Yarn
Overview
 
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s, sewing
Sewing
Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era...

, crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

ing, knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 and rope
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

making. Thread
Thread (yarn)
Thread is a kind of yarn used for sewing.-Materials:Thread is made from just about everything. Following table lists common materials, a general description and what they are supposed to be good for. If your machine will sew with the thread, any thread can used for just about any purpose. This...

 is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine
Sewing machine
A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies...

. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

 or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery thread
Embroidery thread
Embroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework.Threads for hand embroidery include:...

s are yarns specifically designed for hand or machine embroidery
Machine embroidery
Machine embroidery is an embroidery process whereby a sewing machine or embroidery machine is used to create patterns on textiles. It is used commercially in product branding, corporate advertising, and uniform adornment. Hobbyists also machine embroider for personal sewing and craft projects.There...

.
Spun yarn is made by twisting or otherwise bonding staple
Staple (textiles)
A Wool Staple is a naturally formed cluster or lock of wool fibres and not a single fibre. Very many staples together form a fleece.* Image of the staples on the sheep The cluster of wool fibres is made by a cluster of follicles...

 fibres together to make a cohesive thread, or "single." Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

, and yarn spinning was one of the very first processes to be industrialized.
Encyclopedia
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s, sewing
Sewing
Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era...

, crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

ing, knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

, weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 and rope
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

making. Thread
Thread (yarn)
Thread is a kind of yarn used for sewing.-Materials:Thread is made from just about everything. Following table lists common materials, a general description and what they are supposed to be good for. If your machine will sew with the thread, any thread can used for just about any purpose. This...

 is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine
Sewing machine
A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies...

. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

 or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery thread
Embroidery thread
Embroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework.Threads for hand embroidery include:...

s are yarns specifically designed for hand or machine embroidery
Machine embroidery
Machine embroidery is an embroidery process whereby a sewing machine or embroidery machine is used to create patterns on textiles. It is used commercially in product branding, corporate advertising, and uniform adornment. Hobbyists also machine embroider for personal sewing and craft projects.There...

.

Structure

Spun yarn is made by twisting or otherwise bonding staple
Staple (textiles)
A Wool Staple is a naturally formed cluster or lock of wool fibres and not a single fibre. Very many staples together form a fleece.* Image of the staples on the sheep The cluster of wool fibres is made by a cluster of follicles...

 fibres together to make a cohesive thread, or "single." Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

, and yarn spinning was one of the very first processes to be industrialized. Spun yarns may contain a single type of fibre, or be a blend of various types. Combining synthetic fibres (which can have high strength, lustre, and fire retardant qualities) with natural fibres (which have good water absorbency and skin comforting qualities) is very common. The most widely used blends are cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

-polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 and wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

-acrylic fibre blends. Blends of different natural
Natural
Natural is an adjective that refers to Nature.Natural may refer too:In science and mathematics:* Natural transformation, category theory in mathematics* Natural foods...

 fibres are common too, especially with more expensive fibres such as alpaca, angora
Angora wool
Angora wool or Angora fibre refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While their names are similar, Angora fibre is distinct from mohair, which comes from the Angora goat. Angora is known for its softness, thin fibres, and what knitters refer to as a halo...

 and cashmere
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

. Bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 yarn is a less expensive type that is a recent innovation.

Yarns are selected for different textiles based on the characteristics of the yarn fibres, such as warmth (wool), light weight (cotton or bamboo), durability (nylon is added to sock yarn, for example), or softness (cashmere, alpaca). Acrylic yarn is the least expensive.

Yarns are made up of a number of singles, which are known as plies when grouped together. These singles of yarn are twisted together (plied
Plying
In the textile arts, plying is a process used to create a strong, balanced yarn. It is done by taking two or more strands of yarn that each have a twist to them and putting them together. The strands are twisted together, in the direction opposite that in which they were spun...

) in the opposite direction to make a thicker yarn. Depending on the direction of this final twist, the yarn will be known as s-twist or z-twist. For a single, the direction of the final twist is the same as its original twist.

Filament yarn consists of filament fibres (very long continuous fibres) either twisted together or only grouped together. Thicker monofilament
Monofilament line
Monofilament fishing line is fishing line made from a single fiber of plastic. Most fishing lines are now monofilament because monofilament fibers are cheap to produce and are produced in a range of diameters which have different tensile strengths...

s are typically used for industrial purposes rather than fabric production or decoration. Silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 is a natural filament, and synthetic filament yarns are used to produce silk-like effects.

Texturized yarns are made by a process of air texturizing (sometimes referred to as taslanizing
Taslanizing
Taslanizing or the Taslan process, is the copyrighted trade name for air textured yarns. In German the word is Luftex. The process is simply feeding a bundle of continuous filament yarns into a small jet nozzle with various amounts of slack...

