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How To Choose The Best Type Of Yarn

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There are many, many types of yarn! How the heck are you supposed to know which ones are best for which projects?

You've probably heard of acrylic or wool, but there are many more to discover and gain joy from.

There are so many types, whether animal, plant or synthetic.

Here's everything you need to know about the different types of yarn for crochet, yarn weights, and many more useful facts. Types of fibers
Animal fibers
These types of yarn come from the fleece of various animals, from alpacas to the humble but ever-popular sheep. They are usually sheared, and the different layers of the coat are used for different things.

The inner layer is soft, shiny and more luxurious, for a softer, warmer fabric.

The outer layer is used for heavier or everyday items and is warm but a tougher fabric.

Animal fibers include yarns such as wool, angora, cashmere and llama wool.

Vegetable fibers
Made from internal fibers spun and bonded together to create yarn, most of these straddle the line between synthetic and natural fibers.

They are a renewable source of yarn and generally have a rougher texture than animal fiber.

Natural fibers are usually blended with synthetic fibers to create softness or a special luster. However, you can also obtain 100% vegetable fiber yarn.

This category includes yarns such as hemp, bamboo, flax and, of course, cotton.

Synthetic fibers
As the name implies, these are purely manufactured yarn types created from synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, polyester and rayon.

It is colorfast, strong, lightweight yarn, which means you can put it through the washing machine and dry it. In addition, it is chemical, moth and wear resistant.

If you're a beginner, this synthetic fiber is a great place to start before trying other fibers.

Suitable for: any type of project, the perfect yarn for baby blankets.

General care guidelines: generally machine washable and dry.

Interesting facts: A very durable material, they last for years and holes are almost non-existent.

Of perhaps one of the cutest animals whose fleece creates yarn, it is native to South America, along with its cousin, the llama. (They are often confused for each other).

There are two breeds of alpaca Suri and Huacaya. The alpaca fiber is soft and warm.

It is more expensive than most types of yarn (especially baby alpaca fiber) and does not hold its shape as well as wool either.

Suitable for: softer and warmer than even merino wool, it is perfect for cozy and comfortable winter items.

General care guidelines: hand wash gently or dry clean.

Interesting facts: Hypoallergenic because, unlike sheep fleece, it has no lanolin.

It takes its name from the Angora rabbit, where the fiber comes from. Incredibly soft and fine, it is usually blended with other yarns such as wool or acrylic to help it last longer and hold its shape better.

Interesting facts: If spun enough, it can be even softer than silk! Despite this, it is less expensive than silk.

One of the softest and most luxurious types of yarn comes from the undercoat of the goat breed called Cashmere.

Despite its benefits, it is not as strong or resilient as, for example, wool, and is very expensive.

This is because obtaining the yarn is very labor-intensive; the goats cannot be sheared and must be hand-combed to obtain the fleece.
Considering that it only comes from the bottom layer, there is not much of a goat when processing is complete. Usually only about 4 ounces.

Suitable for: It is hypoallergenic and non-itchy, so perfect for making clothing where there are more sensitive skin areas, such as socks, gloves and sweaters.

General care guidelines: Dry clean only.

Interesting facts.

The name comes from the original spelling of the word Kashmir, the princely state in Southwest Asia.
The individual hairs are very fine, six times finer than a human hair.
Cotton yarn
Cotton comes from the fluffy-looking cotton plant. This is produced all over the world in warm climates for commercial clothing and, of course, yarn.

It is lightweight, absorbent, breathable and strong, excellent qualities in items that need to be sturdy.

Perfect for summer crochet!

There are different types in terms of thickness, so it is very versatile. However, it does not hold its shape well, tends to stretch and stitches will not always look neat.

In these threads, the definition of some stitches is not as clear as others.

Suitable for: Summer crochet, dishcloths, scrubbies, potholders, other household items, shirts, light, drapey tank tops or cardigans.

General care guidelines: machine washable.

Interesting Facts: Cotton can absorb more than 27 times its weight in water or liquid. Not the best material for swimmers, then.

