How to Read a Yarn Label

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When you’re a beginner, wanting to pick out yarn for that new project you’re wanting to tackle, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or confused by all the choices available. You pick up a pretty yarn and turn it over to look at the label and you have no idea what any of that means. What does that number on the yarn ball mean? What the heck are those little squares with the needles on them? It may not seem overly important at the time, especially if you’re just buying the yarn based on it’s squish-factor but that label has a lot of important info on it that you’ll need. Here I’ll walk you through how to read a yarn label so next time you go yarn shopping, you can easily determine what that label is trying to tell you and whether it’s the yarn you need.

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Here is a yarn label I have from a skein of Bernat Blanket yarn.

How to Read a Yarn Label - Make sure you're buying the right yarn for your next project!#yarnlabel #crochet #beginnercrochet #howto #interpretyarnlabel #howtocrochet
  1. Weight: Whenever you see this symbol, it indicates what the weight of the yarn is. Yarn weight standards are determined by the Craft Yarn Council. You can check out their standards system HERE. This particular yarn is a super bulky weight yarn.
  2. Knitting Gauge: This symbols shows the knitting gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by knitting 8 stitches by 14 rows using 8mm needles.
  3. Crochet Gauge: This symbol shows crochet gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by crocheting 6 single crochets stitches for 8 rows. The gauge information is helpful if you are considering substituting a yarn for your project. If the gauge on the yarn you want to use matches the gauge of the yarn the project calls for, generally, you should be able to use that yarn for your project.
  4. Washing Information: If you’re spending that time to create something, you’ll want to take care of it. The label includes information about how to care for your finished item made from the yarn. Symbol a) means that items are machine washable in cold water. Symbol b) means do not use bleach. Symbol c) means you can tumble dry this item on low heat (bonus!) Symbol d) means do not iron. Symbol e) means do not dry clean. You can get the list of what all the washing instruction symbols mean here at the Craft Yarn Council Website.
  5. Material(s): This tells you what the yarn is comprised of. In this case, 100% polyester. Some yarns are made of a blend of multiple fibers and how much of each fibre is used to make up the content will be listed here. I.e. 20% merino wool, 60% acrylic, 20% nylon.
  6. Net Weight, Yards/Meters: Here you’ll find how much yarn is in the skein. This information is vital. If your project needs 800 yards of Bernat Blanket yarn, you are going to need to make sure you buy enough yarn for your project. This skein has 220 yards of yarn in it so I would need to by 4 skeins in order to have enough for my project.

I hope this helps you decipher your yarn labels! Happy yarn shopping!

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2 thoughts on “How to Read a Yarn Label”

    • Some yarn labels do not include a dye lot number as they are improving their manufacturing processes and there are little to no variations in dye runs. The location of the dye lot information also varies from label to label. Usually, if there is a dye lot, the work “lot” will appear before the number. I will endeavour to find a yarn label with dye lot information on it to update this post in the future.


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