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How to Read a Yarn Label

You know when you get a brand new skein of yarn and you’re super excited to start your project? What about that little wrapping around your yarn? Do you ever pay attention to it, or does it just annoy you and get in the way?

Well, I can tell you that the wrapping is more than just a branding logo and a barcode to scan! There is a ton of information packed on that little wrapping!

So, what’s on it, how does it help you and how can you read it? Read on to find out!


Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later!

Part 1: The Branding

Part 1: The Branding

As I mentioned before, there is a branding on the label. This particular brand is my personal fav, Red Heart Super Saver yarn. This skein also happens to say JUMBO on it, but not all of them will be like that. The little flag in the right corner means the yarn was made in the USA.

Part 2: The Weight

Part 2: The Weight

Under the dots, you should see the weight of the skein. On the left, you’ll see the weight in ounces and grams and on the right, it is measured in yards and meters. In the US, yarn is sold by weight, so this skein says 14 ounces or 396 grams. The yards shown are an estimated number. It will be the least amount of yarn you could potentially be given in the skein, the actual amount may be more. It sucks that you can’t be given an exact amount, but that’s just one of those things you just have to deal with!

Another quite frustrating thing about yarn, since it’s sold by weight and not yards no two skeins of yarn will be the exact same yardage. Crazy right?!

You can also see the net weight is written in three languages to meet regulations, in English, French, and Spanish.

Part 3: The Pattern

Part 3: The Pattern

Turn your skein of yarn towards the pattern, which is directly under the weight. You may have the same pattern pictured as me, but the chances of that are very unlikely. A random pattern is put on the skeins. Sometimes the same patterns are put on all of the skin brands, sometimes it differs.

Lots of people like to keep these labels for the patterns, but many more (like myself) just toss them away and never look at the pattern. Which, honestly, doesn’t make much sense. We’re always looking for new patterns but as soon as we get a free one with every single purchase of yarn, we don’t want it anymore! What’s the logic in that? (But, as I said, I’m the most guilty of throwing them out!)

As you can see on the side of the photo, all the information you need to know about the pattern is given. What size hook, in millimeters and by US standards, how many skeins of yarn you’ll use, the dye lot and color to exactly match the picture! The pattern (Which can be found on the back of the label) is also noted to be written in French and English.

Since I don’t particularly pay attention to this part of the label, I’m not sure if patterns always come in English and French only, or if they add Spanish translations sometimes as well. It would be something to look out for in the future if that’s something you need to know.

Part 4: More Branding

Part 4: More Branding

Directly underneath the photo tells you, in different languages, that there are free patterns on the website www.redheart.com along with all of their social media accounts in case you’re weird like me and would like to follow a yarn brand on facebook and twitter!

Underneath that is a bunch of mumbo jumbo I’m not sure anyone ever reads. It tells you where the yarn is made, boasts about some award they won, an address to who knows where and a bunch of other words I have no interest in reading. Trust me, I’m pretty sure they aren’t that important to crochet (Except maybe where the yarn was made. That may be important to you!)

Part 5: The Barcode

Part 5: The Barcode

This is the sticker that holds the skein label together. Obviously, it is a barcode to allow you to buy the skein and includes a bunch of numbers that I couldn’t tell you what they were for. It’s probably more important to Red Heart or the store you bought it from. It also tells you the color of the yarn.

Part 6: How to Unravel the Yarn

Part 6: How to Unravel the Yarn

This diagram shows you that there are two string that you can pull from, the outside or the inside. Which side of the pull do you fall on?

Part 7: The Boxes

Part 7: The Boxes

The boxes are probably one of the most important parts of the label. I’ll go through each of them for you.

Box 1

Box 1: This is the weight of the yarn. Most yarns go by the Craft Yarn Council of America’s standard weight system. This particular one has a medium-weight of 4 on a scale of 0 (fingering weight) and 6 (bulky).

Box 2

Box 2: The guage of the yarn with a crochet hook. (If you don’t know what guage is, check this out!) This is the particular guage with a 5.5mm/US I-9 crochet hook is 12 single crochets and 15 rows in 4″x4″ (10 cm x 10 cm).

Box 3

Box 3: This is the guage with knitting needles. This is the particular guage with a 5mm/US 8 knitting needles is 17 stitches and 23 rows in 4″x4″ (10 cm x 10 cm).

Box 4, part A

Box 4, part A (Top left): This yarn can be machine washed (with the degrees/ celsius listed as well)

Box 4, Part B

Box 4, Part B (Top right): This yarn can be tumble dried.

Box 4, Part C

Box 4, Part C (Bottom left): You should not iron this yarn. (Reason being, this yarn is acrylic and therefore made out of plastic essentially. Translation? It will melt if exposed to too much heat!)

Box 4, Part D

Box 4, Part D (Bottom right): You should not use bleach on this yarn. (Not exactly sure how we are supposed to know that just by a little triangle with an X through it, but… I guess we are!)

Now, you can see what type of yarn it is (as I said, 100% acrylic) and washing instructions, in case reading hieroglyphics isn’t one of your strong suits! This also tells you there is no dye lot for the yarn.

And that’s it! You’re back at the beginning!

Whew! That was a lot!

Did you know there was all that information packed on the label? Do you pay attention to it, or will you now that you know what’s all on there? Let me know in the comments below!


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