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What Is The Best Yarn for Potholders – Read Our Top Tips For Knitters

There are many yarns crafters recommend for potholders.

Potholders make excellent knitting projects when you want something quick and easy. Plus, they’re functional and fun to knit.

The best yarn for potholders is one that doesn’t transfer heat. Cotton is the best choice for potholders. Wool yarn is also a great option for potholders. 

I also explore what yarn not to use in potholders – looking at you acrylic yarn. 🙂

Table of Contents

Best Yarn for Potholders

What is the Best Yarn for Potholders?

The main reason for using a potholder is to avoid burnt fingers or marks on kitchen surfaces. A potholder provides protection to skin and kitchen surfaces.

You want your potholder to be thick, so it insulates from the heat. A pot holder mustn’t melt or transfer too much heat.

When considering the best yarn to use in a potholder, you’d want something absorbent but without losing its shape.

Suitable yarn is easy to clean. Potholders can get dirty quickly!

You want a potholder that can be used, washed easily, (preferably in the machine washer) and used again. A bonus is if it can be put in the dryer.

A good idea is a yarn with a decent amount of yardage. As if you’re trying to hold a pot with both hands, you’ll need two potholders.

Denise from Simply Charming Everyday made these potholders
Denise from Simply Charming Everyday made these potholders. Follow @simplycharmingeveryday for more great pics.

Shop Darn Good Yarn

What to Consider When Choosing Best Yarn for Potholders?

When you’re making potholders, you need yarn that

  • won’t melt
  • is heat resistant
  • is easy to clean
  • is machine washable
  • is absorbent
  • holds its shape after washing
  • knits/crochets up thickly
  • is any color you fancy!
Three knitted potholders in a geometrical design with brown and blue yarn by instagram user @Vintersne
Gorgeous knitted potholder pieces by @Vintersne. Follow her for more great pics.

What Kind Of Yarn Do You Use For Potholders?

The best yarn to use for making potholders is cotton yarn or wool.

Why is Cotton Yarn The Best Yarn for Potholders?

Cotton yarn has qualities that make it very suitable for making potholders.

It won’t melt even when the hottest pots and pans are placed on top. It’s easy to clean and absorbent without losing its shape because it’s inelastic.

The number one recommendation is Kitchen Cotton Yarn. The qualities of this yarn mean it’s exceptionally functional for in a kitchen.

This type of yarn has many things going for it.

Kitchen Cotton Yarn is known for being sturdy, absorbent, inelastic, matte (not shiny), and machine washable. Organic cotton yarn is a good choice, as is mercerized cotton thread.

Cotton yarn potholders are fabulous, preferably 100% cotton over blends with cotton. They’re sturdy, usually machine washable, and incredible at blocking out the heat from even the hottest of pots and pans.

Cotton is also one of the best choices for anything like dishcloths, facecloths, normal cloths and scrubbies.

Choose a pattern for making potholders with that has a good thickness of the knitted fabric. Using the garter stitch is an excellent choice, as it’s stretchy and the stitches are close together when you maintain proper tension.

When knitting a potholder, keep your tension firm. This helps to create a better overall fabric.

CHOOSE FROM OVER 1200 YARNS AT KNIT PICKS >>

What Yarn Weight Is Best For Potholders?

One thing to consider in the weight or thickness of the yarn, is to choose something thick in size that will insulate from the heat.

Look for a DK, worsted weight or heavier thread. (Look for “worsted weight” and/or the number 4 symbol of the yarn label.)

Using these weights of yarns means the knitted fabric is thick and protective.

Wool Yarn for Potholders

Although cotton yarn has been seen as the number one choice for best yarn for potholders, wool is also highly recommended.

One of the ways it’s one of the best to choose is wool yarn doesn’t melt if it comes in contact with heat. If it happens to catch fire, it should extinguish itself once it’s no longer in contact with the flame.

