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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. Does your next crochet project involve cotton?  Then let’s learn to love cotton, yarn friends!

cotton yarn comparison

Comprehensive Cotton Yarn Comparison

Cotton yarn can be used in crochet or knitting and be transformed into pretty much any household item. This could be kitchen accessories, such dishcloths or washcloths, a set of coasters, water bottle carriers, home décor, trivets, placemats, baby bibs, or market bags among others.

As far as brands go, you’ve got Dishie cotton, 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 24/7 Cotton, Lion Brand Pima Cotton, and Premier cotton among others.

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 garments; said egg apron, and other kitchen items.

It breathes… unlike acrylic yarn.

It softens after repeated washing.

It is durable.

Unlike acrylic yarn, 100% cotton does not melt. For this reason, cotton is recommended for anything that will be in contact with heat, such as a hot pad or microwave bowl cozy.

how to crochet a microwave bowl cozy

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?

Most of it is the texture. Most widely available brands of cotton yarn have a very similar texture and thickness. Most are worsted weight and a bit rough to the touch. Peaches and Creme, Sugar and Cream, Crafter’s Secret, and Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn skeins all feel very similar to each other.

For softness you’ll want either the Dishie cotton from WeCrochet, which has a great sheen and very soft texture, or the I Love this Cotton from Hobby Lobby. Bernat Softee Baby is also a good option but is a bit thinner weight.

The difference is that the I Love This Cotton tends to shed badly even while you’re working with it, and will start to pill (form small balls with use). I have never had an issue with this happening when using Dishie yarn.

All about cotton yarn comparison

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. My favorite, Dishie, can only be found online.

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.

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 purchase online and choose in-store pickup.

