Peter Teal, the Tradesman
To understand how present methods of hand/spinning evolved I think we must revert to the days when the trade was flourishing, some time prior to 1770, when the spinning-jennies were already ousting the spinning-wheel.
(…)In one generation, hand-spinning died as a trade. In another generation, most of those actively engaged in the trade also died, and since no-one able to write about the trade ever did so, they took their knowledge with them to the grave.
By the time people again became interested in hand-spinning, they had largely to start from scratch, and it has to be said that they did not make a very good job of it.
It is perhaps unfortunate that the new corps of hand-spinners, being educated people and quite definitely not ‘working-class’, elevated hand-spinning from a trade to a craft, away from the people with the practical heritage who might have helped. It has remained ever since as something clever to do, something different to talk about, practised by people who have been so lacking in perception that few have ever bothered to understand their machines or to relate to their product to the commercially available yarns they affect to scorn, but which they can never emulate.
in Hand Woolcombing and Spinning – A Guide to Worsted from the Spinning-Wheel
by Peter Teal, 1976