When crocheting, you can choose from many different types of yarn. Yarn comes in different weights, textures, and fibres. Choosing the right type of yarn can be confusing at times. If you have any doubts, check the pattern to see what it recommends.
Continue reading to learn more about the different types of yarn. I will explain their makeup and their uses.
What are the Types of Yarn for Crochet?
Yarn is made from either natural fibres, synthetic fibres, or a blend of both.
- Natural Yarn
Natural fibers are fibres made from plants and animals. Plant fibres can come from items such as bamboo and cotton. You can also find natural fibres made from silk which is created by the silkworm. Animal fibres often come from sheep and alpacas. Items made using animal fibres typically require special care.
o Merino Wool
- Synthetic Yarn
Synthetic fibers are manmade. They are made from plastic. You can find acrylic, polyester, nylon, and rayon yarn. Synthetic fibres are easier to care for than animal fibres.
- Blended Yarn
Blended yarn is made from a mixture of both natural fibres and synthetic fibres. Blending fibres can improve the characteristics and texture while reducing cost.
What are the Different Types of Yarn Fibers?
Below is a list of the most common types of yarn fibres. I have included a variety of natural, synthetic, and blended.
Wool is often rough and itchy. It can get softer after washing. It is made from the hairs of sheep. Wool is great for winter projects since it is warm and durable. It can be used to make items such as sweaters, gloves, socks, hats, scarves, and cowls. Some people are not able to wear wool.
Pieces made from wool can be washed in a washer if there is a wool setting. If not, it should be gently washed by hand using a detergent made for wool. Wool should be laid flat on a drying rack and left to air dry.
Merino wool is a very soft wool. It is made from merino sheep. Merino wool is ideal for cold weather projects that touch the skin such as gloves, hats, scarves, cowls, and sweaters.
Merino Wool is machine washable on a gentle cycle using cool or warm water. It can be dried in the drier using low heat; however, we do not recommend it. The drier can damage the fibres and decrease the life span.
Alpaca fibres are extremely soft and luxurious. It is made from the hairs of alpacas. Alpaca hair is very fine and 5 times warmer than wool. It is available in 22 natural colours. Alpaca yarn is great for any cold weather project that will sit against the skin. And since it is hypoallergenic, it is a better choice than wool for people with allergies.
Alpaca yarn can be washed in the washing machine on either the wool or gentle cycle using cold water. Even though it is machine washable, it is best to wash it by hand. Lay the item flat on a drying rack and allow it to air dry.
Cotton yarn is made from 100% cotton. It is one of the oldest types of materials. It is breathable and durable. Even though it is one of the most loved types of yarn, it can be hard to work with. The fibres are slippery making it hard to keep tension. Cotton is often used to make household items like towels, potholders, rugs, washcloths, and more.
Cotton fibres are machine washable. You can wash items using cool or warm water. When drying your projects in the dryer, do not use high heat. High heat can shrink the yarn and damage the fibres.
Silk yarn is a luxurious material. It is made by silkworms. The cocoons woven by the silkworms are gathered and carefully unwound into single threads of silk. Once the threads are separated, they are attached together to create length and interwoven to create thickness.
Silk yarn can be used to make a variety of lightweight projects. You can find patterns such as tops, shawls, and scarves.
Cashmere is a type of wool. The fibres are fine, silky, and luxurious. Cashmere is made from kashmir and pashmina goats. It is delicate and lighter than wool. Since the fibres of cashmere are extremely fine, they are often combined with other natural fibres. You can use cashmere yarn to make cardigans, scarves, cowls, etc.
Cashmere is very delicate. It can be machine washed on the wool setting using a special detergent. Even though cashmere can be machine washed, I would always recommend gently washing it by hand, so the fibres are not damaged. Cashmere must be left to dry naturally. Do not put it in the dryer.
Bamboo fibres are made from bamboo. The fibres are eco-friendly. Unlike cotton, once the fibres are harvested, the bamboo grows back from the existing roots. Bamboo yarn fibres are lightweight and smooth.
Projects made with bamboo yarn are extremely soft. The yarn is great for warm weather projects. You can find patterns such as tops, shawls, scarves, and cowls.
- Manmade Yarns
Manmade yarns such as acrylic, polyester, nylon, and rayon are made from petroleum-based projects. The chemicals in the petroleum are specially treated. This process creates polymers. The polymers are then formed into long fibre threads. Since the fibres are plastic, they should not be used for any project that can melt..
Manmade yarns are inexpensive, hypoallergenic, durable, and easy to clean. Most are machine washable and dryable. However, you do not want to use hot water or high heat.
Different Yarn Weights
Yarn weight is the term used to describe the thickness of the yarn. It does not have to do with the actual weight. This can be very confusing for new crocheters.
Below, you will find the 7 of the most common types of yarn weights. Each category has been broken down to make it easier to understand. I have included both a description of the yarn as well as what types of products the yarn is most often used for.
- Yarn Weight 0
Yarn weight 0 is also known as lace weight yarn. It is a very fine yarn. Yarn weight 0 is normally used when making lace, doilies, lightweight shawls, etc.
- Yarn Weight 1
Yarn weight 1 is also referred to as super fine yarn, sock yarn, baby yarn, and fingering weight yarn. Yarn weight one can usually be used in place of yarn weight 0. If you do use 1 instead of 0, be certain to use the correct size crochet hook. This type of yarn is often used to make baby clothes, socks, lightweight shawls, scarves, etc.
- Yarn Weight 2
Yarn weight 2 yarn is often referred to as sport weight yarn. It is slightly thicker than lace weight yarn. Yarn weight 2 is a fantastic choice for making lightweight socks and baby clothes, lap blankets, pillows, bags, etc.
- Yarn Weight 3
Yarn weight 3 is also known as light worsted and DK yarn. It is one of the most versatile types of yarn. Yarn weight 3 can be used in a wide variety of patterns from afghans to sweaters and more.
- Yarn Weight 4
Yarn weight 4 is also referred to as Aran and afghan yarn. It is a medium sized yarn. The yarn is frequently used when making cold weather projects such as scarves, mittens, hats, and sweaters.
- Yarn Weight 5
Yarn weight 5 is known as chunky, bulky weight, rug, and craft yarn. It is a thick yarn. You can use yarn weight 5 to crochet blankets, scarves, sweaters, hats, scarves, etc.
- Yarn Weight 6
Yarn weight 6 is usually referred to as super bulky yarn. It is a very thick yarn. Super bulky yarn is great for making super warm and thick projects. Yarn weight 6 is commonly used to make slippers, hats, scarves, baskets, amigurumi, blankets, etc.
- Yarn Weight 7
Yarn weight 7 is also known as jumbo and roving weight. It is a very large yarn. Jumbo yarn is frequently used to make blankets.
WE HOPE THAT OUR ARTICLE ON THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF YARN IS USEFUL.
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If you came here to learn more about the types of yarn for crochet, I hope you now have a better understanding. There are many types of yarn fibres and weights to choose from. The types of yarn you will end up using are often determined by the project you are working on.