Tweed Yarn – Guide To This Yarn Material & Best Uses

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

Looking for sturdy, colorful yarn with texture? Tweed fibers might be the perfect choice. I explore what tweed yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.

Basket of colorful balls of tweed yarns

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 14, 2023.

Table Of Contents

What Is Tweed Yarn?

Tweed yarn is an animal/plant fiber. This fiber is popular because it’s colorful, fun to knit with, textured, warm, and durable. They’re speckled and great for rustic-creations. It’s often confused with heathered yarn, because of its similar flecks of color. The dyeing process is different.

Where It Comes From

It’s named after the fabric making technique that creates tweed cloth. The tweed fabric comes from a weaving technique, created by makers who lived along the Tweed river in Scotland.(1) Like traditional tweed fabric, true tweed yarn is often made with wool, however plant fiber tweed or blends are available.

How It’s Made Into Yarn

Tweed yarns are created when the maker dyes wool in separate color batches before the spinning process. It’s a blend of two or more accent colors of woolen yarn. After being spun, the fibers are combined. The resulting fabric is full of flecks. Also found as self-striping tweed that not only have flecks but also stripes of color.

Classic tweed yarn is woolen spun, which traps a lot of air between the fibers and makes it warm. Some are worsted-spun, where they’re spun from the combed top with all fibers in the same direction.

How To Wash Tweed Yarn

Here are the care instructions for tweed fibers. If they’re made with wool, they should be handwashed in cool water with mild soap. Lay flat to dry. Always check the yarn label for instructions specific to the yarn you’re using.

Does It Shrink When Washed?

Yes, woolen tweed yarn may shrink when washed. To avoid this, don’t wash or dry it in the machine.

How To Soften Tweed Yarn

Here is a quick and easy method to soften tweed yarn. Soak the skein in cool water for about 20 minutes with a little fabric softener. Gently squeeze out the excess water. Lay it flat to dry.

Pin For Later

Tweed Yarn Pin

What Do You Use It For?

It’s often used for projects and things like sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, scarves, blankets, afghans, and throws. It’s a great choice for winter garments like sweaters, hats, and scarves because it’s so warm.

It’s good for making cables and other textured stitches like ribbing stand out with the different colors. Want your projects to have a classic look? Use this type of yarn as it gives the final creation a rustic twist.

It’s always a good idea to wind your skein or hank before using. This creates a neat ball that’s easier to knit with. This post covering winders for more information.

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, or online brand shops. Here are brands or manufacturers of tweed yarns to try: Valley Yarns, Tahki Yarns, Sheepjes, Lion Brand, Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Noro, Lana Grossa, and Plymouth Yarn.

What’s The Price Like? It’s moderate in price.

FAQS About Tweed Yarn

Is Tweed Yarn Safe For Babies?

Yes, the ones made with merino wool or cotton are safe for babies because they’re good for sensitive skin.

Is Tweed Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?

That depends on the brand you buy and the materials used. If it’s made with wool, check the sheep were treated well. If it’s plant-based, check for certifications like Fair Trade or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

What Can I Make With Leftover Tweed Yarn?

You can make smaller projects like hats, mittens, fall knits, fabrics needing texture and color effects, socks, scarves, and cowls.

Is Tweed Yarn Itchy?

Yes, the ones made with wool are itchy for those with allergies or sensitivities to the fiber. The others aren’t.

Is Tweed Yarn Good For Clothes?

Yes, it’s good for clothes because it’s durable and doesn’t pill as much as other yarns.

Is Tweed Yarn Good For Winter? 

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

Is Tweed Yarn Good For Summer?

No, it isn’t good for summer because thick wool is too warm.

Do Tweed Yarns Pill?

Yes, they pill if they’re made with wool.

Can You Dye Tweed Yarns?

Yes. Here is a tutorial by Paradise Fibers on how to make this yarn at home. 

This helpful guide will walk you through the fun process.

Tweed Vs Wool

Tweed is a cloth made from wool. It’s usually a heavy fabric and is often used for making coats and suits.

What Is Donegal Tweed Yarn?

It’s a type of tweed yarn named after the county in Ireland where it originated.

What Is Felted Tweed Yarn?

It’s a tweed yarn that’s been through the felting process. The fibers are compacted together using heat and agitation. The result is great for many crafting projects! Rowan Felted Tweed Yarn is super popular with knit wear designers and knitters who love the look, feel and texture.

Is Tweed Always Wool?

No, it doesn’t have to be wool. It can be made from different fibers like cotton, acrylic, silk, and bamboo. Or animal fibers like alpaca and mohair.

Is Tweed Water Resistant?

Yes, it is.

Conclusion

Happy knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Don’t forget this can apply to crocheting too. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!

References

  1. N.d. Arizona.edu. Accessed October 27, 2022. https://www2.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/monographs/dhc_wool.pdf.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | 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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