Are you new to weaving?
Although buying a good weaving loom for beginners is important, making sure you are using the right yarn is just as crucial.
Finding the right weaving materials including the weaving yarn can be quite tricky indeed!
Since the yarn you use will determine the final look of your weave, it is worth investing some time in finding the right one.
Types of Yarn
Yarn can be spun from either natural fibers or synthetic fibers. Examples of natural fibers are cotton, hemp, linen, wool silk etc., while synthetic yarn is normally made out of acrylic or polyesters. All of them have their own characteristic feel to them and offer different challenges while using them. It is useful to keep in mind that every type of yarn was designed for a specific purpose.
The right type of fiber depends just as much on the project you work on, as on your personal preferences. Cotton is often used to set up the warp, but you might want to try some other kinds of yarn to create some interesting effects. If you are not quite sure what the difference is between warp and weft threads, make sure to check out the basic weaving terms.
Yarn made from synthetic fibers are ideal for beginners. Since they are relatively cheap, you can practice as much as you want without worrying. Afterwards, you can expand and try as many types of yarns as you want. Afterall, nothing compares to the soft touch of a woolen sweater.
The yarn you see in the store can come in a variety of different packaging. Some of the most well-known examples are skeins, balls, pull skeins, cones and tubes. Except for the skeins, they are all made in such a way that you can directly pull out the yarn without ending up with one big mess of tangled threads. Skeins are normally made into a ball before using to prevent tangling.
The type of packaging does not indicate superior yarn quality over the other. So if you see the prettiest yarn you have ever seen sold as a skein, don’t be afraid to take it. Especially, if you have a yarn ball winder, you will be able to turn yarn skeins into balls in no time.
Yarn Size and Yarn Weight
The most important factor when choosing weaving yarn is the yarn size, also known as the yarn weight. This describes how thick or thin the weaving thread is spun. Normally the size is indicated by either a number or its corresponding name.
From thinnest to thickest these are:
- Super Fine / fingering
- Fine / sport
- Light / DK
- Medium / Worsted
- Super Bulky
A common question amongst beginners is: What is DK yarn? DK simply stands for double knit. However, this does not mean that DK yarn is only meant for knitting. Nor does it mean you will be weaving with two strands of thread at the same time. It is simply an indication of yarn weight
The right size of yarn for your project depends on the result you are aiming for. Thick and bulky yarn threads will make weaving faster is it fills up space quickly. But at the same time, thick thread will leave the warp thread visible as well.
On the other hand, if you are using thin loom yarn it will take considerable more time to finish your project but you can effectively cover up the warp thread.
Although delicate and thin laceweight yarn might be used for an amazing doily, you probably want to stick with some bulky yarn if you are making a sweater, scarf or hat that is supposed to keep you warm in winter.
Since you will probably be working on different projects, it will be useful to stock your weaving supplies with threads of a variety of different thicknesses.
Not just alternating different colors but also occasionally changing the thickness of the yarn thread in the same project can give surprising results.
For example, you could weave the combination of bulky and DK yarn of the same color to obtain an interesting texture in your weave.
Weaving Yarn for Beginners
If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you start by trying DK or worsted weight yarn.
Although it might be best to see and touch the yarn before buying it, most of us simply don’t have the time to do so or lack a good hobby shop in town. Therefore, we will recommend some yarn you can simply buy online.
If you are a beginner and looking for some yarn to start and experiment with in combination with your loom, then check out the set of 50 skeins offered by TYH Supplies. They are 100% acrylic and have a yarn weight of 3. Every color is around 20 meters long for a total of over 1 km, which will be sufficient for most small projects.
For the more serious weavers amongst us, it may be better to buy individual colors that you need for your specific project. Lily offers good cone yarn in a variety of different colors. Some of them even have catchy names such as “Kitchen Breeze” or “Pretty Pastels.” They have a yarn size of 4, are around 650 meters long and can be machine washed and dried.