Why I choose cotton yarn
The initial reason I wanted to crochet with cotton yarn is firstly:
- because it is a natural fibre that is comfortable to wear and doesn’t make you sweat.
- and secondly I wanted to make items for the home…washers and dishcloths, etc…stuff that needs to be absorbent.
- I knew that acrylic yarn generates heat and repels water, so this isn’t the best choice for wearables in the warmer weather here in Australia, or for home items that need to be absorbent.
- The next thing that I discovered about cotton yarn, is that it creates beautiful stitch definition and looks amazing in photos!!
So those are some of the main reasons I love it.
Read below for the extra info…good and bad 😊
The good properties of cotton yarn
- Breathable – cotton yarn is light weight and breathable. It doesn’t generate extra heat, so is great for warm weather clothing, hats and headbands and other things that you wear against your skin.
- Comfortable – cotton yarn is soft and comfortable to wear and gets softer with each wash.
- Durable – cotton yarn is strong, will last over time and will withstand continued machine washing.
- Absorbent – cotton yarn holds water, so is great for items like dishcloths, washcloths and small hand towels.
- Clarity – cotton yarn creates beautiful stitch definition.
- Heatproof – cotton yarn won’t melt and is great for protecting surfaces against heat.
- Biodegradable – the cotton component in yarn completely breaks down and it does so quite quickly.
The not so good properties of cotton yarn
- 100% cotton yarn can become very heavy when it’s wet and sag.
- because the fibre is not as elastic as acrylic, there will not be as much stretch in 100% cotton yarn and larger items will not retain their shape as well after being wet.
- most cotton yarns will shrink a little if tumble dried.
- cotton yarn can be a bit tougher on your hands (especially less soft cottons) when crocheting and may take some getting used to.
How to combat the not so good
- a 50/50 blend or similar ratio of cotton and acrylic is the perfect way to solve the dilemma of cotton being pulled out of shape due to it being an inelastic fibre. Whether it be a blanket or a headband, the addition of acrylic can help give a bit more structure or added stretch to your project.
- if you are making small household items and don’t mind a bit of shrinkage, I recommend tumble drying 100% cotton yarn as it tightens the fibres back up.(you probably want to avoid that if its clothing 😊)
- when you love to use cotton yarn it’s great to give your hands a break every now and then with an acrylic project!!
Some Extra Good Points
- Cotton yarn has amazing cleaning properties. 100% cotton cloths will clean up greasy splatter easily with just warm water and not spread the grease around…(splatter, not a puddle 😆)
- Cotton yarn can create great texture and gives an amazing clean skin feel.
- If you are selling your handmade products made from cotton yarn or cotton blend yarn, they make for amazing photos!!
Things to Remember
- 100% cotton yarn is best for kitchen and bathroom projects and anything you would like to be absorbent.
- Larger projects you would like to make out of cotton, such as blankets, will always benefit from the addition of acrylic.
- Items such as swimwear are better made with cotton blends so they don’t absorb as much water and sag. They also have the added benefit of extra stretch.
- Decorative homewares can be successfully made from cotton or cotton blend yarn…whichever takes your fancy.
- You need to be mindful when looking at patterns, because you can’t simply substitute cotton yarn in just any pattern…you may need to create a swatch first and then make any necessary adjustments.