A collection of different types of yarn and cotton.

Types of Yarn

There are many types of yarn, each of which has different qualities, look, durability and price. Some of them use natural fibers, other are man-made, but there are also yarns that combine these two types of fibers.

You can use another differentiation, too, based on the way the yarn is made: spun (strands of fiber are twisted together) or filament (one long continuous thread is usually ‘squeezed out’ of the machine). Just remember, that you can have natural filament yarns (silk) or synthetic spun yarns.

Sorting in terms of their natural or synthetic origin is the most popular, and there are three main categories:

1. Animal Fiber-Based Yarns

Source of these fibers are domesticated animals, such as goats, sheep, camelids or rabbits. In this category you will find yarn such as wool, cashmere, angora, mohair, silk and more.

2. Plant Fiber-Based Yarns

These yarns are sourced from plants, such as cotton, flax, bamboo, and more.

3. Synthetic and Novelty Yarns

Yarns such as acrylic, rayon and polyester are by humans through chemical processes. You will also find novelty yarns in this category.

Learn more by clicking on the category name!

Explore more from Yarn 101 series:

⟶ Lace, worsted, bulky, or jumbo…? To find out more about Yarn Weights and Ply, check out this article!

⟶ You can wind yarn into different shapes, such as skeins, hanks, balls and other – if you want to know more about Yarn Ball Types, check out this article!

yarn ball types

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