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Spinning wheels made in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales during the 20th century - Click here for home page


Haldane spinning wheels

The Haldane & Co of Fife, Scotland were established in 1945. They made spinning wheels from the mid-1970s (in 1976 they offered four different models for sale - but didn’t give name/description in the advert) through to the 1990s at Gateside, Fife. Haldane ceased making wheels around 1998, they no longer stock parts, and the spinning wheel expert who had designed the wheels and been in charge of manufacture retired around 2007. Haldane have moved to Glenrothes (still in Fife) and make parts for staircases.
The wheels were made from beech and sold with clear or dark wood finishes. They were sold via a network of suppliers in the UK, Europe and the USA (possibly elsewhere?).

Haldane made some accessories to match their wheels including spinning chairs and lazy kates.

The five models of spinning wheel made by Haldane were given Scottish names as listed below. Note that the Harris is made in the style of Scandinavian wheels, not those from the island called Harris and the Orkney is also distinctly different in style to the traditional upright spinning wheels from the Orkney islands.  The Haldane Hebridean wheel is more similar than the Haldane Harris in style to antique wheels from Harris – but then the Hebridean islands include Lewis and Harris.

Haldane Spinning Wheel models include:
Shetland (at least three variations on this model)
Lewis (at least two variations)

Harris : one of the first wheels made by Haldane. Scandinavian wheels had been imported through most of the 20th C and in the 1970s a number of British spinning wheel makers made wheels in the Scandinavian style.

Shetland: There were at least three different variations of the Shetland design, it is in the style of traditional Scottish upright wheels and similar to wheels made in the Shetland isles. The change of the lazy kate from right to left ocurred some time between 1979 and 1988, which year is not known. This wheel is double-drive (no scotch tension).

Lewis:  early Haldane Lewis wheels had straight sides to the table and treadle, later ones have a fiddle shaped table and curved treadle. The early Lewis also had a two-bobbin lazy kate on the table which the later design does not have. Later ones have sealed ball bearings for the axle of the drive wheel (query: do any of the earlier ones have this?). The change in style came at some point between 1982 and 1984. This wheel can be used either with a single loop drive band and a scotch tension brake on the bobbin, or as a double-drive wheel.

Leaflet with photo and specification for the Haldane Lewis mk 2 (fiddle-shaped table and curved treadle)

Hebridean: a traditional style wheel similar to those found in the Hebridean islands, this wheel is double-drive (no scotch tension).

Orkney: in spite of the name this upright wheel whilst similar to traditional upright wheels found on the Scottish mainland does not resemble the traditional wheels made in Orkney. All Haldane Orkney wheels have sealed bearings for the main drive wheel which should run smoothly without need for lubrication. The Haldane Orkney is taller than the Haldane Shetland and has blunt tops to the maidens. It can be used either with a single loop drive band and a scotch tension brake on the bobbin, or as a double-drive wheel.

Leaflet with photo and specification for the Haldane Orkney


PDF files giving assembly instructions for the Haldane wheels:




Lewis mk 1

Lewis mk 2 (includes diagram of parts and full specification)


Care instructions for Haldane wheels,scan of a tag that came with a Haldane Orkney.

Scotch tension instructions with diagram, this is leaflet came with a Haldane Orkney.


Haldane spinning wheels catalogue published around 1978/79 showing Harris on front cover, details of Shetland and Hebridean wheels inside, also Ashford mk1 Traveller and Louet S10 which were sold by Haldanes.

An early Haldane Wheels catalogue in German showing Harris, Shetland and Hebridean wheels.


If you are able to assist with information about British spinning wheels and their makers please get in touch with website author Dorothy Lumb via the YarnMaker website.

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