Wool yarn prevents heat from traveling through to underneath. It can be felted to provide a thicker “fabric” and is water-resistant as well.

The problem with using wool is it’s not as washable as cotton or as easy to clean. Machine washing a wool potholder in a washing machine could result in felting, and possibly ruining the potholder.

After all your work of making one, you don’t want it to be ruined after the first wash! To combat this, you could hand wash your woolen potholders.

By all means, if you want to felt your potholder, machine washing is a breeze!

Alternatives to Cotton Yarn

A good alternative to cotton yarns is silk yarn, which is also a self-extinguishing fiber, could be used in a potholder.

But let’s face it, silk yarn isn’t cheap!

Knitted Potholders by Gitte Herlov Birkmose
Knitted Potholders by Gitte Herlov Birkmose. Follow @gitteherloev for more great pics.

Yarns to Not Use In a Potholder

Even though Wool is the number two choice for most crafters, make sure you are using 100% wool. One way you can determine when you shouldn’t use a yarn is whether they’re susceptible to heat.

Superwash wool may seem good to use, as it solves the problem of washability, making them it machine washable.

However, the treatments used to make wool ‘superwash’ may cause flammability, and you don’t want that!

Don’t use acrylic yarn to make potholders, acrylic is a definite no-no.

Yarns such as acrylic, polyester, plarn (made from plastic bags) orlon, rayon, Tencel or nylon aren’t recommended as good choices because of their lack of heat resistance and are flammable.

The synthetic nature of these yarns means they can melt.

So there you go, kitchen cotton is The Best Yarn for Potholders.

I hope this post answered your questions. I know you’ll find some gorgeous yarn to make your potholders to hang in your kitchen.

They’ll be admired by many.

Perhaps your friends will hint at you making some for them, 🙂

SomethingI forgot? Leave a question or comment at the end.

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

15 thoughts on “What Is The Best Yarn for Potholders – Read Our Top Tips For Knitters”

  1. Thank every much for this information. I have been crocheting for many years, but it is the first time I have been asked to crochet pot holders. Without your help I wouldn’t have wanted to try as yarn for clothes would not be safe! Again thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Hi Mary, my pleasure. So glad this post helped you choose a suitable yarn for potholders. We’d love to see a photo of your finished potholder creations and share them with our readers if you are happy to. Happy crafting πŸ™‚ Cheers Jodie

      Reply
  2. I’m going to try to teach myself how to crochet (with the help of the internet). I’m going to try a potholder or two as my first project, and I had no idea what kind of yarn I needed to get or avoid! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Great to hear that you found my article helpful for your upcoming potholder projects. Please share a pic of your finished projects, I know our readers would love to see them. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • Hi Helen. Thanks for your getting in touch. I have not personally used flax (linen) for potholders. I would think it would be fine but I will ask my lovely readers and get back to you. Cheers Jodie πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Here are some responses from readers-

      – Hand knitted linen is usually not dense enough to protect your hand or table top from hot pans, unless you make the potholder at least 2 layers with something inside to insulate it.
      I made double-sided pot holders from cotton (knit 2 separate potholders and sew them together). To insulate it, I slipped a store bought fabric potholder inside before sewing the 4th side of the 2 squares together. It’s a good idea to prewash the fabric potholder, because they do shrink a lot!
      Knitted or crocheted wool potholders can be felted, which makes them much denser than cotton.

      – Linen is a bit more expensive than cotton πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. I am planning on knitting hot pads/trivets and have read that 100% cotton would be the best option. I can’t seem to find chunky 100% cotton yarn online (preferred by me). Do you know of any? Or would it be better to get worsted weight kitchen cotton and knit with two strands?
    Thanks for any advice!

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon. Rayon is derived from plant fibers. I’ve done a little bit of research to see if a cotton/rayon blend would stand up to heat and some people say that it does. I’d create a little swatch and test it out and see how your yarn blend reacts to something hot being placed on it. Let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear about your experience. Cheers Jodie

      Reply

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