewn to it.

shhh, she's resting

Inside is my very own Tahkli spindle. These are lightweight support spindles from India that are good for spinning cotton and fine fibers. At a mere .5 oz. it’s ideal for producing very fine yarns. I ordered this one from eTrade Enterprises in India. It was only $10 and comes with this nice wooden box as well. The shipping is another $9 of course, but still a good deal (and for such charming packaging it’s worth it :) ). The company also offers several different types of Charkha’s as well. Which btw, the one I’m working on building has hit a bit of a snag in that I haven’t yet been able to find someone with a supported drill that can drill the drive wheel holes balanced. So in the meantime, I can now try out those cotton punis I have with this.

Click me, I grow!

I love it. I might even say I like it a little more than wool. So many comments I’ve read remark how cotton is difficult to spin, which I think probably pertains to spinning on a traditional wheel. Ah the difference having the right tools makes. Yes, it requires a Lot of twist, but I think since it can hold so much twist it’s much easier to avoid over twisting, a problem that plagues my fledgling wool attempts.

With wool, I’ve been working to try to spin thinner and funnily enough with the cotton it’s the opposite. Tahkli’s are meant to spin fine threads, but a little messing with it and towards the end I was able to spin a little thicker, near lace weight. Looking at the photos now I should have probably included something for scale. I was surprised how dainty this thing really is, super portable. I’ve seen several types of support bowls for sale as well but happened to find this cute bamboo condiment dish for $2.99, thank you Target.

Very addictive, I’ve already spun a second puni up before I got this posted- so another gratuitous photo.

2 punis worth

Link-o-Rama (Tons of related links in the extended entry)

Sites on how to spin on a Tahkli/Takli

How to use a Support Spindle or Takli

Spinning on a Tahkli Spindle

Storing Takli-Spun Singles For Plying

Tackling the Tahkli

ICanSpin.com also has two videos on Takli’s here and here

Sources for Tahkli’s

eTrade Enterprises – where I purchased mine

Dragonfly Farms – some nice varieties

The Wheel Thing – beautiful unique handmade support spindles

They also have traditional Tahkli’s, ceramic bowls and a clever magnetic “bowl” you can use which can also be seen here

The Bellwether has a nice variety as well

Fibers

yarnahoy.etsy.com – Where I got my puni’s, great prices!

Cotton Clouds – great cotton and puni selection including dyed

Treenway Silks – has very Tahkli friendly exotics, I’d love to try this kit

The Woolery – variety of cottons and a Learn to Spin Cotton Kit that includes a Tahkli

Little Barn

Mielke’s Fiber Arts – another great variety including punis

Leave a comment ?

14 Comments.

  1. Wow the cotton singles are lovely!! Was it really hard to do? I tried using a supported spindle but I only had wool and I wasn’t sure what I was doing.. Congrats on the new spindle!

  2. I’d definitely be excited to receive packages from India! Your Tahkli looks very cool.. I’m interested in learning to spin some plant fibers because I have friends who are allergic to wool.

  3. Oh my God!!! This spindle looks exactly like the one my Grandma used so long ago to spin cotton. Your post took me back to those sweet memories many years ago when I used to just love to watch my Grand mom spinning away. Those were the days :).

  4. That spindle is so pretty. I love the package from India, how neat.

  5. Waw how lucky are you :)

  6. You really are getting the hang of spinning! I am still learning bit by bit, but you are inspiring me to pick mine up!

  7. OOh! I’ve sent for a spindle for my daughter, who spins with cotton left over from the cotton fields in Arkansas.
    I’m always looking for something fun to send her way. Thanks for the review of the product, which should be a lovely addition to her spinning equipment.

  8. I usually ship all the books I buy from India by seamail, and then wait wait wait for them to arrive. And then just when I’ve almost given up on them, the package arrives! It’s a serious joy.
    I don’t spin at all, but that spindle looks very good!

  9. The spindle is gorgeous, and so is the fiber. I realize the end product isn’t necessarily the point of spinning, but what do you think you’ll make of the cotton yarn?

  10. “Sleeping Beauty” (Dornröschen) hurts herself with a spindle. I always wondered why? Why are spindles sharp as needles on one – or both? – ends? Certainly not the spindles of spinning machines. But as experienced “drop spindler” you might know. Incidentally: Packages in India are always wrapped (ecologically) in cloth, rather than carton. – Fritz@Joern.com

  11. Wow, I was all ready to order one, but it looks like the price tripled over the years.
    My box charkha has a slight snag too, it seems to jump out of the spindle too often, and I think it might actually spin too fast for me to handle. I am thinking of buying some of the spindles off that site for it though.

  12. Almost all of our links on how to spin on a takli are 404 Not Found. You may want to update your links.
    I got a takli not that long ago, and love spinning on it. I’ve only done cotton, but I do have some camel that may work well too. It sure is fun!

  13. विभा रानी

    I used to spin Takli in my childhood. It was in our school course. We used to make ‘pooni’ from cotton. Quality of cotton was very important. Fineness of spinning was a great matter of expertise. I still want to spin, but it is not with me now. I would be extremely happy to get one at least.

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