Acrylic yarn is made from synthetic, or human-made, fibers. It's 100% acrylic fiber, which means it has no natural animal hair or cotton materials. Like other yarns, acrylic is formed into a continuous piece and wrapped into a ball, or skein, for sale for use in knitting, crochet, rug making, and other craft projects. Unlike natural fiber yarns, such as cotton, silk, bamboo and wool, acrylic varieties aren't spun, but rather are twisted into long lengths.
Some acrylic yarns can be rather rough and scratchy. This is in contrast to the lighter, softer, airier natural yarns — especially the kinds made from hand or machine-spun animal hair. Other acrylics are made to be more like the soft, natural varieties, but they still don't have their elegant, expensive look. The appearance of the yarn can rarely be mistaken for natural types, although sophisticated, softer textures and colors help make acrylics look more genuine.
A strong benefit of using this type of yarn is that people with allergies to wool or natural materials can still wear knitted garments. It's also a very inexpensive material that's ideal for beginners to practice with and make simple, durable project items. Acrylic yarns are often sold in economical large balls big enough to knit or crochet a sweater or afghan blanket, although smaller balls are also sold. Some yarns don't stay flat when knitted or crocheted due to the rough, twisted texture of the synthetic materials.
This yarn is available in colors from subdued to bright and natural to multi-colored. There are shades to fit every taste and project. Fun, bright yarn colors make great, durable kids' crocheted or knitted sweaters. Neutral or natural colors, such as browns and grays, can be used to make rustic, rugged blankets.
Knitting needles and yarn.
Designer colors, such as muted mauves or variegated balls of assorted shades, can be knitted or crocheted into blankets, pillows, scarves, hats, sweaters, and many other pieces. Scraps of acrylic yarns leftover from projects can be made into dishcloths or be used by children to create simple crafts. The yarn's relatively low cost and versatility makes it a popular seller in craft stores, and even some grocery stores that don't normally carry yarn sell some varieties. Acrylics are sold in different weights, or thicknesses, from fine baby and sock yarn to bulky or chunky varieties used to make rugs and heavy blankets.