Understanding Yarn Fibers
Crochet | 2 min read time
An introduction to the woolly (and not so woolly) stuff we love so much!
Did you know, yarns aren’t always made of wool? A yarn can be created from all sorts of fibers, from animals, to plants, and synthetic materials. If it can be spun into a thread, it can be used for crafting! Read on to find out a bit more about just a few of the many types of yarn fibers you might come across on your crafting adventures.
Possibly the most common type of yarn fiber used by crafters, wool is warm, durable, and super versatile. Wool comes from animals such as sheep, goats, and alpacas, which makes it a sustainable material (the animals’ fleeces regrow each year!) and a great temperature regulator. It’ll keep you warm in the winter, and helps you to stay cool and dry in the summer as it absorbs moisture.
Some types of wool can be a bit itchy against the skin, but others are well-known for being super soft - perfect for baby garments! Wool can also easily be cleaned if it gets stained, making it a great choice for kid’s garments too. Find out how to keep your creations clean and fresh with our washing guide.
Named after the breed of sheep it comes from, merino wool is known for being super-soft, and hypoallergenic, making it a popular choice for baby garments, and for people with sensitive skin.
This soft, fluffy yarn comes from cashmere goats, and can be quite delicate. It’s a great yarn for sweaters and scarves as it’s very warm, but can be expensive to buy. You’ll commonly see yarns with a cashmere blend - meaning the mix of fibers include cashmere. This helps to strengthen the yarn, and to make it more affordable than pure cashmere yarn.
Alpaca wool is known for being one of the warmest wools - making it perfect for sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves. It’s naturally water repellent, and very soft, and (as the name suggests) comes from alpacas!
Mohair is considered to be a luxury fiber, and comes from the fleece of Angora goats. It’s light, fluffy, and very soft, making it the perfect extra layer on a chilly day.
Other natural fiber yarns
This yarn is incredibly versatile - you can use it to create summer garments, as well as for projects such as amigurumi, face cloths, placemats, bags, and shawls. Cotton yarn is light, strong, and breathable, and is available as a yarn on its own, or mixed with other fibers as a cotton-blend.
Jute is an environmentally friendly fiber, and is a great choice for making homeware and accessories, such as dishcloths, and shopping bags.
Silk is a very strong natural fiber and as a yarn it can be shiny, and a little slippery. It’s light and cool to the touch, making it the perfect choice for summer garments.
Bamboo is a soft, breathable yarn fiber and can commonly be found as part of a cotton blend. Similar to cotton, the slight weight to bamboo yarn means it’s a great choice for projects that need a little drape to them, such as shawls, or cardigans.
This is a man-made yarn and tends to be cheaper than most natural fiber yarns. It can be used to create blends with natural fibers such as cotton, or wool, and because it’s affordable, It’s ideal for beginner crafters to give it a try!