Types of yarn with names and photos

In shops selling knitting threads, from the abundance of the assortment, eyes run up even from experienced needlewomen. And what can we say about beginning knitters! The surprise is caused not only by various beautiful hanks, but also by the price for many of them. How to learn how to navigate in this colorful ocean and why prices are very different, read on about this below.

Description of types of yarn with names

Yarn is a product of plexus of individual threads, which are composed of fibers. It can consist of one or several threads (in several additions). The threads are woven from fibers of the same type or different, for example, acrylic or rayon is added to the wool.

The composition of the raw fiber can be natural or artificial, and the yarn is divided into the following types:

  • natural;
  • synthetic;
  • mixed.

Natural yarn

Such knitting yarns are obtained from animal hair or from plant fibers, respectively, natural yarn can be woolen or vegetable. Woolen fibers are characterized by high hygroscopicity, lightness, softness, and the ability to retain heat. They breathe, are not electrified, are the basis for knitting warm clothes. In the cold, it is difficult to do without a wool scarf, hat, sweater, socks.


From sheep wool get a knitting thread of different quality. The final product is affected by the processing and coloring of the raw materials. If it is indicated on the hank's label that the yarn is pure-wool, then we are talking about sheep's wool . Together with the main characteristics of natural fibers, the wool is noted for uniformity of thread, good ability to dye, sufficient elasticity, resistance to creasing.

Disadvantages: storability and the formation of spools on the front surface during friction of clothing parts against each other, the need for very careful care - washing, drying, storage. Many pure-wool products irritate the skin with light but constant tingling.


The unique fluffy wool with the finest nap is obtained by combing Angora goats. Mohair is a very warm, lightweight, durable, well-dyed, silky knitting material with a natural sheen of fibers. Without additives, it is not available ; to obtain yarn, mohair is combined with other threads, natural or synthetic. You need to handle it very carefully, and then luxurious warm clothes with a long fluffy pile will delight you for a long time.

Important! In the last century, mohair was very popular, not a single fashionista could do without a hat or blouse from it. Now he, too, is not forgotten - he is familiar to Russians by the Orenburg downy shawls, which are knitted from mohair.


The raw material is the undercoat of the cashmere goat, whose habitat is the highlands of Tibet. Wool is obtained from the finest fluff, the fineness of which is 3-4 times smaller than the diameter of a person’s hair. It is true that such a magnificent, unique thread is very expensive and requires the most careful care. You can’t wash it by hand, cashmere things must be dry-cleaned.


Angora rabbits bestow us with fine quality wool. The yarn is very light, fluffy and tender. Tactile sensations are so comfortable that the popularity of Angora products is growing from year to year. But in its pure form, this wool is not used : fluffy fibers are inelastic, they are woven into wool or artificial materials.

Unfortunately, such wonderful threads do not fix Angora fluff firmly in the thread: during operation, part of the “fluffs” leave the attachment site, “dyeing” the outer clothing. And another significant drawback is the ability to abrasion fibers. However, with careful care, the angora sweater will last a long time.


This is a yarn with unique properties:

  • softness;
  • ease;
  • strength;
  • hypoallergenic;
  • resistance to the formation of spools;
  • to creasing, wringing, abrasion.

It is obtained from the rune of alpaca - the animals of the highlands of the Peruvian Andes. It is not cold in the frost and not hot in the heat. Such valuable qualities of this wool are used to create warm upper things - coats, cardigans, scarves.


Unusually soft and warm wool fibers provide the needlewomen of a merino sheep. High elasticity of the created thread allows knitting things of a tight-fitting silhouette from this yarn. A plus is also a simple maintenance, in which merino products are easily washed by hand or in an automatic machine in a delicate mode . This yarn is good for everyone, but the price is very high. And how could it be otherwise if, for its receipt, wool from a fine-wool sheep is sheared from only one place - at the withers.


The highest quality wool of this variety is obtained from the Bactrian camel and young camels. It has lightness, softness, smoothness, hygroscopicity. Wool perfectly retains heat, the structure of the fiber contributes to the "breathing" of the fabric and prevents the body from overcooling in the most extreme weather conditions . It has many healing properties, helps a person get rid of a number of diseases.

Important! Camel wool fibers not only repel dust and relieve static stress, but also protect against electromagnetic fields. This is the only kind of natural wool with such qualities.

Vegetable yarn

The starting material for this species are fibers of plant origin. Such yarn is cheaper than wool, while it has a fairly attractive appearance and is pleasant to the touch. And the strength and excellent wear resistance of plant fiber products makes them popular for creating summer wardrobe items.


