Choosing the right type of yarn is essential for the look, feel, and usage of your project.
Protein Fibers, such as angora, cashmere, mohair, silk, wool are from animal hair, or insect cocoons, and absorb humidity.
Natural Cellulose Fibers are from plants, such as cotton, flax, or hemp, absorb humidity, and are strong.
Regenerated Cellulose Fibers are man-made, and now classified as natural fibers, such as rayon, lyocell, cellulose acetate.
Synthetic (man-made) Fibers are chemically changed substances to act like fibers, such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, polypropylene. Elasticity and strength are their characteristics.
The Weight of Yarn
Spin tells how the fibers are put together during their spinning production determining its tightness.
There are several systems on the market to classify yarn.
One system classifies by the diameter of the yarn:
A = fine-weight yarns… e.g. light baby clothes
B = medium-weight… e.g. dresses, sweaters
C = worsted-weight… e.g. jackets, hats, mittens, blankets
D = bulky-weight… e.g. heavy jackets, crafts
E = extra-bulky-weight… e.g. rugs, crafts
Another system classifies by the number of stitches per 4-inch:
1 = fine… 29-32 stitches
2 = light… 25-28 stitches
3 = medium… 21-24 stitches
4 = medium-heavy… 17-20 stitches
5 = bulky… 13-16 stitches
6 = extra-bulky… 9-12 stitches
Lace-weight yarns are ultra-fine and in neither of two systems above.
Worsted Yarns, predominantly used for socks, is smooth and tight.
Wool-spun yarns, predominantly used for hats, jackets, are soft and airy.
Specialty or novelty yarns have various different looks and feels, such as fuzzy yarn, lacy yarn.