How to read a yarn label

How to read a yarn label
2. September 2017 Knit Wit Company
In Tips & tricks

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Sådan læser du garnets banderole - Knit Wit Company

Just like you can find information about material, washing instructions and size on your clothes, you can find important information about the yarn on the yarn label – from fiber content to washing instructions. Because there’s important information (and a lot of it) on the label, we’ve made a quick guide for you, so you are able to brag with your mad label-reading skills in the future 🙂 Be aware, though, that the amount of information and placement of it on the label can differ from skein to skein.

Important information on the yarn label

1. Name and fiber content

The name of the yarn, which can be good to remember for future use, if you like the yarn. You can also see the exact fiber content – the same way you would on a piece of clothing.

2. Yarn weight

Most yarn is measured by the Craft Yarn Council of America’s Standard Weight system (read more about yarn weight here). In short, the system tells you which number the yarn is (thickness/weight). This information can be very helpful when replacing a yarn from a knitting pattern.

3. Gauge and knitting needle size

The gauge, which is shown on the label, can tell you a lot if you need to replace a yarn. The small square shows you how many rows and stitches there is on a 10×10 cm knitting sample knit in the given yarn. That way, you are able to test if you have the correct gauge by knitting a sample that’s 10×10 cm (in the specified needle size) and count rows and stitches.

If you need to replace yarn, then check how close you are to the given gauge. Perhaps you need to use a different size knitting needle to hit the mark.

Read more about how you choose knitting needles.

4. Washing instructions

Have you ever accidentally felted a sweater or placed a size L sweater in the washing machine and gotten a size 6 years out? Then you know how important washing instructions are – especially when working with all-natural fibers. The washing instructions are shown in the same manner that you would see in your clothes, but you will far more often see the handwashing symbol, since most wool fx can only be hand washed. Sometimes, however, you want to felt on purpose, and then you should disregard the instructions of course.

5. Color

On many labels, you will find a number that shows the dye lot. If you’ve almost knit an entire sweater, but need that last skein to finish, you will need to talk to your local yarn pusher, and tell them the dye lot so you can get the exact same color yarn. Even if two skeins look like they’re the same color, there is no certainty that they come from the same dye lot. The slightest variation can be seen in the transition.


TIP: Remember to save the yarn label, when you’ve finished the skein, or if you have a leftover. You might need the name, dye lot or other information that’s on the label. If you give the finished project as a gift, the receiver might want to know how to wash it.

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