What Are Yarn Textures? Choose The Perfect Yarn Texture for Projects

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

There are many possibilities for yarn textures. Fluffy, soft, sleek, bumpy, and shiny… How do you choose the right one for knitting? Read on for my tips!

Feat Img For Yarn Texture With A Painting Of Orange, Pink and Purple Yarn Balls

Note: If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a commission, but at no extra cost to you. Learn More.

Don't Know What To Knit Next?

I’ve got just the thing! Subscribe for hand-selected pieces of knit-worthy inspiration delivered to you every Time-Saving Tuesday.

Table Of Contents

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 28, 2023.

What Is Yarn Texture?

Yarn texture is the overall appearance and feel of the yarn. It’s determined by the fiber content, spinning method, and any treatments or finishes applied to the yarn.

Why Does Yarn Texture Matter?

The texture of your yarn can have a big impact on your finished project. A fluffy, soft yarn will create a cozy, cuddly scarf, while a sleek, shiny yarn might be better suited for a dressy shawl.

How To Choose The Right Yarn Texture

When choosing a yarn texture, think about the project you’re making and the desired final result. Consider the following factors:

  • Fiber Content: The fiber has a big impact on the texture. For example, wool is a hairy fiber that creates a warmth and loftiness, while silk is a smooth fiber with a lustrous sheen.
  • Spinning Method: The way the yarn is spun also affects the texture. Woolen-spun yarns are light and airy, while worsted-spun yarns are smoother and more compact.
  • Treatments: Yarn can be finished in many ways to change the texture. For example, mercerization gives yarn a shiny appearance and makes it stronger.

Pin For Later

Yarn Texture Pin

Types Of Yarn Textures

Now you know about yarn texture, let’s look at the most common types of yarn textures. Also check out my post here for all the yarns I recommend for knitting.

Chainette Yarn

Working with chainette yarn is an interesting experience. The pre-knit strand adds stretch to normally inelastic fibers, while giving it good stitch definition.

Chainette (or chained) yarns are cleverly crafted by using unique constructions. These special fibers may be made of fine plies braided together instead of twisted, or even formed into tiny pre-made I-cords for an added level of interest!

It’s a great way to get creative results with a textured pattern you can’t achieve with the final fabric from traditional plied yarns.

Fluffy Yarn

Yarns that are fluffy and soft typically have a high fiber content and are woolen-spun. These textured yarns are great for projects like hats, scarves, and sweaters.

Sleek Yarn

Yarns that are sleek and shiny typically have a smooth fiber content and are worsted-spun. They’re great for projects like shawls and dresses.

Single-Ply Yarn

Single ply yarns are great for items that don’t require high durability, like shawls, scarves, and cowls. However, they aren’t suitable for items that need to be durable, like socks. This is because single ply yarns are loosely plied, so they’re softer and more delicate than multiple ply yarns, and pill faster.

Smooth Yarn

Yarns that are smooth and sturdy are worsted-spun. This textured yarn is great for projects like bags and blankets. Smooth yarn is the most versatile texture. It shows stitchwork well, and they’re great for items needing to withstand lots of use.

Fuzzy Yarn

Yarns that are fuzzy typically have a hairy fiber content and are woolen-spun. They’re great for projects like hats, scarves, and sweaters or yarn bombing projects. They have a lovely halo caused by loose hairs floating everywhere, which makes a softer effect.

If you have a pattern with a complicated stitch pattern or colorwork, this isn’t a great choice. The fuzz obscures your design and the long hairs can lock together, making it difficult to fix mistakes.

FAQS About Yarn Texture

How To Smooth Yarn Texture

Here are some steps to ensure your yarn is as smooth as possible. Avoid storing your yarn in direct sunlight or in places where moisture can accumulate. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place, away from moths.

Before knitting, use a ball winder. These handy tools wrap yarn into neat, even balls. This prevents the fibers of the yarn from becoming twisted and tangled, which leads to a lumpy texture.


Yarn texture is an important part of knitting, and it makes or breaks a project. With so many gorgeous textures, the possibilities are endless! Don’t be afraid to experiment.

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.

Crunchbase | LinkedIn | MuckRack | Ravelry | Twitter

Don't Know What To Knit Next?

I’ve got just the thing! Subscribe for hand-selected pieces of knit-worthy inspiration delivered to you every Time-Saving Tuesday.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.