Ladder Yarn – Guide To This Yarn Material & Best Uses

By Jodie Morgan

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Looking for a fun, novel yarn? Ladder fibers might be the perfect choice for you. I explore what ladder yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.

Ladder Yarn Feat Img

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 13, 2023.

Table Of Contents

What Is Ladder Yarn?

Ladder yarn is a synthetic fiber sold at moderate prices. This fiber isn’t popular because it’s tricky to knit with, however it’s colorful, unique, textured, and fun. They’re novelty yarns and are great for adding interest to a project.

It’s available in all colors of the rainbow, and sometimes, in shimmering metallic shades like lurex. (AKA ladder ribbon yarn, trellis ladder yarn, and railroad yarn.)

Where It Comes From

Unlike natural fiber yarns like jute yarn, ladder yarn is made from synthetic materials like rayon or polyester.  They’re a type of fancy yarn.(1)

How It’s Made Into Yarn

Ladder yarn is made by twisting multiple thin strands of yarn around two main strands. This creates a ladder-like appearance.

How To Wash Ladder Yarn

Here are the care instructions for ladder fibers.

  • Hand wash only
  • Use cool water with a mild detergent
  • Lay flat to dry
  • Don’t bleach, iron, machine dry or machine wash

Always check the yarn label for instructions specific to the yarn you’re using.

Does It Shrink When Washed?

Ladder yarn is made of synthetic fibers, so it won’t shrink.

How To Soften Ladder Yarn

Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!

Pin For Later

Ladder Yarn Pin

What Do You Use It For?

Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make yarn. It’s often used for projects and things like coasters, dishcloths, a bag, jewelry, garments, scarves, a ladder necklace, hats, or purses.

It’s perfect for adding some glitz and color to patterns. Why not try making some beautiful necklaces for evening wear? Add a bead decoration to the length for a special look. It’s tricky to knit with, so it’s usually used for small items, or larger ones with a simple stitch pattern. It’s good for crochet too.

Where To Find It

Here’s where to find this yarn: at a yarn store or craft stores in your area, at big box stores like Michaels, Walmart and Joann, online brand shops, or on sale in small businesses on Etsy. Here are brands or manufacturers of ladder yarns to try: Ice Yarn, Dazzle, and Berlini.

What’s The Price Like? Ladder yarn is a moderately priced synthetic fiber.

FAQS About Ladder Yarn

Is Ladder Yarn Safe For Babies?

No, it’s not safe for babies because it’s full of holes.

Is Ladder Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?

It’s made of synthetic fibers which use petroleum products in their production.

What Can I Make With Leftover Ladder Yarn?

You can make a dishcloth, coaster, or another small item.

Is Ladder Yarn Itchy?

No, it’s not itchy because it’s made of synthetic fibers.

Is Ladder Yarn Good For Clothes?

No, it’s not good for clothes because it’s full of holes.

Is Ladder Yarn Good For Winter? 

Yes, it’s good for winter because it’s warm.

Is Ladder Yarn Good For Summer?

No, it’s not good for summer because it’s not breathable.

Do Ladder Yarns Pill?

No, they don’t pill.

Can You Dye Ladder Yarns?

No, you can’t.

What Is Trellis Ladder Yarn?

It’s another name for ladder yarn.

What Is Ladder Ribbon Yarn?

It’s another name for ladder yarn.

How To Use Ladder Yarn

Here are tips on how to use ladder yarn.

  • Use larger needles for a looser tension
  • Work with small projects and simple stitches
  • Be patient with yourself!


Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below! Want to learn about other fibers? Discover more in this blog post.


  1. Nergis, Banu Uygun. “Factors influencing the properties of ladder-knit fancy yarns.” Textile research journal 72, no. 8 (2002): 686-688.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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