To obtain threads, they take a special type of flax - spinning. Linen yarn is soft, strong, hygroscopic, pleasant to the body, does not fade, and keeps its shape well in the product. It does not rot and is not subject to shrinkage. Clothing made from linen is warm in winter and cool in summer.

Important! The undoubted advantage of linen yarn is its natural antiseptic properties and the ability to weaken gamma radiation, reduce radiation levels and neutralize static electricity.


The raw material for silk yarn is a thread that is unwound from a cocoon of silkworm caterpillars. This is the only fiber coming into production in finished form . It only needs to be unwound.

The resulting thread is smooth, shiny, very delicate, thin, strong, elastic and very expensive to the touch. It has high hygroscopicity, the ability to retain heat, does not form spools and is not crease resistant. Because of its high cost, it is used as an additive to another, more affordable thread. The yarn is usually mixed with a cotton or wool component.


It is made from fiber of cotton bolls. The yarn is durable, soft, comfortable to wear, hygroscopic, breathable. The disadvantages include the destruction of the canvas by ultraviolet radiation, bacteria or microorganisms, strong shrinkage, inelasticity, the retention of stains and dirt by the fibers .

Mercerized cotton, treated with sodium hydroxide, is perfectly dyed in different colors, improves consumer qualities of the yarn, makes it smooth and shiny. However, mercerization contributes to even greater shrinkage of products and less elasticity.


The yarn is produced not from the nettle that grows in the wasteland, but from the South Asian rami plant, called Chinese nettle. The fibers in it have high wear resistance and strength, natural shine, they are perfectly dyed, not decomposed by bacteria or molds. Of the minuses - rigidity, low elasticity, very high creasing . The yarn is commonly used as a companion to other threads.


In the last decade, it is a very popular material for hand knitting summer tops and cardigans. It has a number of unique qualities: ecological purity of the fiber, natural antimicrobial properties, softness, natural luster, hypoallergenicity . Often used as an additive to cotton yarn.


Very durable, environmentally friendly yarn. Its high wear resistance is used in knitting bags and various household accessories . This is the oldest type of plant fiber thread. In Russia, hemp and durable canvases were made from them. Now hemp is not grown everywhere, because it has come under an official ban as a raw material for the drug.

Synthetic yarn

It is obtained from synthesized fibers. They do not have organic components, the origin is a chemical product.


Due to its volume, it resembles wool yarn, which in many cases is partially replaced to give the yarn extra strength, wear resistance, elasticity. It can also act as a companion to plant varieties of yarn or independently. Acrylic is widely used for knitting various things, including children’s, because it is very soft, does not prick, does not cause allergies, is painted in different color shades . However, it is able to accumulate static electricity and may “roll up” in the product.


This is an incredibly flexible, lightweight and durable fiber. It is ideal for use as an additive to the main thread, makes the yarn wear-resistant and prevents shrinkage . Woolen socks with a nylon additive are worn several times longer without abrasion than without them. In its pure form, nylon (polyamide) is used for factory knitting of women's tights.


It was invented not so long ago by Japanese chemists. Raw materials - polyamide or polyester. The fibers are superthin, many times superior to the fineness of all known natural fibers, even silk.

Multiple-connected fibers of this new generation yarn are characterized by increased strength, breathability, and a beautiful velvety surface . Excellent consumer qualities and excellent appearance of microfiber put it in the same price range with many types of natural yarn.


This is not fiber, but a metal additive in the form of a thread, which can decorate the product. It is combined with the main thread, which can be either synthetic or natural. In a knitted fabric, it looks very impressive.

Blended yarn

It consists of two or more types of the above raw materials. For example, the famous wool mixture is acrylic and wool in equal parts. All compounds in which another one is added to the main thread also belong to mixed ones: linen + viscose, wool + silk, mohair + wool + acrylic. Blend compositions gain the positive qualities of all the fibers used: they become stronger, softer, more pleasant to the touch, resistant to shrinkage, do not lose brightness and look spectacular for a long time .

Varieties of Faux Yarn

This type is obtained from natural or plant sources of raw materials using chemical treatment:

  • viscose. Made from coniferous wood, it is widely used as a fairly comfortable, hypoallergenic, soft, shiny material;
  • acetate (rayon). Luxurious, shiny, smooth, non-allergenic, well-dyed yarn is obtained from recycled short cotton fibers left over from the main production.