Not all yarn is created equal. Yarn comes in all sort of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. There are some yarns that work better with knitting projects and there are some that work better with weaving projects. We are going to just focus on yarns fit for weaving.
Choosing the perfect yarn for a project can be one of the most difficult things that you do. The perfect yarn can be the difference between an enjoyable weaving exercise with superb results and a frustrating technical difficulty that results in a badly executed or unfinished weaving project.
An important reminder when choosing the perfect yarn or thread is that weaving requires two different types. The first is the warp thread which is the background for your weaving project. The second is the weft and that is more of the filler. Accomplished weavers understand that each thread has a different job and presents a certain criteria needed for selection. When you go to choose a warp thread one of the biggest factors is that it has to be durable enough not to break apart or fray during the weaving process.
Warp threads are the basis of every project and a whole project can be made or destroyed by the choice of warp thread. When you go to pick out yarn to use as a filing thread the project will help guide you to the right choice. Many different yarns can work for filling thread but the best choice will always depend on what your project is. An example would be not wanting course yarn when trying to weave a child’s blanket.
Below are some additional tips on how to choose the best weaving yarn:
• Make sure that your yarns have a textural grip: this is important for novice weavers. Yarns come in many different textures from the fury to the slicker types. This is due to the different fibers that go into making the perfect ball of yarn. Beginners should stick to wool and cotton when they are first learning because these component allow for easy grip and more even patterns. As you graduate with your weaving skills you can always transition to different textures of yarn.
• Try out different textures: this goes right along with making sure you yarn has a bit of a grip to it. Contrasting different textures can be a fun and exciting way to spice up any weaving project. Pairing a fuzzy textured yarn with a smooth yarn warp thread can lead to an impressive weaving project that will look more complicated than it actually was.
• You don’t have to keep everything the same thickness: as stated above when weaving you use two different types of thread. This means that you can be creative with the thickness of each type of yarn. Sometimes a thicker warp thread will give an added dimension to a project and allow for the warp thread to shine. It also promotes interesting pattern changes.
• Your heddle has a size, know it: some weavers choose to use heddles to help with their weaving projects. It is important to understand that heddles come in different shapes and sizes depending on the loom that you are using. Heddles have spacing for different categories of yarn thickness.
This is referred to as dents. The high the dent number is the thinner the yarn it is meant for. Every yarn has a category number that correlate with dent numbers. It is important that if you are using a heddle you pair the right yarn for it.
• Understand your project: Different projects are going to call for different types of yarn. It you are making a rug you would want yarn that is of a heavier material that would be able to tolerate the constant wear and tear it would undergo. It is also important to remember that warp threads don’t always have to be the thickest yarn. There are many different types of synthetic yarns that look fine and dainty but are surprisingly durable. It is also important to avoid certain textures. If you are just starting out weaving you are not going to want to mess with the fuzzy stuff just yet. The fuzzier yarn has a really bad habit of sticking together and making a big mess. As stated before almost any texture of yarn can be used as a filling thread.
It is important when picking out the perfect yarn that you take into consideration what your project is going to be used for. If the project is something like a rug that you would expect to need regular cleaning due to it being in high traffic areas you would want to pick yarns that would hold out through numerous washings. Coarse threads would not be ideal for scarfs or blankets in the same way that fine yarn might not hold out on a rug.
• Know how much you want to pay: different yarns pull in different prices. Local bargain yarn purchases are ideal for beginners and young children but more serious weavers would not be able to utilize these bargain yarns the way they would want to. The more textured or fine a yarn is the more you should expect to pay. You pay for quality.
• Read the labels: this one should be obvious but it needs stating. It is important to read labels that come attached to different types of yarn. Here you can learn about the different component that went into make that specific ball of yarn so that you can determine if it is going to be the perfect fit for your weaving project. This is also where you would learn about potential allergens especially if you are intending to give your finished projects out as gifts. You will also be able to determine the category number for the yarn and pair it with the right heddle.
All of these components are important in finding the perfect weaving yarn for your project. Another way to find the best yarn is to find a brand that you can trust. Lion Brand is a brand of yarns that has been trusted for years for producing quality yarns. Lion Brand Yarn has recently come out with Lion Brand Yarn BonBons which are 8 mini yarn balls in 8 luminous shades ready for any project. Bonbons are colorful and fun and work great for kid crafts. The BonBons hold up against washing machines and can handle the wear and tear of everyday life.