Cotton yarn is very breathable, but also sturdy and absorbs water well. Next time you’re wondering what to crochet with cotton yarn, think breathable spring and summer items such as shawls or all-season blankets, as well as items that may get wet, such as swimsuits or towels. It’s also perfect for gifts for those with wool allergies.
Things to Crochet With Cotton Yarn
There are a huge number of things that can be crocheted with cotton yarn, as it’s unique properties make it ideal for a wide range of projects. Here’s a few of the more popular items.
Cotton yarn absorbs water well, and it also stands up to a lot of use, so it is ideal for a number of everyday house hold items.
The number one item for cotton yarn is dishcloths. These are super easy to make and are a fantastic project for beginners (and we have lots of crochet projects for beginners).
You can also make other kitchen and bathroom items like washcloths, pot holders, and towels.
Finally, many choose cotton yarn for projects like pillows, rugs and throws.
One of the great things about cotton yarn is that, through a variety of processes, it comes in a huge range of colors. This means you can crochet the same pattern two or three times with different colors and nobody would be the wiser.
Anyone in a more temperate climate will find themselves reaching for cotton yarn frequently to crochet things like scarves, pullovers, tanks and other wearable.
Cotton yarn is breathable, which makes it a perfect fabric for spring, summer and autumn patterns. It also wicks moisture and dries quickly, making it an ideal fabric for warm weather.
Babies need clothing that is soft and easy to care for, and everyone loves colorful kids clothes. Cotton is of course ideal in this situation.
Some of the most common cotton yarn baby crochet items would be booties, clothing, blankets and pillows.
Types of Cotton Yarn
There are a huge number of types of cotton yarn, so I won’t attempt to make this a comprehensive list, but here are some of the more interesting types.
Milk Cotton Yarn
Milk cotton is a fabric that is made with casein powder that comes from milk, hence the name. It’s considered a synthetic fiber as it is mixed with acrylonitrile to give it it’s texture and cotton like tensility. Acrylonitrile is also used in acrylic clothing, but obviously with a different process, it has a different feel.
There is a German company named Qmilk that makes an organic milk cotton yarn, said to be made entirely from casein fiber.
Variegated Cotton Yarn
Variegated yarn is yarn died with multiple colors. The trick with variegated yarn is you never quite know what you’re going to end up with until you’re done.
There are a number of techniques specific to crocheting with variegated cotton yarn that yield some pretty striking results. Two of the most common effects are flashing (which look like lightning-bolts) and pooling (which are marbelized or patchy looks).
Best Cotton Yarns for Crochet
There are of course an infinite number of yarn brands and types, but here are 3 of our favorites.
Scrubby Yarn by Red Heart
This is the perfect cotton for crocheting household items that take advantage of cotton’s absorption properties. The textured version is also perfect for using for scrubbing dishes clean!
24-7 Cotton Yarn by Lion Brand
This is an awesome 100% natural fiber yarn that’s great for crocheting garments. It’s made with a process called mercerization that gives it wonderful deep colors that last through multiple washing cycles. It’s also really soft, so great for kids and babies.
Organic Baby Cotton by Gazzal
This is a 100% organic cotton yarn that is aimed squarely at baby clothes. It is super soft and comes in a variety of colors, perfect for making anything from booties to blankets. It’s also easy on the hands, not like some yarns that can stress your hands while you crochet.
Tips for Crocheting with Cotton Yarn
Cotton is one of the best strands of yarn to utilize for crocheting, especially for projects that are intended to keep your body warm throughout the frigid months of winter. If you’re having a hard time crocheting with cotton yarn, here are a number of tips that can be of great help to you.
Pay Attention to Yarn Weight
When crocheting with cotton, you should keep in mind that it’s one of the heaviest yarn strands, especially when it’s soaked, and so it’s important to select the appropriate yarn weight for each respective project. For example, sock weight cotton is much thinner than worsted cotton, and so you can’t use lighter cotton for heavy projects like winter blankets, and vice versa.
Cotton Yarn Doesn’t Stretch
Before selecting cotton as your primary yarn strand, you must know that it’s not appropriate for stretchy projects. Instead, you should utilize it to create durable projects like dishtowels, winter blankets, market tote bags, and crochet baskets. When we say that cotton does not stretch, we mean that it’s not elastic, so once it stretches, it won’t go back to its original state.
Always Use Organic Cotton
The reason why cotton is an extremely popular yarn strand is that it’s a natural fiber, and so it’s eco-friendly. However, you want to keep in mind that there are also non-organic cotton strands. Pesticides are utilized in the making of these non-organic strands, and as you know, pesticides are far from eco-friendly. So, take a stand against pesticides by using organic cotton.
Mercerized and Unmercerized
Another thing you should take into consideration before selecting cotton yarn as the main strand for your project is the difference between mercerized and unmercerized cotton. Mercerized yarn is a treated yarn that has a bit of a shine to it. The downside to mercerized cotton is that it’s way less absorbent than its unmercerized counterpart. Both are practical, depending on the project.
Washing Softens Cotton Yarn
When you first get your hands on some cotton yarn, you’ll notice that its texture is not as soft as a lot of cotton-based projects that you might have touched before. The reason is that cotton is a yarn strand that gets softer the more you wash it. If you’re currently working on a project and it’s not as soft as you like it to be, throw it in the washing machine a few times and it’ll soften up.
Use Matte Hooks for Cotton
If you’re used to using crochet hooks that flaunt an ultra-polished finish like acrylic hooks, you’re going to need to put them aside as you’re crocheting cotton, as cotton yarn gets a bit slippery on slicker hooks. To ensure easier cotton crocheting, we highly recommend getting a hook that has a bit of a grip to it so that cotton doesn’t slip. Look for hooks that have a matte finish.
Next time you’re wondering what to crochet with cotton yarn, remember it as a breathable, water-absorbent material that is perfect for spring and summer items such as all-season blankets or shawls, as well as many household items, such as towels, dishcloths, and scrubbers.
Comment below all share with us your take on crocheting with cotton yarn, we’d love to hear from you!
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.