Have you worked with acrylic yarn? Do you love it or hate it? Many people have a strong opinion about the man-made material. If you have researched acrylic knitting yarn before, you have seen people are very steadfast in their opinion.
Just as with everything, there are pros and cons to acrylic knitting yarn. To learn more about these and other facts about this yarn, continue reading. I hope my article gives you a better understanding of acrylic knitting yarn.
What is Acrylic Yarn
Acrylic knitting yarn is a manmade yarn. The fibres are made from petroleum based products. The chemicals in the petroleum are specially treated. This process creates polymers. The polymers are then formed into long fibre threads.
What Types of Projects Can You Make with Acrylic Yarn?
Acrylic yarn is very versatile. You can use it for almost any type of project. However, if the item you are making will be exposed to heat, do not use this yarn.
The most common project you can use acrylic knitting yarn for are:
What Are the Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn?
Acrylic knitting yarn has many advantages. Continue reading below to learn more about the advantages of knitting with acrylic yarn.
This yarn is cheaper than yarn made with natural fibres. Since it is cheaper, you can knit larger projects at a fraction of the cost of natural fibre.
It is also great for beginners who are just learning how to knit. Since we all make mistakes when we are learning, we inevitably throw away a lot of yarn scraps and ruined projects.
- Large Colour Selection
There is an unlimited colour selection. If you can picture the colour, you can find it. If you are unable to purchase it near you, you can even dye the yarn to the colour you desire.
There are a lot of people who are allergic to natural fibres. Since acrylic knitting yarn is made from synthetic fibres, it is the ideal choice for anyone allergic to other types of wool.
This yarn fibres were designed to last. They are extremely durable, making a great choice for a wide variety of projects. The projects you make with this yarn will last for years.
- It is Easy to Clean
Natural fibres require specialised cleaning. There are many people that will not follow these directions, in turn, ruining the item they are washing. This yarn is not as sensitive as cotton or wool. Most projects can be washed in a standard washing machine without experiencing shrinking or shedding.
The yarn does not weigh as much as natural fibres. This makes a favourite choice for knitting large blankets.
- Easy to Work With
When you work with natural fibres, the fuzziness of the yarn can make it difficult to see your stitches. Acrylic knitting yarn is easier to work with since the stitches are easily visible.
- Widely Available
If you are looking for a special type of cotton or wool yarn, it can sometimes be very difficult to find. Acrylic knitting yarn, on the other hand, is widely available. You can often find it in craft stores as well as big box stores.
- Dries Quickly
Natural fibres absorb a lot of water. This can lead to long drying times. And if an item is put away wet, it can lead to mould growth and a musty smell. The yarn will absorb some water, but not as much leading to quicker drying times.
- Resistant to Moths
Moths can lay eggs on natural fibres. When they hatch, the larva can eat the yarn. Moth larva cannot digest acrylic knitting yarn, so moths will leave your yarn projects alone.
What are the Disadvantages of Using Acrylic Yarn?
Although this yarn has a lot of advantages, there are some disadvantages. They are:
- Do Not Hold in Warmth
Acrylic knitting yarn is warm to a point, but it does not hold heat in like wool cotton. It can be used for cold weather projects. Nevertheless, they will not be as cold weather friendly as natural fibres.
- It Can Melt
The manmade fibres used to make acrylic yarn are highly flammable. So, projects that will be exposed to heat should not be made with this yarn. When the fibres melt, they can cause serious burns. If you are making a sweater for yourself or someone else, it is important that it should not be worn near an open fire.
- Negative Environmental Impact
This yarn is made from petroleum based products. The process of making the yarn has a negative impact on the environment. And when the product is disposed of, it will sit in a landfill for ages since it is not biodegradable or recyclable.
- Is Not as Soft
Projects knitted with this yarn are not as soft as projects made using natural fibre yarn. For some people, the feel of the yarn will make sweaters and other articles of clothing uncomfortable to wear.
- Can Trap Smells
Acrylic knitting yarns cannot breathe. This causes the fibres to trap sweat and odours. This can make acrylic knitting yarn a bad choice for making sweaters.
What Are the Most Common Myths About Acrylic Knitting Yarn?
There are a lot of crafters that have very strong feelings about the type of yarn they use. If they are not a fan of this yarn, you may hear them say:
- Acrylic Knitting Yarn is Itchy
In some cases, this may be true. However, there are many premium acrylic knitting yarn choices that are soft. You can also find acrylic blends.
- Acrylic knitting yarn is Toxic
Although this yarn is made from petroleum based products, it is completely safe to wear and use. But it can melt. So, it should not be used around open flames.
- You Cannot Dye It
One argument people have against acrylic knitting yarn is you cannot dye it. That is not true. You can easily dye acrylic knitting yarn with disperse dye.
- It Pills
Pilling is not a good argument. All yarns can pill, even anti-pilling yarn. You can buy anti-pilling acrylic knitting yarn that will produce less pilling.
- It Cannot Be Felted
This is another common myth. But just like the others, it is not true. This yarn can be felted. It just takes more time and patience. If you want to felt an acrylic knitting yarn project, we would recommend using an acrylic blend to make the process easier.
What are Acrylic Yarn Blends
Acrylic blends are popular among knitters and crocheters alike. The yarn is made using a combination of acrylic fibres and natural fibres. This gives you the best of both worlds.
You can find acrylic blends made with acrylic and wool, as well as acrylic and cotton. A lot of crafters love wool blended acrylic knitting yarn because it is not as rough and itchy as 100% wool. If you are looking for a yarn that is soft and flexible, try a cotton blend.
After reading this guide, you might be interested in using an acrylic yarn for your next project
There are a lot of people who will only use acrylic knitting yarn. It is cheap, soft, lightweight, and widely available. The projects made with this yarn are durable and will last. Years ago, acrylic knitting yarn might not have been the best choice. However, over the years, technology has greatly improved the look and feel of acrylic knitting yarn.
I hope my guide regarding the pros and cons of acrylic knitting yarn has helped you have a better understanding of the yarn. It has gotten a bad rap over the years that it does not deserve. If you are looking for an economical way to create more projects, give acrylic yarn a try.