What is Weaving Yarn?

Christine Hudson

Weaving yarn is traditionally used in loom weaving and tends to be more durable than knitting yarn. It is typically used for weaving rugs and tapestries rather than garments because it is thicker and not as soft as knitting yarn. Traditionally, this yarn was made of animal fur or wool, but modern yarn can also be made of cotton, synthetic fibers, and blends.

Weaving yarn is used for loom weaving.
Weaving yarn is used for loom weaving.

The art of weaving has been used for thousands of years in many forms. Fur, wool and other animal fibers may have been used for clothing, art, or even home construction. Grasses, weeds, and flexible wood may have been used to weave armor, rugs, and baskets for carrying supplies. Today, the art of weaving is continued both for utilitarian and artful reasons.

Weaving yarn is used to weave tapestries, rugs and blankets.
Weaving yarn is used to weave tapestries, rugs and blankets.

Weaving yarn is generally made to be less stretchy than knitting yarn. When knitting a garment, the goal is generally to have a n item that hangs and moves with the person wearing and stretches to fit correctly in some areas. Weaving a rug, blanket, or poncho typically requires the finished product to be a bit stiff. Stretchy yarn might warp the end design or cause a rug to deteriorate faster. Weaving yarn may be more loosely woven than many knitting yarns as well.

Some weaving projects may require a yarn which is a bit softer. A woven skirt is usually more comfortable when soft fibers are used as opposed to coarse ones. Many choose to use knitting yarn for these types of projects; however, weaving yarn has adapted and is now available in hundreds of fibers and colors. Most often, weaving yarn will come in cones or spools that are larger than knitting yarn, which keeps the need to switch spools midway through projects to a minimum.

Weaving yarn is available from many companies and is generally very easy to find and purchase. Almost any color and fiber can be found to create the perfect pattern, and there are even weaving yarns which are made to look like real fur. Other types of weaving yarn called “eyelash” have strings of fiber sticking out from one main thread that when woven create a very fuzzy and soft feel. Some weaving yarn is also available un-dyed, allowing the weaver to dye it whatever color she wishes or to simply use it in its natural form.

Weaving yarn is usually more durable than knitting yarn.
Weaving yarn is usually more durable than knitting yarn.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- I like cotton blend yarns for rug weaving. It has a nice, soft texture so it is easy to use, but it is also durable and attractive.


@raynbow- I have used both types of yarn for weaving, and I definitely prefer cotton yarn for rugs. I think that it is very durable and more affordable than wool yarn. I also like the vibrant colors of cotton yarn, and the fact that the finished woven items you make with it are easy to clean.

Though I think cotton yarn is best to use for a woven rug, you shouldn't rule out wool yarn for other types of weaving projects. Clothing, blankets, and accessories made of wool yarn are lasting and beautiful, not to mention very warm to wear.


Does anyone have some suggestions about which is the best type of weaving yarn to make a rug? I'm debating between wool and cotton yarn, and I want to use the kind that is the most durable and will last the longest.

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