), which combines multiple filament yarns into a yarn with some of the characteristics of spun yarns.

Color

Yarn may be used undyed, or may be colored with natural
Natural dye
Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources – roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood — and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens....

 or artificial dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

s. Most yarns have a single uniform hue, but there is also a wide selection of variegated yarns:
  • heathered or tweed: yarn with flecks of different colored fiber
  • ombre: variegated yarn with light and dark shades of a single hue
  • multi-colored: variegated yarn with two or more distinct hues (a "parrot colorway" might have green, yellow and red)
  • self-striping: yarn dyed with lengths of color that will automatically create stripes in a knitted or crocheted object
  • marled: yarn made from strands of different-colored yarn twisted together, sometimes in closely related hues

Measurement

Yarn quantities are usually measured by weight in ounces or grams. In the United States, Canada and Europe, balls of yarn for handcrafts are sold by weight. Common sizes include 25g, 50g, and 100g skeins. Some companies also primarily measure in ounces with common sizes being three-ounce
Ounce
The ounce is a unit of mass with several definitions, the most commonly used of which are equal to approximately 28 grams. The ounce is used in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of the imperial and United States customary systems...

, four-ounce, six-ounce, and eight-ounce skeins. These measurements are taken at a standard temperature and humidity, because yarn can absorb moisture from the air. The actual length of the yarn contained in a ball or skein can vary due to the inherent heaviness of the fibre and the thickness of the strand; for instance, a 50 g skein of lace weight mohair may contain several hundred metres, while a 50g skein of bulky wool may contain only 60 metres.

There are several thicknesses of yarn, also referred to as weight. This is not to be confused with the measurement and/or weight listed above. The Craft Yarn Council of America is making an effort to promote a standardized industry system for measuring this, numbering the weights from 1 (finest) to 6 (heaviest). Some of the names for the various weights of yarn from finest to thickest are called lace, fingering, sport, double-knit (or DK), worsted, aran (or heavy worsted), bulky, and super-bulky. This naming convention is more descriptive than precise; fibre artists disagree about where on the continuum each lies, and the precise relationships between the sizes.

A more precise measurement of yarn weight, often used by weavers, is wraps per inch (wpi). The yarn is wrapped snugly around a ruler and the number of wraps that fit in an inch are counted.

Labels on yarn for handicrafts often include information on gauge
Gauge (knitting)
In knitting, the word gauge is used both in hand knitting and machine knitting; the latter, technical abbreviation GG, refers to "Knitting Machines" fineness size. In both cases, the term refers to the number of stitches per inch, not the size of the finished garment...

, known in the UK as tension, which is a measurement of how many stitches and rows are produced per inch or per cm on a specified size of knitting needle or crochet hook. The proposed standardization uses a four-by-four inch/ten-by-ten cm knitted or crocheted square, with the resultant number of stitches across and rows high made by the suggested tools on the label to determine the gauge.

In Europe textile engineers often use the unit tex, which is the weight in grams of a kilometre of yarn, or decitex, which is a finer measurement corresponding to the weight in grams of 10 km of yarn. Many other units have been used over time by different industries.

Some yarn retail stores try to help the customer choose yarn by attaching a sample knitted square to the shelf holding each display of a particular weight of yarn, sometimes provided by the manufacturer. These samples are knit in the industry standard four-by-four inch / ten-by-ten centimetre gauge. Samples help the buyer by showing them the texture and thickness of the finished knit fabric.

See also

  • Crochet thread
    Crochet thread
    Crochet thread is specially formulated thread usually made from mercerized cotton for crafting decorative crochet items such as doilies or filet crochet...

  • Dye lot
    Dye lot
    A dye lot is a record taken during the dyeing of yarn to identify yarn that received its coloration in the same vat at the same time. Yarn manufacturers assign each lot a unique identification number and stamp it on the label before shipping...

  • Electrically conducting yarn
    Electrically conducting yarn
    An electrically conducting yarn is yarn that conducts electricity. Conducting yarns are used to manufacture carpets and other items that dissipate static electricity, such as work clothes in highly flammable environments, e.g., in the petrochemistry industry....

  • Embroidery thread
    Embroidery thread
    Embroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework.Threads for hand embroidery include:...

  • ISO 2
    ISO 2
    ISO 2 is an international standard for direction of twist designation for yarns, complex yarns, slivers, slubbings, rovings, cordage, and related products. The standard uses capital letters S and Z to indicate the direction of twist...

  • List of novelty yarns
  • List of yarns for crochet and knitting
  • Textile manufacturing
    Textile manufacturing
    Textile manufacturing is a major industry. It is based in the conversion of three types of fibre into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. These are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. Cotton remains the most important natural fibre, so is treated in depth...

  • Yarn bombing
    Yarn bombing
    Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk.-Method and motivation:...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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