Yarn types and yarn dictionary!

There are 3 basic groups of yarn….

  • Plant based
  • Animal Based
  • Synthetic

Most yarns unless 100% synthetic are a blend and therefore have a mix of properties the label will tell you whether it is machine washable and the specifics like that.


                    Plant Based

Plant based fibers are your cottons, Linens, and bamboos.

Cottons All varieties of cotton have a dull finish unless mercerized. Cotton yarn has minimal elasticity unless blended with other fibers. Pure cotton is useful for projects that require structure such as purses and tote bags, placemats, and other utilitarian items.

utilitarian items.

Fiber type Description
Egyptian cotton Longest cotton fiber, smoother and softer than other cottons.
Pima cotton Cross between Egyptian and American cottons. Intermediate properties.
American cotton Medium-long fiber, readily takes on dye. Available in widest variety of colors.

b1  b2



Other plant fibers

Fiber type Description
Linen Strong fiber, good for warm weather items. Wrinkles easily.
Bamboo Drapey, supple, possesses an elegant sheen.

                 Animal based fibers

Fiber type Description
Merino wool Softer than cotton, tends to pill.
Icelandic wool Strong but scratchy.
Mohair Lofty and luxurious, best used as an outer layer. May feel scratchy.
Cashmere Soft, luxurious, expensive.
Alpaca Very warm. Suitable for accessories such as scarves.
Angora Very soft, tends to shed. Best used in pure form as an accent material, or blended with other fibers.
Silk Exceptionally strong, lustrous, and shiny. Good for summer wear.

         a1 a2ALPACA        

    m1 m2 merino

mo1 mo2mohair


Fiber type Description
Acrylic Washes well, inexpensive. Good choice for beginners and for items designed for babies or pets.
Nylon Strong, elastic, washes well. Not ideal for garments unless blended with other fibers.
Rayon Made from processed wood pulp extruded into threads. Inexpensive and highly absorbent, natural sheen.

n1 n2 nylonn3 nylon


Here is a link to some cottons yarns http://www.anniescatalog.com/list.html?cat_id=1392  Here is a link to some bamboo yarns http://www.yarn.com/product/universal-yarn-bamboo-bloom-handpaintsyarn/                                                                                                             Here is a link  to some linen and hemp yarns http://www.spinningking.com/linen_hemp_remei_fibre_and_yarn.asp

For more in depth knowledge about more yarn types and fibers including there properties follow this link http://www.elann.com/Commerce.Web/fibre_facts.aspx


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