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Types of Yarn for Knitting

Seamless clothing is playing an increasingly important role in human life for its comfortable, antibacterial, multiple-styles, and body-shaping. So, what are the best types of yarn for knitting seamless clothing? Maeswear summarizes 11 types of yarns as following.

types of yarns for knitting
1. Propylene fiber

Propylene fiber or pulpex P (PP) is made from propylene, a by-product of petroleum refining.
It has the following features:

1) Smooth longitudinal sections

2) Light density of only 0.91g/ cm³; a high level of elasticity and resistance against abrasion

3) Its wet strength is basically equal to its dry strength, making it an ideal raw material for fishing nets and cables

4) Efficiently absorbent and quick drying

5) Poor chromaticity

6) A high level of resistance against corrosion, but a low level of resistance against light and high temperature, high acceleration of aging, difficult to iron.

7) Highest strength only second to that of nylon, but the price is much lower

8) The fabric made of polypropylene fiber has a high dimensional stability. Therefore, it is often used for carpets.

types of yarn for knitting-Propylene

2. Bright Yarn

Bright Yarn is a type of functional fiber, in terms of different materials there are polyester-based type, nylon-based type, etc.

3. Cold Yarn

This type of yarn for knitting is a kind of mica polymerized fiber, as well as a kind of polyester fiber. Due to mica’s hydration rate and heat conductivity, cold yarn feels cool and is suitable for underwear and sports products for hot weather. Many leggings manufacturers used to purchase this material from the Micax and now the Mic Fibre.

4. PU Polyurethane

PU Polyurethane is also known as Elastane fiber or Spandex.

Well-known producers are Lycra (USA, UK, Netherlands, Canada, Brazil), Neolon (Japan) , Dorlastan (Germany), etc. Lycra is our usual supplier, a brand of Dupont. Lycra fiber is a kind of spandex yarn or polyester spandex. It is amazing as it can be stretched 4 to 7 times its original length, and quickly shrink back. You can find this composition in our slim fit.

5. Cotton

Cotton is incomparable in terms of air permeability, comfort and environmental friendliness. Therefore, we always add a certain proportion of cotton in many of the products.

However, with the industrial development, instead of cotton, producers tend to use nylon, spandex, polyester and other blended fibers in the thermal underwear.

types of yarn for seamless clothing knitting cotton

6. Chinlon

Chinlon refers to nylon, polyimide or polyimide fiber. It is also abbreviated as PA by many clients.

7. Polyester yarn

Polyester yarn accounts for the largest consumption one among all kinds of synthetic fibers (including acrylic fiber) in the world. The commonly-used type of polyester is generally abbreviated as PET or PL.

Polyester yarn is usually blended with other fibers in a certain proportion and due to its large consumption, it appears low-end to some customers. Like some other clients do, we also specify high-end polyester fiber and our frequent choice is Coolmax, a brand of Dupont.

8. Viscose

There are many kinds of viscose acetal fibers and yarns, such as dull rayon, viscose, rayon, artificial cotton, artificial wool, etc. The most well-known one is modal. Modal is a kind of modified cellulose fiber of high wet modulus viscose fiber, developed by Lenzing, Austria. It is made from the European beech wood pulp then processed by special spinning technique.

types of yarn for knitting Viscose

9. Antibacterial yarn--- Meryl skinlife

Meryl skinlife is a kind of antibacterial fiber, developed by the American company Nylstar. Actually, it is the nylon 66 fiber, on which muscles feel comfortable even in intense exercise. Meryl skinlife is a new member of the Meryl Family. The Meryl Family has high levels of drapability, softness, air permeability, chromaticity and glossiness.

10. Other types of yarn for knitting that might be used

A. Shengma Fiber

Shengma fiber is a kind of modified cellulose fiber from viscose production line based on hemp. The natural hemp-fiber products are rough and uncomfortable while this fiber is smooth, comfortable, highly absorbent and antibacterial. Products made of this fiber is hard-wearing, highly absorbent, air permeable, untearable, biodegradable with excellent dyeing effects and a great colour fastness. And it is also suitable for special-function products.

B. Aloe fiber

Aloe fiber is a kind of functional fiber blended with Nano-sized aloe vera particles. During the spinning, the particles are evenly strewed on and in the blended fiber.

The aloe vera rayon staple, a kind of modified cellulose fiber, is based on cotton pulp, which is to be processed by alkaline leaching, squeeze, xanthation, mixture, filtering, deaeration, spinning, refining and drying. This fiber is similar to cotton in terms of chemical and physical properties. It is moisture wicking and quick drying. Garments made of it are extremely comfy. Also, it’s easy to process, because it hardly causes the accumulation of static electricity and is easy to spin when blended with other synthetic fibers. Its dyeing property is great. It looks bright in different colors. Manufacturers mainly use it separately or with cotton or other functional fibers to make synthetic fibers. It’s also adaptable with polyesters: general choice of staple fiber is 1.67dtex*38mm and those of the polyester filament yarns are 75DX24F and 120DX30F.

