A Guide to Understanding Yarn: Types, Weights, and Brands

Learn about the different types of yarn, including natural and synthetic fibers, yarn weights, and popular brands, to choose the right one for your next project.

Yarn is a versatile material used in various arts and crafts projects, most notably knitting and crocheting. It is made from different fibers, either natural or synthetic. In this article, we will explore the various types of yarn, their names, and their unique characteristics.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers come from animal or plant sources. Some common natural yarn types include:

  1. Wool: Warm, breathable, and highly insulating, wool comes in many types and variations, such as Merino, Shetland, and Icelandic wool. Lambswool is extra soft and fluffy[1]. Wool is durable, easily stretched, and versatile, but it can be itchy and may trigger allergic reactions[1].
  2. Cotton: Common and affordable, cotton yarn is soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic. Egyptian cotton is the softest and most expensive type, with the longest staple length and least prone to pilling[2].
  3. Silk: Luxurious and smooth, silk yarn is lightweight, strong, and has a beautiful sheen. It drapes well and is suitable for delicate, elegant projects[1].
  4. Linen: Made from the flax plant, linen yarn is strong, durable, and has a crisp texture. It softens with use and is ideal for lightweight, breathable garments[1].

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are man-made and often used to complement natural fibers. Some common synthetic yarn types include:

  1. Acrylic: Lightweight, soft, and affordable, acrylic yarn is easy to care for and comes in a wide range of colors. It is often used as a substitute for wool[2].
  2. Nylon: Strong and durable, nylon yarn is often blended with other fibers to add strength and durability, especially in sock yarns[3].
  3. Polyester: Polyester yarn is strong, lightweight, and resistant to wrinkles and shrinking. It is often used in blends with other fibers[1].
  4. Bamboo: Soft, silky, and eco-friendly, bamboo yarn is made from the bamboo plant. It is breathable, hypoallergenic, and has natural antibacterial properties[2].

Yarn Weights

Yarn comes in various thicknesses or weights, which determine the final appearance and drape of the finished project. Some common yarn weights include:

  1. Lace: The thinnest yarn weight, used for delicate, intricate projects like lace shawls[4].
  2. Fingering: Slightly thicker than lace, fingering yarn is ideal for lightweight projects like socks, mittens, and hats[3].
  3. Sport: A medium-thin yarn, sport weight is suitable for lightweight garments and accessories[4].
  4. Worsted: A medium weight yarn, worsted is versatile and used for a wide range of projects, from sweaters to blankets[4].
  5. Bulky: Thick and warm, bulky yarn is perfect for cozy projects like scarves, hats, and blankets[4].
  6. Super Bulky: The thickest yarn weight, super bulky yarn is used for heavy blankets, rugs, and chunky pullovers[5].

Popular Yarn Brands

Some popular yarn brands include Bernat, Berroco, Brooklyn Tweed, Brown Sheep, Caron, Cascade Yarns, DROPS Design, Debbie Bliss, Lion Brand, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo Yarn, Noro, Patons, Plymouth Yarn, Red Heart, Rowan, Sirdar, Stylecraft, and Valley Yarns[6][7].


Understanding the different types of yarn, their names, and their unique characteristics is essential for selecting the right yarn for your projects. Whether you prefer natural or synthetic fibers, there is a wide variety of yarn types and brands to choose from, ensuring that you can find the perfect yarn for your next knitting or crocheting masterpiece.

[1] https://knittingknowledge.com/knitting-guides/yarn-types/
[2] https://tlycblog.com/11-common-yarn-fiber-types/
[3] https://threadcurve.com/types-of-yarn/
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn
[5] https://www.handylittleme.com/yarn-types/
[6] https://yarnsub.com/yarns
[7] https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-us/c/article/yarns-all-brands


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