We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Acrylic Yarn?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 19, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

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.

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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon303900 — On Nov 17, 2012

I actually made a scarf as well as an afghan with Loops and Threads Charisma yarn which is 100 percent acrylic; it is incredibly soft and warm! So yes you can totally use it for a blanket. You just have to get some that is soft to the touch before washing.

By anon241736 — On Jan 20, 2012

Is it okay to use acrylic yarn to crochet a blanket for a baby?

By anon133301 — On Dec 10, 2010

Acrylic yarn (such as Red Heart brand) can start out a bit rough, but the trick is to wash your project when it is complete. All of the clothes, hats, blankets and slippers I've made have become incredibly soft after a normal washing and drying cycle. I love that it won't shrink in the dryer!

By vogueknit17 — On Nov 08, 2010

@widget2010, I agree. Not all acrylics are of good quality. I personally really like blended acrylics, however; wool acrylic yarn is especially nice for sweaters and other garments that are soft and warm but still durable.

By widget2010 — On Nov 08, 2010

Not all acrylic knitting yarn is created equal. While I have used some kinds that were soft and durable yet also inexpensive and available in attractive colours, I have also come across brands which only came in neon or other unnatural shades, or that felt nothing like a natural soft yarn, making it seem a poor choice for knitting things that I want people to love.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.