C. Blending

The common types of yarn for knitting are above. Yet a lot of functional fibers aren’t known, so we need to customize as the clients specify. Additionally, little cloth is made from one type of fiber, for example, trueran, which is made from polyester and cotton. Trueran is also known as T/C or CVC. CVC is acronymized from chief value of cotton, which is based on the material of cotton. CVC yarns contain higher cotton value than that of polyester while the T/C yarns contain higher polyester value than that of cotton. In the current market, CVC yarns generally contain 65% of cotton; if the cotton accounts for 55%, then the material is regarded as T/C yarns.

"S" means the thickness of yarns; for example, 80S.

"1 S" refers to 840 yards in 1-pound yarn (1 yard=0.9144m)

"C" refers to cotton

"T" refers to terylene (a kind of synthetic polyester)

"C" 60% T 40%

11. Other common types of yarns in the market

A. Tencel

Tencel is a kind of cellulose fiber, made by solvent spinning technology. Its dry strength is slightly lower than that of polyester, but significantly higher than that of the common viscose fiber; what’s more, it has a more-advanced wet strength than that of viscose, high rigidity, high dimensional stability to washing(shrinkage of just 2%), high hygroscopicity. Its fiber cross section is circular or elliptic. The fabric looks beautifully glossy, soft and elegant.

To sum up, Tencel has the following features:

1) It is as soft as cotton

2) It has a high level of strength as polyester

3) It has a high level of heat preservation as wool

4) It is easy to harden in hot and humid conditions; and uneasy to gig in cold water.

B.  Silk

C.  Line

D. Heating Fiber

Traditional thermal fiber preserves temperature mainly by preventing the heat escaping from the body. Heating Fiber is a brand-new material that heats itself and warm the body. It’s far more absorbent than other kinds of fibers. These fibers can heat after absorbing water, such as EKS Fiber and Softwarm Fiber. Actually, the so-called self-heat effect is limited by the Law of Conservation of Mass, so the heat can only come from human’s body. The present thermal underwear can increase about 3-5 ℃. Currently, a relatively high market share is the Softwarm Fiber developed by Toray company of Japan.

E. Acrylic

Acrylic is a kind of synthetic yarn made from 85% of acrylonitrile and 15% of high-molecular polymer by wet or dry spinning.

Its scientific name is polyacrylonitrile fiber, also known as synthetic wool. It’s as excellent as wool in terms of elasticity. When stretched by 20%, the recovery rate can maintain at 65%. It is fluffy, curly and soft while its heat retention is 15% higher than that of wool. The strength is around 22.1 - 48.5cN/dtex; that is 1 - 2.5 times higher than wool.

It has a high level of resistance against sun. The strength only drops by 20% after it is exposed to the sunlight for 1 year. It can be made into curtains, curtain cloth, tarpaulin, gun cover, etc.

It has a high level of resistance against acid, oxidant and general organic solvents, but a low level of resistance against alkali. Its fiber softening point is around 190℃ - 230 ℃.

It is soft, fluffy, easy to dye, bright in color, anti-bacterial, mothproof, with a great colour fastness to light etc. It can be purely spun or blended with natural fibers to meet different needs. The fiber is widely used in clothing, decoration, industry and other fields. It can be blended with fleece into wool, or woven into blankets and carpets, etc.; it’s suitable for a variety of cloth and indoor cloth products when blended with cotton or other synthetic fibers.

Expanded wool tops processed from polyacrylamide fiber can be spun purely or blended with viscose fiber and wool to obtain various specifications: thick pashm or cashmere.

F. natural colored cotton

Natural colored cotton is a new textile material with natural colors which is cultivated by modern bio-engineering technology. But only green and brown have been successfully grown in bulk.

G. Mulberry silk

H. pashm

I. Fleece

Fleece is actually a kind of fabric. It is made of 100% polyester with short woven battings. The raw material requires dyeing first, drawing, carding, shearing, shaking and other complex processes. The fabrics face is serried with fluffy woven battings and hardly goes pilling. The reverse side has a clear texture with even and fewer wool battings on it. UNIQLO, owned by Japan's richest man, Tadashi Yanai, offers plenty of fleece garments. If dyed in high temperature,the fleece fabric has a great fastness and stable chromatism;if dyed in high pressure, the fleece fabric feels softer and more stylish. But the latter way may damage the fabric more easily.


Then what is the best yarn for seamless clothing knitting? Actually, it depends on the clothing preferences of target markets, patterns or styles that the designer designs, the function of the apparel, and so on. There is no best knitting yarn, only the most suitable one. Hope you could choose suitable types of yarn for knitting use.


Original written by leggings wholesale supplier: Maeswear.

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