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How to Choose a Cotton

The secret of successfully knitting with cotton is to choose the yarn best suited to the item you are knitting. Here are some of the most popular cotton yarns and their uses.

MERCERIZED COTTON: Treated with a caustic soda solution to produce a smooth, lustrous and strong cotton yarn. The yarn has less tendency to pill, comes in richer colors and will remember it's shape better and shrinks less.

PERLE COTTON: A highly twisted, double-mercerized yarn spun of a high quality long-staple cotton fiber. It's very strong and durable.

CABLE COTTON: A multiple-plied mercerized yarn. The strands are first individually twisted in one direction, then twisted together with multiple strands in the opposite direction. Will hold a stitch well. Very durable.

UNMERCERIZED COTTON: Yarns with a matt finish, colors are subtle and finished piece has a homespun, country look. Allow up to 10% shrinkage. Ideal for casual and oversized knits. Finished piece is lighter than when using mercerized yarns.

BOUCLE, NUBBY, THICK/THIN, FLAKE COTTONS: A variety of highly textured and unusually twisted yarns. Their texture will hide any knit pattern, so they are best used for plain knit stitches, which will highlight the beautiful texture of the yarns. Simple tops and casual sweaters are excellent choices for these yarns.

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