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

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  1. My favourite for hats, dish & wash cloths is Sudz from Estelle Yarns. Sudz feels great to work with and is much softer than other more widely available crafting cottons ie: Bernat, Loops & Threads, Universal Yarns Clean Cotton or even Lily Sugar'n Cream; far less "splitty" while hooking too! Sudz have a wide range of colour options from solid, stripes, ombre, speckled and tonal. My only quip with Sudz is that their bigger 200 g balls aren't available in near as many colours and will sometimes have a few joiners.
  2. I’m a very new crocheter so I’m still learning stitches and stitching squares. However, I’m a knitter and I love Rowan cotton yarns: Rowan DK, Rowan Summerlite DK and Rowan Summerlite fingering. These yarns will only be found in a yarn shop or online but they knit up into beautiful, soft, wearable sweaters, shawls and scarves. I have a lot of Rowan cotton yarns and although so I’ve only made some single crochet and half double crochet squares with it, along with making samples using a lot of my wool yarns and trying out some acrylic yarns, I’m happy with my little squares. Stitch definition is beautiful.
  3. I have a pattern for a top which is crocheted in mercerized cotton but its do expensive!! I was hoping this site could give me a comparable yarn. Can you recommend something?
  4. I noticed that you mentioned Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton, but I thought it strange that with all the cotton yarns you did mention, you said nothing about Lion Brand 24/7. It is hands down my favorite yarn to work with. I enjoy making small items such as potholders, hot pads, trivets, pan handle covers, eyeglass cases, coffee cup holders, etc., etc., etc. Lion Brand 24/7 yarn is 100% mercerized cotton, Medium 4. Solid colors come in 3.5 oz/186 yard skeins. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend that you do. I'm sorry your "Leave a Reply" area does not allow for uploading a photo. I would love to show you items I've made from free and purchased patterns. Kitchen gifts I've given made from 24/7 are always a hit.
  5. I adore Sugar & Cream, and Peaches n Creme the best. I just returned a cone of Premier cotton yarn to Amazon because it's impossible to crochet with. Not only is it thinner than the other brands, but the individual strands making up the yarn don't stay together and I'm constantly redoing stitches to catch the individual threads. Maddening...
  6. I use both peaches and cream cotton yarn and sugar and cream cotton yarn. Peaches and cream cotton yarn comes in a larger size of skein. Sugar and cream cotton yarn comes in more colors. Also Dollar general and Dollar tree have cotton yarn in limited colors.
  7. how well does cotton yarn withstand cleaners such as bleach and lysol? looking at making some mask "ear savers" that nurses/doctors/whomever can hook the mask elastics on and it goes on the back of the head, bypassing the ears. Have been asked how the yarn would hold up to daily being washed with bleach, in hot water, soaked in lysol strength cleaners.
    1. Hi, Amy, I live in Aust. I have been making ear savers for the past 8 months for our hospitals. I have been using cotton yarn from our own woolen mills. Bendigo Woolen Mills. I have tried several other, and sometimes expensive brands, both in quality and price, but found this cotton to be the best for me. It is fantastic to wash in anything I use, bleach is something it gets at least every 2nd-3rd day, the hospital laundry also tells me they have no problems. This cotton comes in 2oogm balls, it costs around $12-14.AU. If you just google Bendigo Woolen Mills, you get all the info you need. Hope this helps in some way, Edith from AU. P.S. you can write to me if you like
    2. Hi, Ashlea. I was making some cup cozies, and used various cottons, both for absorbency and ironing on patches. I came across some Lion Brans Baby Organic Cotton on clearance. It worked up the nicest and cleanest of all. The Premier Just Cotton ones I made looked cheap in comparison. Caveat crocheter: it's thinner 2 weight , so it took longer, but the results were worth it. Looked 10x prettier and much more professional than other cotton yarns. Premier Just Cotton for $1.25 works well for most cotton household items. Thanks for publishing your comparison.
  8. I notice yarn sites out of the States identify their cotton yarn as, for example, 8/2, 8/4, 8/8 etc. How does this compare to our cotton yarn? I mostly use 24/7, I Love This Cotton and Sugar n Cream, but I've seen some tempting offers from Hobbii.
    1. 8/8 is DK. I shop Hobbii from Denmark and it is hard to find worsted weight cotton. There’s a lot of fingering and sport (2) or 8/4. It’s a lot cooler there than where I am in California. And like here, knitting is more popular.
  9. I made a baby afghan from the I Love This Cotton. It worked up beautifully and is super soft but after two washings it looked five years old because the colors faded. But it is lovely soft yarn. I make a lot of dishcloths and potholders and mainly use Sugar & Cream or Peaches & Cream. The Premier is pretty but I don’t want a blend. I really enjoyed your article. It was very informative.
  10. Have you tried the milk cotton yet? Wondering it's texture. I want to make a baby sunhat, but it sounds like the colors bleed with the hobby lobby ILTC. Recommendations? Thank you.
  11. I find crochet dishcloths made from Sugar and Cream are not as absorbent as I would like. Is there a treatment that will improve them? I already avoid fabric softeners.
  12. I think you're comparing 100% cotton and cotton blended with acrylic or polyester yarns. All the Premier cotton yarns I'm aware of have synthetic fiber in them. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know!
    1. It's fuzzy & you may find some small fibers transfer to your clothes kinda like dog or cat hair.
  13. Thank you for the info! Good to know mercerized cotton is best for swimsuit cover ups. I found your blog post because I am researching which cotton is best for baby washcloths. Sugar'n Cream is my go-to for kitchen cloths, was wondering if there was something a little softer, but not I Love This Cotton! because I don't care for the way it feels when it's wet. I bought some Crafter's Secret today - good to know it's comparable to S'n C!
  14. I believe, unless something’s changed recently, the Canadian company that makes Sugar and Cream bought the US company that made Peaches and Creme several years ago, and these two yarns are now essentially the same product packaged under different names. At least that is the information I came across when hunting for cotton yarn options (Peaches and Creme is the only cotton yarn carried at my local Walmart, and I was trying to see if driving across town to the Hobby Lobby for the more well-known Sugar and Cream was worth it. I guess I assumed the Peaches was a more generic version of Sugar ... not the case, as I found out.)
  15. While the 'I Love This Cotton' was soft, I found that the dye came out easily. Not a happy thing when you wash them and the dye comes off and onto your other items.
    1. I had that same problem with the one skein I bought. I made a dishcloth with it and it turns my water blue every time. I don't use it anymore. I am new to cotton yarn. I bought some last year to play with. I liked the softness of I Love This Cotton, but the peaches and cream were more practical for t by e dishcloths.
  16. I am currently making Sophie’s Universe with “I Love This Cotton” and was thinking the same thing...is this really cotton or acrylic?!? It sure feels and behaves just like acrylic yarn! It is so soft! I hope it doesn’t shed/pill too much as a blanket!
  17. Hard to find LB's Kitchen Cotton in more than a few colors anymore. I am thinking like its predecessor, its been or being discontinued. Meanwhile, someone has asked me for some trivets and I want them colorful as the ones that made her ask - so off I go looking for a substitute for the LB Kitchen Cotton. I think its going to have to be the HL Crafter's Secret (and its on sail through 5/19) but I hope to find in-store the full variety of solids. Otherwise, I'm going to have to shop online and pay postage. Anyhow, thanks for the comparison. You've quite helped me with this pickle~!
  18. Have you ever tried the Herrschners cotton yarn? I have debated on getting some but haven't yet if I can buy similar in the store
  19. This was very interesting and informative and I really enjoyed it, but one thing I need to correct..... Hobby Lobby also carries Sugar and Cream spools and Sinfonia which is a mercerized cotton and has VERY bright colors, very pretty. I have crocheted with Sinfonia and made dishcloths which work good!! I really like working with Hobby Lobby's Crafters Secret also.
  20. Since pretty much anything I use has to be ordered online postage factors in heavily to the cost. I haven't been able to try the brands you have listed yet although the Lions Brand one would be easier for me to access from your list. I have been using Scheepjes Cotton 8 with my Sophie and am quite happy with it although it does tend to split while crocheting.