What was the water frame used for?


Quick Answer

The water frame was an improved spinning frame used to make threads. When powered by water, the ordinary spinning frame because a water frame. It was also the first machine that could spin cotton.

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Full Answer

The water frame was invented by Richard Arkwright in 1768. It was too big to be operated by a person, so Arkwright tried using horses. After experimenting with horses, Arkwright decided to use the power from a water wheel to spin the machine. Using a water wheel meant the machine could operate at a much faster rate and, therefore, produced threads faster and cut down on people needed to run the machine. It also produced a thread that was much stronger.

The water frame was the first automatic textile machine that could work continuously. Instead of running during daylight hours, Arkwright used the clock to establish a working day, which resulted in a continuous process that produced more thread to keep up with the new looms that were being invented to handle more thread. In 1771, Arkwright installed the water frame in his cotton mill, which was located next to the River Derwent in Cromford, Derbyshire. It was one of the first factories designed for machines.

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