Before cloth can be woven, the yarn has to be carefully spun. Earlier in the century, this was done by women and young children, but several spinsters were needed to keep each weaver at work. Several labor-saving machines were developed in the mid 18th century enabling yarn to be spun faster. The spinning mule was a culmination of these, so named because it represented the hybridization of the two aforementioned inventions.
The mule produced strong, but thin yarn, which was suitable for any kind of textile. Initially, it was used for spinning cotton, but later applied to other fibres. The development of the mule was a step towards increased textile production in factories as the mule was too large for most homes. The reason for combining was because the spinning jenny could spin more thread at a time and the water frame used water power instead of man power. The combination of these two meant that the spinning mule could now spin more thread using water power.
Samuel Crompton was too poor to be able to apply for a patent for his invention. Instead, he sold the rights to David Dale, who patented it and collected the profits. Later, the mule was run off steam power. It has helped the advancement of the textile industry.
The spinning inventions were significant in enabling a great expansion to occur in the production of textiles, particularly cotton ones. Cotton and iron were leading sectors in the Industrial Revolution. Both industries underwent a great expansion at about the same time, which can be used to identify the start of the Industrial Revolution.