Monday, July 21, 2014

Spinning Gearbox: Louet S95 Victoria

My newest spinning wheel acquisition is from Louet; last year, I borrowed the S95 Victoria to use during Spinzilla (I was the captain for #TeamLouet). This year, I decided to make it a permanent fixture to my craft room!

What I love about this wheel is how easy it is to use. It doesn't require a huge effort to treadle, and it's designed to be virtually maintenance-free, as noted on the Louet website:
The fly wheels of all our models are 50 cm (20") in diameter (except for the S45). They rotate on a maintenance free, lubricated for life ball bearing pack to ensure excellent spinning ability by allowing them to turn freely and quietly. The same maintenance free ball bearing is used at the footman connection. Absolutely no lubrication is necessary for the bearings to work correctly.
It has Scotch tension, featuring a single belt, flyer drive with an adjustable bobbin brake to regulate the tension on the yarn as you spin. I find it fairly easy to spin finer yarns on the Victoria, as it comes standard with three ratios: 1:6, 1:8.5 and 1:13. It includes a lazy kate and three bobbins, which have a really interesting feature I've not seen on other bobbins:
Can you see that slot in the middle? That's where you can thread your leader so that it stays secure no matter what. How clever!

My other favorite feature is its portability. This wheel is quite petite, with an orifice height just over 23" from the ground. It's made with very sturdy lacquered beech, and it weighs only eight pounds. There is a leather loop at the top for carrying it from spot to spot, and the entire wheel folds down with just a few small steps. First, you disconnect the treadles from the wheel:

Then, you simply push a button near the base to fold it down into a nice, compact size (5.5" x 14.25" x 21.75" according to the website):
I've been able to pack it in my largest suitcase when traveling with absolutely no problems, and recently I just used one of my larger tote bags to take it with me on a road trip:
They do sell proper carrying bags which are made specifically for the wheel, and there are lots of other optional add-ons such as extra bobbins, a high-speed set, skeinwinder, and tensioned lazy kate.

All in all, this is an easy-care wheel that's perfect for taking your spinning with you wherever you go!
You might like to know: I wrote this review at the request of one of my readers who wanted to know more about my spinning wheels; as you already know, I have a working relationship with Louet! 

1 comment:

  1. Oooh! So cool! I've seen this wheel in action and always been interested to see how it spins. My wheel is fairly portable, but someday I hope to add a true travel wheel to my toolkit - this one will be on my short list!

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