Hemp yarn.
While it may be surprising, despite being tough and resilient, hemp is soft and comfortable. Originally used solely for weaving and macramé crafts, it has only increased in popularity as a yarn fiber in recent years.

An excellent renewable source of fiber, it also has excellent stitch definition.

Suitable for: Hardwearing clothing, such as hiking socks, fishermen and outdoor coats, coats, dishcloths and other home accessories.

General care guidelines: check package rules, but hand washing in cold water is good as a general rule.

Interesting Fact: A hemp plant produces 250% more fiber and material than a cotton plant! It also grows very fast and is ideal for many different uses.

Llama Yarn
From the South American packhorse, Llamas are also cultivated for their wool. Usually only the finer, softer undercoat is used, but it is more expensive.

A fabric as old as time itself, this is a vegetable fiber made from the flax plant. It is cool, breathable, absorbent and dries much faster than other natural fibers.

There's a reason it was the ancient Egpyptian's material of choice for clothing and other items. It can be a bit expensive, as it is quite difficult to make.

Suitable for: The material for summer, hot and humid climates. Perfect for other household items such as dishcloths, curtains and tablecloths.

General care guidelines: machine wash.

Interesting facts: The history of clothing manufacturing dates back thousands of years, even before the ancient Egyptians.

Thick merino wool is very popular for extreme projects, such as rugs and home decor. It's wool, yes, but it comes from a breed of sheep, the Merino.

Originating in Extremadura, Spain, in the 12th century, they were taken to Australia and New Zealand, creating the modern merino.

It is very soft, and unlike other wools, it is hypoallergenic. It keeps its shape very well, even when blocked. However, it pills quite easily, which is annoying.

Suitable for: Merino wool is excellent for making winter items, even for those who have wool allergies, because this will not cause them.

General care guidelines: Hand wash in slightly warm water. Some merino wool is machine washable, called superwash, so be sure to check.
Interesting facts: Merino wool fiber can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture while remaining dry to the touch.

Merino fiber pulls 10 times more moisture away from the skin than synthetic fiber while maintaining all of its performance qualities.

A luxury fiber due to its luster, softness and long-lasting quality. It is an excellent choice no matter the season and has excellent insulating properties while being breathable.

Don't confuse it with Angora rabbit, a yarn made from Angora goat is never called Angora. Just that of rabbit. Some people may experience skin irritation with this fiber.

Suitable for: Very flexible, many different uses.

General care guidelines: machine wash gently or dry clean.

Interesting Facts: It is very naturally colorfast, perfect for dyeing.

A synthetic fiber first designed as a material for making parachutes. It increased in popularity for women's hosiery and other clothing. Because of the pure, shiny, soft and cool properties it has.

Today synthetic fiber is used for all sorts of purposes, but is still favored for those qualities.

Suitable for: all types of projects, but excellent for those that need to be lightweight and have drape.

General care guidelines: machine washable.

Interesting facts: Like so many inventions, the inventor stumbled upon it by accident.

Novelty Yarns.
All types of special interest yarns to create intrigue and variance in your crochet projects. Usually made from synthetic fibers, and are not the best choice for beginning crocheters because they can be difficult to crochet with.

Types of novelty yarns

Bouclé - Ranges in texture, made of loops and varying thickness to create a bumpy look.
Chenille - almost like velvet in texture and appearance, looks wonderful when crocheted, but is quite difficult to master.
Faux fur: as the name implies, this yarn looks exactly like faux fur when in the finished article. It is made of fluffy pieces attached to the main yarn made of nylon.
Railroad tape: as the name implies, it has small "tracks" attached to both sides of the yarn strands.
Ribbon yarn: yarn made from ribbons.
Polyester yarn - Yarn made from polyester, polyester is very flexible. There are all kinds to choose from.
Thick-Thin -A completed project has thin and thick sections. It will have a bumpy textured look.
Suitable for: Adding a little spice to ordinary projects.

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