As a crocheter and a crafter I use a lot of yarn. I never really gave the type of fiber I was using much thought as I use what works for my project, whether it be cotton or acrylic yarns. I sometimes use what I call Artisan yarns, those made in small batches from hobby farms. My main focus as always been on my project. That is until recently. I typically put on the Etsy shop description that the item was made from Acrylic yarn (if it was). That prompted a question of why I did that. The quick answer was so folks know that it IS acrylic and not wool in case of allergies. Did get me thinking that perhaps others don’t really know the types of yarn fiber.
So I made a list!
Wool is the original fiber option. It is made from the fleece of sheep and comes in a variety of choices.
- Lambs Wool. Lamb;s wool is soft and lovely and comes from a baby sheep’s first shearing.
- Merino wool. A luxurious yarn that comes from sheep of the same name.
- Virgin Wool. Yarn that comes from the animal and not made from recycled wool garments.
- Icelandic and Shetland wool. Icelandic wool is rustic and the Shetland wool comes from Shetland sheep in Scotland.
- Washable wool. Chemically treated to destroy the outer layers so you can wash it.
Synthetic yarns are made from polyester, nylon and/or acrylics. Much of it is made from recycled water bottles (and other plastics). See the video at the end of this post.
There as been a recent trend to use “organic” yarn. These yarns include corn, soy, bamboo, hemp and other plant based materials. These yarns straddle the line between natural and synthetic. The plant material while sustainable in the growing is usually bathed with chemicals in order to turn it into yarn. There are mechanical ways to go about it, but it is a very long process and the resulting yarns are not as strong.
SHINY SOFT YARNS
- SILK. Fibers from the Silk worm.
- COTTON. From the Cotton plant
- LINEN. Made from Flax
- RAYON. Manufactured made from regenerated cellulose fiber.
SPECIALTY and NOVELTY
- TWEED. Flecked with fibers different colors against a background color
- HEATHER. Multi or dyed colors blended then spun.
- BOUCLE. Bumpy loopy yarn
- RIBBON. Rayon blend knitted ribbon
- RAILROAD. Strands between two parallel strands to resemble train tracks.
- FAUX FUR. Fluffy fiber strands on a strong nylon base.
- CHENILLE. Tufted velvety yarn
- THICK THIN. Yarn that alternates between really thick and really thin sections
- MARLED. Mottled or streaked plied yarn
- VARIGATIED. Dyed in several colors or shades of same color.