Yarn


Yarn
This article is about the fibre product. For the type of joke, see Shaggy dog story.
Yarn
Spools of thread

Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing.[1] Embroidery threads are yarns specifically designed for hand or machine embroidery.

Contents

Structure

A Spinning Jenny, spinning machine which was significant in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
S- and Z-twist yarn

Spun yarn is made by twisting or otherwise bonding staple fibres together to make a cohesive thread, or "single."[2] Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic,[3] 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-polyester and wool-acrylic fibre blends. Blends of different natural fibres are common too, especially with more expensive fibres such as alpaca, angora and cashmere. Bamboo 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 and cotton yarns are 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) 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 monofilaments are typically used for industrial purposes rather than fabric production or decoration. Silk 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), 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 or artificial dyes. 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

A comparison of yarn weights (thicknesses): the top skein is aran weight, suitable for knitting a thick sweater or hat. The manufacturer's recommended knitting gauge appears on the label: 8 to 10 stitches per inch using size 4.5 to 5.1 mm needles. The bottom skein is sock weight, specifically for knitting socks. Recommended gauge: 5 to 7 stitches per inch, using size 3.6 to 4.2 mm needles. These yarns are manufactured in Japan and have variegated colours in a random-dyed pattern.
Spool of all purpose sewing thread, closeup shows texture of 2-ply Z-twist mercerized cotton with polyester core.
Yarn drying after being dyed in the early American tradition, at Conner Prairie living history museum.

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, 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).[4] 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, 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

self-striping yarn

Notes

  1. ^ Kadolph, Sara J., ed.: Textiles, 10th edition, Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2007, ISBN 0-13-118769-4, p. 203
  2. ^ Kadolph, Textiles, p. 197
  3. ^ Barber, Elizabeth Wayland: Women's Work:The First 20,000 Years, W. W. Norton, 1994, p. 44
  4. ^ Standards & Guidelines for Crochet & Knitting

External links

Cotton Yarn

Cotton Yarn Exporter


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • yarn — [yärn] n. [ME < OE gearn, yarn, akin to Ger garn < IE base * g̑her , intestine > L haru spex, soothsayer, lit., intestine seer, Gr chordē] 1. any fiber, as wool, silk, flax, cotton, nylon, glass, etc., spun into strands for weaving,… …   English World dictionary

  • Yarn — Yarn, n. [OE. yarn, [yogh]arn, AS. gearn; akin to D. garen, G., OHG., Icel., Sw., & Dan. garn; of uncertain origin. Cf. {Cord}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Spun wool; woolen thread; also, thread of other material, as of cotton, flax, hemp, or silk;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yarn — bezeichnet eine anglo amerikanische literarische Untergattung, die sich mit Seemannsgarn, urbaner Legende und Kurzgeschichte vergleichen lässt. Auch die teilweise veraltete Redeweise vom Garn spinnen gehört in diese Thematik. Das Yarn ist eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • yarn — (n.) O.E. gearn spun fiber, from P.Gmc. *garnan (Cf. O.N., O.H.G., Ger. garn, M.Du. gaern, Du. garen yarn ), from PIE root *ghere intestine, gut, entrail (Cf. O.N. gorn gut, Skt. hira vein; entrails, L. hernia …   Etymology dictionary

  • yarn — [ jarn ] noun * 1. ) uncount cotton, wool, or other fibers in the form of thick THREAD (=a substance like string): a ball of yarn 2. ) count INFORMAL a long story with a lot of exciting details spin (someone) a yarn to give someone a long… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • yarn — [ja:n US ja:rn] n [: Old English; Origin: gearn] 1.) [U] thick thread made of cotton or wool, which is used to ↑knit things 2.) informal a story of adventures, travels etc, usually made more exciting and interesting by adding things that never… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • yarn — yarn·er; yarn; …   English syllables

  • yarn — [n1] fiber for knitting cotton fiber, flaxen thread, fleece, spun wool, thread, twist, wool; concept 473 yarn [n2] story, often long and made up adventure, alibi, anecdote, fable, fabrication, fairy tale, lie, line, narrative, potboiler*, prose,… …   New thesaurus

  • yarn — ► NOUN 1) spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing. 2) informal a long or rambling story. ► VERB informal ▪ tell a yarn. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • yarn — index myth Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • yarn — tale, *story, narrative, anecdote …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.