Choosing The Right Cotton Yarn For Your Projects

This time of year, cotton and cotton blends are often the go-to yarn of choice for many knitters – knitting or crocheting a lap full of wool in warm weather is not pleasant! However, swapping out a cotton yarn for wool isn’t as simple as it sounds. Cotton yarns have unique characteristics and properties that make it perfect for some, but not all, projects. I’ve put together some info and a list of of what kind of projects we recommend for our plant-based rockstars.

Colorful cotton yarns from Knit Picks

First, a brief overview of cotton yarn. Cotton is a strong, durable, and machine-washable fiber. It’s a great vegan fiber choice to use for people with wool sensitivities; plus, it’s wonderful for next-to-skin wear during warmer months. Because cotton is an inelastic fiber, it can be harder on the hands for some people; I recommend cotton blends because they’re easier to knit or crochet with. Cotton’s inelastic nature can also make difficult to use for cables or in color work projects; however textured stitches will show up beautifully!

And now, let’s talk about our yarns!

Yarn: Dishie
Weight: Worsted – Solid and Multi
Fiber content: 100% cotton
Details: Dishie is our classic, no-nonsense cotton yarn, now available in Solid and Multi colors. With a tight spin and high absorbency, it’s perfect for household and kids items that will be washed a lot, as well as for reusable market bags. It can also be used for easy care garments and accessories; however, because it is a heavier, slightly rougher yarn, a different yarn like Comfy or Shine may be a better choice for garments. Dishie is available in 190 yard skeins as well as in extra large Dishie Cones with 760 yards.
Recommended Projects: Dishcloths, towels, home decor, market bags, toys, bibs, children clothes.
Dishie Patterns

Yarn: Curio
Weight: Thread/Lace
Fiber Content: 100% Mercerized Cotton
Details: Curio is our crochet thread, but it can also be used for knit projects as well. Mercerized cotton gives Curio its lustrous shine and strength, making it perfect for beautiful and elegant home decor. It’s also wonderful for wearable lace work accessories and garments, with its crisp stitch definition.
Recommended Projects: Doilies, coasters, tablecloths, curtains, lace shawls, scarves, cowls, light garments.
Curio Patterns

Yarn: Comfy and Comfy Color Mist
Weight: Fingering , Worsted, and Color Mist Worsted
Fiber Content: 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic
Details: Pima cotton is extremely soft, durable and perfect for all sorts of next-to-skin projects. The small amount of acrylic in Comfy adds a bit of elasticity, which makes it easier to work with in both knitting and crochet. It’s perfect for kid items and warm weather wear since it is a breathable and easy care yarn. Comfy is also great for bath and spa items – anywhere you need a bit of softness. The colorful Color Mist variation is in a larger hank, perfect for garments and blankets (less ends to weave in!).
Recommended Projects: Baby and children’s garments and accessories, toys, adult garments and accessories, spa/wash cloths, home decor, blankets/afghans.
Comfy Fingering Patterns
Comfy Worsted Patterns
Comfy Color Mist Patterns

Yarn: Shine
Weight: Sport and Worsted.
Fiber Content: 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal®.
Details: Modal® is a fine, smooth fiber made from beech trees – the wood is turned into pulp and then reconstituted so that it can be spun into yarn. These fibers are extremely smooth and soft, and blending them with cotton helps the yarn to stay soft and vibrantly colored. Our Shine yarn is cool and drapey with bright cheerful colors and is perfect for next-to-skin wear for both children and adults.
Recommended Projects: Baby and children garments and accessories, toys, adult garments and accessories, spa/wash cloths, home decor, blankets/afghans.
Shine Sport Patterns
Shine Worsted Patterns

Yarn: CotLin and CotLin Reflections
Weight: DK.
Fiber Content: 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen
Details: Blending linen with cotton gives our lightweight CotLin yarn extra strength and softness. Each time your project is washed, it will only get softer, which makes it wonderful for kitchen and bath accessories, as well as for garments for kids and adults. CotLin Reflections is available in a 100g hank with unique dye effects, perfect for lightweight summer scarves and shawls.
Recommended Projects: Spa/wash cloths, hand towels, curtains, home decor, baby and children garments and accessories, toys, adult garments and accessories.
CotLin Patterns
CotLin Reflections Patterns

Yarn: Lindy Chain
Weight: Fingering.
Fiber Content: 70% Linen, 30% Pima Cotton.
Details: The construction of a chainette yarn makes it lightweight, while giving your projects a wonderful sheen and crisp stitch definition. Lindy Chain is perfect for warm weather because of this reason, and with the high linen content, the projects will be softer and drapier overtime. Hand washing is recommended for Lindy Chain projects, due to the delicate nature of the yarn.
Recommended Projects: lightweight scarves and light accessories, shawls, tanks, t-shirts, shrugs, sleeveless tops.
Lindy Chain patterns.

Yarn: Billow
Weight: Bulky
Fiber Content: 100% Pima Cotton.
Details: Billow is a super soft thick and thin yarn, made up of 8 piles of of pima cotton, creating a texture that is both rustic and modern. Since it’s a bulky weight yarn, your projects will work up quick and will be perfect for those with sensitive skin. Hand washing is recommended for Billow projects, due to the delicate nature of the yarn.
Recommended Projects: Cowls, wraps, afghans, blankets, pullovers, cardigans, tees, and tanks.
Billow Patterns.

Yarn: Snuggle Puff
Weight: Heavy Worsted/Aran
Fiber Content: 70% Pima Cotton / 30% Nylon.
Details: The name says it all! This yarn is made to be snuggled, with a unique yarn construction of Pima cotton fibers blown into a nylon tube, creating a lightweight and lofty yarn. While it is excellent for baby hats and blankets as well as cuddly toys, it’s also perfect for chemo caps and other wool free accessories for anyone with extra sensitive skin.
Recommended Projects: Baby and children garments and accessories, toys, adult accessories
Snuggle Puff Patterns.

Have further questions about cotton yarns? Leave a comment below!


7 comments

  1. Bren / August 20, 2019 / Reply

    What exactly is Pima Cotton? I read it every where as prefix to cotton.

    • Stacey / August 21, 2019 / Reply

      Hello! Pima cotton is actually type of cotton with a longer fiber than conventional cotton, which makes it super soft. So you’ll certainly see it called out when it’s in a product or a yarn. Think of it similar to merino vs wool.

  2. Pamela / August 20, 2019 / Reply

    Curio is also great for small crocheted amigurumi projects. I would love to see more colors of this!!

    • Stacey / August 21, 2019 / Reply

      Stay tuned! 😊

  3. Savannagal / August 22, 2019 / Reply

    This is a very useful article. Thanks for all the great details and the links to patterns.

  4. Nadine / August 27, 2019 / Reply

    Which cotton is best for hot pads or potholder? Thank you.

    • Stacey / August 27, 2019 / Reply

      i would certainly stick with 100% cotton yarns like Dishie, since acrylic and nylon can melt in high heat. I’d also suggest making it double or triple thick to make sure it’ll protect your hands! You can also use cotton batting or other heat resistant fabric inside your potholders for extra protections.