All About Cotton Spinning

Skill Level

Beginner to Intermediate

Required Skills:

  • Students must know their wheel and be able to treadle their wheel clockwise without any trouble.

Class Length

  • 2.5 Days
  • Friday: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


The goal of this class is to learn how to relax and enjoy spinning cotton. Joan will start off the first morning with each student learning the long draw from spinning on Gandhi’s little tahkli spindle and the book charkhas. From there, students will learn to card and blend cotton to make punis to spin on their spinning wheels as well as spinning off the cotton bolls to natural colored cotton slivers. Plying a balanced yarn to finishing and storing your yarns will be covered in this 2.5 day workshop.


Registration Fee $425 Members; $500 Non-members
Materials Fee $30

Materials Fee includes: Joan’s workbook "Beginning Cotton Spinning on a Wheel," tahkli & charkha instruction sheets. All the fiber used in class including the use of tahkli spindles & book charkhas for those who do not have one. Puni sticks and rulers.

Students to Bring

  • Spinning Wheel (recommend a flyer driven wheel with at least 10/1 ratio if possible and no Woolee Winder flyers please)
  • Lazy kate and 4 bobbins
  • Carders (prefer cotton carders but wool will do)
  • Small niddy noddy
  • Apron/ lap cloth. Dark preferred
  • Wheel Maintenance kit (oil etc.)
  • Tags/ pen
  • Recommend bringing a cushion for the chair.

Instructor Bio

First a professional teacher and then a spinner, Joan Ruane has been teaching spinning classes throughout the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand since 1980. Active in local and regional Guilds, she has also owned and operated fiber shops in both Florida and Arizona. Joan has published cotton newsletters, written articles for fiber magazines and has published three DVDs: Cotton Spinning Made Easy, Cotton Spinning with A Takli/ Charkha, and Spinning Hemp. She has republished Hand Spinning Cotton by Harry and Olive Linder, bringing it up to date with modern techniques. In 2015, Joan published the much needed “Beginning Cotton Spinning on the Wheel” workbook. Her DVDs and books can be streamed or purchased through For more information, check out her website,


These pictures offer examples of the workshop content or experience.