The history of the spinning wheel is disputed. Some scholars such as J. M Kenoyer and other archaeologists involved in the study of the Indus Valley Civilization think that the uniformity of the thread and tight weave from a clay impression indicates the use of a spinning wheel rather than drop spindles, but according to Mukhtar Ahmed, the spinning whorls used since prehistoric times by the indus valley people produce a tight weave. According to scholars such as C. Wayne Smith and J. Tom Cothren, the spinning wheel was invented in India as early as 500 -1000 AD. According to Arnold Pacey spinning wheel was most likely invented in the Islamic world by the early 11th century. There is evidence pointing to the spinning wheel being known in the Islamic world by 1030, and the earliest clear illustration of the spinning wheel is from Baghdad, drawn in 1237. Arnold Pacey and Irfan Habib think that early references to cotton spinning in India are vague and do not clearly identify a wheel, but more likely refer to hand spinning, he opines that the earliest unambiguous reference to a spinning wheel in India is dated to 1350, suggesting that the spinning wheel was introduced from Iran to India. This claim is again disputed by scholars such as K. A. Nilakanta Sastri and Vijaya Ramaswamy according to whom there is clear reference to the use of a spinning wheel (with a description of its parts) by the 12th-century Kannada poet, Remmavve. Evidence also points to the spinning wheel reaching China by 1090, with the earliest clear Chinese illustration of the machine dated to around 1270. The spinning wheel then spread from the Islamic world to Europe and India by the 13th century, with the earliest European illustration dated to around 1280 and the earliest unambiguous Indian reference dated to 1350. In France, the spindle and distaff were not displaced until the mid 18th century.
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