Simple Guide To Weaving Yarn: Weight, Fibers Types, Density

You can’t weave without any yarn.

The type, color and weight of the yarn will determine how the final weave is going to look like.

So choosing which weaving yarn to use might very well be the most important step when weaving.

Keep reading to know what yarn to use for weaving.

weaving yarn

How to choose yarn for weaving?

If this is your first time weaving, you might be overwhelmed by all the different yarns you can choose from.

Even small art and craft stores normally have a single section dedicated to only yarn.

However, there is more to yarn than their looks. Some yarns are better suited for weaving than others.

Types of yarn

Wool yarn might be the first yarn that come to mind. But yarn can be made from many different materials.

Each yarn fits into one of the following three categories:

  • Protein fibers
  • Cellulose fibers
  • Synthetic fibers

Protein fibers like wool and silk come from animals such as sheep, alpacas, llamas, angoras, etc.

Cellulose fibers come from plants. The most well-known types are cotton, hemp, and linen.

Finally, synthetic fibers are made from acrylic or polyester. The properties of these synthetic fibers can easily be tunes by the manufacturer. But in general they are relatively cheap and durable.

Recently blended yarns have become quite popular, because they can give the best of both worlds. For example the cotton and polyester blend has the softness and breathability of cotton and the strength of polyester yarn.

Weaving yarn vs knitting yarn

Let’s be honest.

You can knit with a weaving yarn, and you can weave with a knitting yarn.

But for the best results you want to be using the right one! Because knitting yarns and weaving yarns are definitely not the same.

In general, knitting yarns are more soft and stretchy, while weaving yarns are more durable and sturdy.

Although you can start with the same fiber, by using different spinning methods you can make a knitting yarn or a weaving yarn. Weaving yarn are normally more tightly twisted and use two ply.

If you are weaving with a knitting yarn, you might not be used to how stretchy it is. So when measuring the yarn on a warping board you might actually calculate the wrong length. Also your final weave won’t be as strong or durable.

Weaving yarn weights explained

The yarn you buy has a certain thickness, also referred to as the weight of the yarn.

The Standard Yarn Weight System classifies yarn on a scale from 0 to 7, where 0 is very thin while 7 is very thick.

  1. Lace
  2. Super Fine
  3. Fine
  4. Light
  5. Medium
  6. Bulky
  7. Super Bulky
  8. Jumbo

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 fine yarn would be better for something that needs a tight weave.

Many artists use a combination of yarn with different thicknesses to pull off interesting designs. So it’s totally fine so play around a bit to see what works the best.

Best yarn for warping a loom

During the weaving process, the warp threads will be under constant tension. That’s why you want to use a yarn that is strong and durable enough.

The strength of the yarn is determined by the type of yarn and the density.

Traditionally wool, linen, alpaca, and silk were used for the warp. But nowadays you can also find cotton yarn or synthetic yarns like nylon or rayon that are strong enough for warping.

One of the above yarns with a density of 2 ply or higher is a great choice for beginners.

Want to check if the yarn you have at home is strong enough for warping? Simply pull a string on both ends and see what happens.

If the yarn stretches, unravels or breaks it isn’t suited as warp yarn.

Best yarn for loom weaving

When it comes to the weft, you can use any yarn you like.

Make sure to use yarns of different texture, thickness, and color in your design.

Choosing which yarns to use for the weft is the most fun part of every weaving project. So let your creativity run loose and see what you end up with!

If you are having problems finding the right colors that go well together, an online color palette generator can help a lot.

Where to buy yarn online

If you are picky with your yarn, you might have a hard time finding exactly what you want in stores near you.

Online you can choose from more options that you will ever find in a physical store.

Here are 5 websites where you can buy weaving yarn.

1 Amazon

Since it’s pretty much one of the biggest online store in the world, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Amazon sells yarn.

However, you might be amazed by how many yarns they actually have for sale. You can find pretty much any yarn type, thickness, and color.

You can choose between set of skeins (ideal for beginners) or individual skeins (if you know exactly what you want).

2 Love Knitting

buy your weaving yarn at Love Knitting

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.

3 Wool And The Gang

yarn store 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.

4 Annie’s Craft Store

Annie's Craft Store online yarn 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.

5 Alpaca Direct

Alpaca Direct yarn store

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.

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