One of the first steps of starting a new weaving project is finding the perfect yarn to use.
The yarn that you use for the weft is going to determine how your final weave is going to look like.
So finding the right weaving yarn is just as important as using the right weaving technique or using a good weaving loom.
It can be especially tricky since not every yarn can be used as yarn for weaving on a loom.
In this post, you will learn exactly what you need to know about the different yarn for sale and where to buy yarn online easily.
Managing The Yarn Overload
An average hobby and craft store has a handful of different yarns to choose from.
But did you know that there are special yarn stores that sell nothing except for yarn?
If you walk into one of these stores you will definitely be overwhelmed by the vast variety of yarns available.
Although a joy for professional weavers, all these different options only makes it more difficult for beginners to pick one.
Weaving Yarn Vs Knitting Yarn Vs Crochet Yarn
Yarn is not only used for weaving, but also for knitting and crochet.
Normally manufacturers make yarn with one of these three purposes in mind. Some are specifically designed for knitters while others are best used by weavers.
For example, weaving yarn is normally a little stronger and more stretchy than other types of yarn. This is because the warp threads need to be strong enough to withstand the tension of the loom.
That being said, a lot of people use knitting yarn for their weaving projects as well. The main reason being that there are way more knitting yarns available than weaving yarns.
To use a knitting yarn for weaving you have to make sure it is strong enough to be used for the warp threads.
A simple way to test if your knitting yarn is strong enough to be used for weaving, simply give is a good tug or pull and see what happens. If the yarn breaks it’s probably better to use a different yarn.
In practice, this means that most yarns made out of multiple strands (multi-ply) will be strong enough to function as the warp threads.
Additionally, for people using a rigid heddle loom, you don’t want to use yarn that is very thick as the warp. Since the friction between the yarn and the reed might weaken and eventually break the threads.
When it comes to the weft, you can basically use any kind of yarn you want. So feel free to use any fluffy, glittery or colorful yarn you can get your hands on!
Shear Some Sheep
Wool yarn is normally the first type of yarn that people think of. But it’s definitely not the only kind of yarn available.
Yarn can be made from many types of animal fibers. Some of the most common yarn from animals include alpaca, angora, mohair, llama, cashmere, and silk.
But if you look hard enough, you can even find yarn from other animals such as camels, cats, dogs, ostrich or buffalo.
These natural fibers have the advantage of being elastic and can hold a lot of air. Which makes them great for keeping you warm during winter.
Additionally, yarn can also be made from plant fibers. The most well-known types are cotton, hemp, and linen. When it comes to weaving, cotton is the most common since it is often used for warping the loom.
Nowadays a lot of the available yarns are actually made out of acrylic or polyester. By carefully controlling the manufacturing process it is possible to modify the properties of these yarns.
The made advantages of these synthetic yarns are that they are cheap, durable, don’t shrink when washed, and non-allergenic.
Finally, some yarns are a combination of the three types mentioned above. These are referred to as blends, e.g. cotton blend or wool blend. This way you can get the best of both worlds.
Needless to say, all these yarns have their own feel and look to them, and using them in while weaving can bring unique challenges and opportunities.
Bigger is Better? Finding The Right Yarn Size
Besides looking pretty, you want to make your that your yarn is of the right size, also known as the yarn weight.
The yarn weight describes how thick or thin the thread is spun and is normally indicated by a number or the corresponding name.
The Standard Yarn Weight System classifies yarn from 0 to 7, where 0 is very thin while 7 is very thick.
From thinnest to thickest these are:
- Super Fine
- Super Bulky
Try to choose the yarn depending on your project and the outcome you are aiming for.
For example, bulky or super bulky yarn would be a good choice for making a scarf to keep you warm. While jumbo yarn might be a good choice when weaving a wall hanging.
Changing between different colors and yarn thicknesses can create interesting textures and visual effects.
Skeins, Balls, Cones And Tubes
Yarn is normally sold in the shape of a ball, skein, cone or tube. And although the packaging might look different, the yarn itself is normally exactly the same.
However, there are a few valid reasons to prefer one type over the other.
The most important distinction is that with balls, cones and tubes you can directly pull out the yarn with no problem.
But if you are using skeins, the yarn often becomes one big tangled mess (except if you use special “pull skeins”) and you will have to use a yarn ball winder before you can use the yarn.
Weavers often choose to work with yarn cones. This is because it’s relatively simple to warp a loom using cones. And also cones normally hold more yarn so you don’t run out of yarn when you warp the loom.
Where To Buy Yarn Online
We know it’s not always easy to find a good yarn store close to you. And regular arts and craft stores don’t always have a very wide assortment of different yarns.
That’s why buying yarn online can be a real life-saver.
For beginning weavers, it will be the easiest to buy yarn on Amazon. You can pretty much buy anything on Amazon nowadays, including yarn.
Below you can see a few of our favorite yarns. Clicking on any of them will bring you directly to Amazon.
Online Yarn Stores
If you are looking for specialized types of yarn or if you are looking for an uncommon color, you probably won’t find it on Amazon.
Although there are online weaving classes that will teach you how to dye yarn yourself, it will be much easier to buy from a specialized online yarn store.
Not only are these yarns great to find your favorite new yarn, you can often buy in bulk as well for a cheaper price.
Here are a few suggested online stores you can buy your yarn from.
As mentioned before, a lot of the yarns that are made for knitting can also be used for weaving as well. And this store definitely has some neat yarns available.
They have anything between merino wool yarn and cashmere yarn for sale. This is one of the stores with the widest range of fibers to choose from. They even have camel, yak, angora yarn.
Fortunately, you can easily navigate and filter the options by yarn brand, weight, color or fiber type.
There is even a section with popular yarns for the people that don’t know exactly what they are looking for.
You will find something you like for sure just by browsing for a while.
Wool And The Gang
To be honest, this online yarn store doesn’t have a huge variety of different yarns.
They claim that all their yarns are “super sexy” and normally they come with some funky sounding names.
Some examples are “Feeling Good Yarn”, “Take Care Mohair”, and “Wool Me Tender Yarn.”
Even if you can’t find the perfect yarn here, it’s still worth visiting just for some giggles.
Their yarns are all made sustainably from renewable sources and waste yarn fibers.
So the environmentally conscious buyer might want to go here to find good cones of wool for sale.
Annie’s Craft Store
Unlike your regular craft store, this one does have a huge collection of yarns to choose from. And they constantly have new arrivals to expand their catalog as well.
You can easily navigate and filter by fiber content, weight and brand. So finding that perfect worsted weight cotton yarn or super bulky wool yarn is no problem.
You can also shop by type such as baby yarns, machine washable yarns, sock yarns, color changing yarns, etc.
But you better be careful if you don’t know what you want.
I spend way too much time browsing through all the options myself.
If you are in need of alpaca yarn, this is the place to go! Besides pure alpaca yarn, they also have awesome alpaca blends.
Alpaca yarns are very soft and less scaly than sheep wool, so items made out of alpaca yarn feel nice on the skin.
Even people that are allergic to sheep wool are normally fine with alpaca yarn because it contains no lanolin.
But don’t be fooled by the name. You can get all your standard yarn types here such as acrylic, nylon or cotton.
The one thing that will likely bring you back to this site over and over again is their sales.
You can get up to 50% discount on their daily deals and up to 70% on their clearance sales.
So visiting on a regular basis definitely pays off.