Cotton Yarn.. Facts & Differences


Being a Huge fan of Mother Earth & all she can give us.. Cotton is my most go to yarn.

There is so many options now for cotton yarn and I know I only have a few. Maybe if I win the lottery I can collect all the brands out there 🙂 I have a Few that are my favorite… so far.

Peaches & Cream, Sugar ‘N Cream, I Love This Cotton, Omega’s Sinfonia, Lion Brands 24/7 Cotton & BonBons. Why?? so many Brands?? Cotton is Cotton right?? NO.. Well Not in my eyes its not.

Cotton can come in many varieties and believe it or not the variations can make a huge difference depending on the project you are doing.

There is 2 types of cotton… 100% Cotton & 100% Mercerized Cotton… Let is discuss these for a minute. 100% Cotton is the regular and most popular inexpensive cotton.

Sugar ‘N Cream –Found at most craft stores … Peaches & Cream– Found at Walmart  And Lion Brand’s BonBons — Found at Joann’s ….fall under this category.  These Cottons are great for Washcloth’s, Potholders, Face Scrubbies, Coasters, etc.

Now 100% Mercerized Cotton is your higher end cotton yarn.

Omega’s Sinfonia.. Found at Hobby Lobby and Lion Brand’s 24/7 cotton.. Found on the Site  falls under this range. These are great for Tops, Hats, Scarves, Etc

And then the mystery Cotton yarn… Though the label states it is 100% Cotton, it has the softness and vibrancy of Mercerized Cotton.This would be the Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton.

This Cotton dumbfounds me…  but as it has the soft feel of mercerized I use it for clothing items as well.

The size and texture of these 2 types of cotton vary….

100% Cotton… Usually comes in a wide range of Multi- Colored balls or cones but is more limited in solid colors. It is a medium weight (4) and most recommend 5mm hook. Lion Brand’s BonBons is so far the only cotton I have found in a lighter weight. BonBon’s are a Fine (2) recommending 3.75mm hook. This normal cotton is usually alittle on the rougher side but still kinda soft. It can be machine washed (cold) and cool dryer. However… I have my opinion on that.. later though 😉  Also be wary of color bleeding. I would recommended using the color catcher washer cloth’s or washing separately for first wash.

Mercerized Cotton… I do have to state that even though the original materials used in the process of making mercerized cotton is from Mother Earth … It has been modified by man. Mercerized is a process that Cotton yarn goes thru. They use Caustic Soda aka Sodium Hydroxide (which is Salt that has been put thru electrolysis process) to enable the cotton to absorb more dye, resist mildew and be stronger. Thus makes mercerized cotton have brighter colors, softer, withstand more washings and less color fade. It also seems to come in more weights than normal cotton.

Why did I segregate the 2 kinds?? I do ” tests” on most of the projects I make and due to these tests I have come to the conclusion that there is a difference in what you should consider using .. whether it be 100% Cotton, Mercerized Cotton, Acrylic, Wool, Alpaca. etc. Example..

When making Kitchen Items you need to consider what this item will do, What will it come in contact with, etc I would never use anything other than cotton for my kitchen. I have seen Acrylic melt as a potholder/hot-pad.

When making clothing type items you would want to pick soft, flowing type yarns. Most people won’t wear itchy apparel.

When making personal hygiene items you want to make sure they will perform to their best.  When I was experimenting with making shower/ bath pouf, I made one and Had a family member try it for awhile. The outcome was not what I expected. 🙂

When using cotton not everyone, including myself, don’t think about how the yarn will react. Cotton retains water, is slow to dry.. If not taking care of it properly it can mold, fall apart, shrink, etc. This is where the “dryer” comment I made earlier comes into play. Like any cotton.. it can shrink if a hot dryer is used. When washing and drying your cotton, wash on cold then either lay out, somewhere with adequate airflow or put in dryer on low heat til almost dry, remove, reform and lay out to finish drying. Washing and drying machine way can tweak or disfigure the shape of your item. Another thing I noticed is using the recommended hook size or smaller.. make too tight of a stitch, making dry time alot longer and could lead to molding. Make sure to hang after use (between washings) to keep mold and/or bacteria from forming. You could also use a larger hook or stitch with a looser design as to allow more airflow.

Now the Mercerized cotton doesn’t do the warping half as much as the normal cotton.. though depending on the item it can have alittle tweak. I would still recommend treating it the same as normal cotton.


100% Cotton

Great for kitchen items, Withstands higher heat, durable, practical, inexpensive and Natural 😉 Comes in many colors but tend to have more color choice in Multi than Solid. Must be taken care of properly to insure it does not mold or store bacteria if used for washing purposes. Can be used for practically any project.

100% Mercerized Cotton

Great for Clothing items, Softer, comes in more weights, Shiny, brighter fade resistant colors. Maintenance is easier but still recommend same care as normal cotton. Easier to find. Slight Con… Is treated with man made process.

til next post

Have a Great Weekend!!! ❤ 🙂


  1. Wow thanks for these tips! I never realized that there was such a difference! Thanks too for the heads up on acrylic potholders – I just made some – I will be very careful of not handling anything that is too hot with them. 😀


    1. Thank you so much 😊 I can’t remember what brand yarn it was.. but I watched my mothers melt and stick to her counter haha it was mashed potatoes pot right off the burner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh! That pot and counter must have been just awful to clean up! I actually haven’t even used my new potholders yet because I don’t want to get them dirty LOL! Maybe I should just hang them on the wall as Yarn Art and make some new ones to actually use. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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