Which Cotton? A Cotton Yarn Comparison for Crafters
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There are two types of fiber enthusiasts: those that love cotton yarn and those that hate (or at least don’t love) cotton yarn. I am a firm believer in giving new yarn at least two attempts to prove itself, and cotton can be allll over the place. Let’s learn to love cotton, yarn friends!
Cotton yarn can be transformed into pretty much any household item. This could be kitchen goods, such dishcloths or washcloths, a set of coasters, Scentsy travel tin holders for the car, water bottle carriers, pot holders, placemats, baby bibs, or market bags.
Shoot! You can even make a Cold Shoulder Cover Up using cotton yarn. 😉 And then wear your Egg-cellent Apron made using cotton to gather your eggs!
Cotton Yarn Comparison
As far as brands go, you’ve got your Peaches & Creme cotton, Sugar & Cream cotton (not the same as Peaches & Creme!), Crafter’s Secret cotton, I Love This Cotton!, Bernat cotton, Lion Brand’s Kitchen Cotton, and Premier cotton.
Red Heart has their own cotton as well but as far as I can tell one variety is discontinued and the other is only available online. (If you’ve seen this in-store recently let me know!)
Things we love about cotton yarn…
It is super absorbent. Which is why it works better than acrylic yarn for kitchen/bath use.
*note that cotton gets heavier and stronger when wet.
It does not stretch much. Which, incidentally, is why it works great for certain clothing; said egg apron, and other kitchen items.
It breathes. Unlike acrylic and/or bulky yarn.
It softens after repeated washing.
It is durable. While some brands are softer to work with than others, essentially all cotton yarn is durable and will stand up to repeated washing.
So what’s the difference between the cotton yarn brands?
Honestly? Not much. Most brands of cotton yarn have a very similar texture and thickness. I Love This Cotton and the Premier are the two exceptions. If given a blindfolded “feel” test I’m not sure I could tell the difference between the Bernat, Peaches & Creme, Sugar & Cream, Crafter’s Secret and the Lion Brand Kitchen yarn.
I would, however, absolutely be able to tell which was the I Love This Cotton and I’d be willing to gamble that I could pick out the Premier cotton as well. The Premier is a bit thinner/softer to the touch, and the I Love This Cotton is the softest of them all. I often wonder if it is actually cotton I’m working with.
Quite possibly the most important difference between these cotton yarn brands? The I Love This Cotton does “shed” more than the others.
These five cotton yarn brands are similarly priced per yard. The smaller skeins of Peaches & Creme and Sugar ‘n Cream are between $1.50 and $1.99 at most stores. The Bernat DeLux is only available at Joann (near me, anyway) and is $6.49 regular price. Note that the Bernat DeLux is double the size of the smaller skeins and Jo-Ann frequently has coupons/sales so it’s not as big of a difference in price as it may seem.
Cotton yarn selection
I have found that selection when it pertains to cotton yarn really depends on where you’re shopping. Jo-Ann typically has a large selection of cotton yarn, whereas Michaels has about two columns of bins. Hobby Lobby only carries their own two brands; Crafter’s Secret and I Love This Cotton.
The cotton yarn selection at Walmart can vary greatly from store to store. For instance, the Walmart nearest me has a very limited yarn selection, with cotton comprising about half. The Walmart about 10 minutes away, however, has just about every kind of yarn you could dream of – including a delicious assortment of cotton.
Cotton can also be mercerized! Mercerized cotton is a treated cotton yarn that therefore is not as absorbent, it is less likely to shrink in the event it gets wet and appears shinier to the eye. It keeps its shape extremely well which makes it the perfect yarn for the Aldi Quarter Keeper Keychain. Note that this mercerized cotton is not the same as mercerized cotton thread, which can be used for doilies or sun hats.
Remember too that if you can’t find a certain type of yarn at your store, check their website! Many times we can find ship-to-store with free pickup! Walmart has even started offering an additional discount on certain brands/varieties (and not just yarn!) if you order online and choose in-store pickup.
All in all, I find that most cotton yarns are very similar to one another, both in quality and in price per yard. As mentioned above, the most notable exception for me is the I Love This Cotton; it has a completely different texture than the other six brands I compared. I personally choose to use the I Love This Cotton for clothing only, and the other brands for any other pattern/design calling for cotton yarn.
Which cotton yarn is your favorite, and why?
More yarn comparisons and techniques:
The Difference in Bernat Pop! Yarn Cakes, Caron Cakes, Mandala and Sweet Rolls
Hobby Lobby’s NEW Sugarwheel Yarn Cakes: Comprehensive (Independent) Review
Caron Cakes vs Sweet Rolls: An Independent (and 100% Honest) Review
Caron Cupcakes, Caron Tea Cakes, Caron Big Cakes and Caron Sprinkle Cakes