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Best Yarn for Amigurumi: A Comprehensive Guide for Crocheters

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Hooked on crochet amigurumi? Once you start, it’s hard to get enough of those cute little yarn creatures. But one of the trickiest parts of getting started is choosing the perfect yarn for your amigurumi project. There are so many options out there – it can be overwhelming! 

In this article, we’ll help you understand what to look for when choosing yarn for amigurumi and share some of our favorite – and least favorite! – options.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the Right Yarn for Amigurumi

Amigurumi is a Japanese word that refers to the art of knitting or crocheting stuffed yarn creatures. Amigurumi are usually small and cute, and can be made in various styles, including dolls, animals, food, and other imaginative creations.

When it comes to making amigurumi, choosing the right yarn is crucial. There are tons of yarn options available, but not all are created equal! Choosing the right one can be the difference between a cute, cuddly creature, and a droopy, pilled disappointment.

In this article, we’ll explain the factors that make yarn suitable for amigurumi. Then, we’ll show you some of our absolute favorite yarn choices for making adorable stuffed creatures.

shelves full of yarn skeins, organized by color

Yarn Qualities to Consider

The type of yarn you use will affect the final look and feel of your project. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider when selecting yarn for amigurumi. Some of the main factors to consider when choosing a type of yarn for amigurumi include yarn weight, stitch definition, durability, and color options. 

1. Yarn Weight

Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn, and is divided into 7 different categories, from lace (0) to jumbo (7).

The most popular yarn weights for amigurumi lie in the middle of the range – DK (category 3) or worsted weight (category 4). These mid-weight yarns are easy to work with and produce a sturdy fabric that will hold its shape well. 

As a general rule, thinner yarns will produce smaller, more detailed amigurumi. However, they can be more challenging to work with, especially for beginners.

On the other hand, thicker bulky and super bulky weight (category 5 and 6) yarns will yield fully, super snuggly amigurumi toys.

2. Stitch Definition and Structure

The next factor to consider is a yarn’s stitch definition. We find that smooth yarn with a consistent twist gives the best results. No fuss, no fuzz, just clean, clear stitches.

And although fluffy yarns may look cuddly (hello, teddy bears!), their fuzzy texture makes it hard to see your stitches and keep track of your rounds. These yarns are more challenging to work with and best left for those with some experience under their belts.

Mostly, you should look for a yarn that’s sturdy and not too stretchy. This will help your amigurumi project to keep its shape.

3. Durability

Yarn durability is key, and it’s important to choose a yarn that is easy to care for and will hold up well over time. Especially when crafting for kids, you’ll want a yarn that will stand up to lots of hugs and snuggles without pilling or fuzzing. Also, look for machine-washable yarns for those inevitable cleanup situations.

4. Color Options

Lastly, look for a yarn with a large color range so you can find the perfect shade for your project. And if you’re planning to make dolls, you’ll also want to search for yarn with diverse skin tone shades, such as Lion Brand Skein Tones.

Furthermore, it’s worth paying attention to dye lot consistency. A good dye lot consistency means that the color is the same from batch to batch of yarn. This is important if you’re using more than one skein for your project, or if you’re making a number of amigurumi projects with the same yarn and want them to match.

5. Fiber Content

Now, about fiber content. The yarn’s fiber content affects how easy it is to care for your finished project as well as the softness, durability, cost, and how easy it is to work with. 

The most common types of fiber for amigurumi are acrylic and cotton, though sometimes chenille and blanket yarns are good options, too.

Acrylic: Acrylic yarn is an inexpensive option that comes in a kaleidoscope of colors. This type of yarn is easily accessible and good for beginners. Plus, it’s machine washable!

But be warned, acrylic yarn tends to pill and get fuzzy with lots of use, so it might not be the best option for toys that will get lots of snuggles.

Cotton: Cotton yarn is very durable and easy to wash, so it will hold up well to time and lots of use. Cotton has excellent stitch definition and tends to pill much less than acrylic yarn.

Cotton doesn’t have many downsides, but it can be stiffer to work with. If you find “kitchen cotton” yarns too rough on your hands, try soft, smooth, mercerized cotton instead.

Chenille and blanket yarns: Lastly, chenille and blanket yarns can be good choices for some amigurumi projects. These types of yarn are super soft and ideal for giant plushies and snuggly toys.

Just remember, these fluffy options can make counting stitches a bit trickier – perhaps better suited for more experienced crocheters.

many skeins of yarn in a rainbow of colors

Best Yarn For Amigurumi: Our Top Picks

Now, let’s get down to our top yarn picks for amigurumi. From cotton to acrylic to specialty yarns, here are some of our favorite options.

Best Cotton Yarns

Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton – This worsted weight is made of 100% mercerized cotton. It’s machine washable and dryable, with excellent durability and stitch definition. It doesn’t split easily and is available in a wide variety of colors.

Schachenmayr Catania – This lightweight, sport yarn is great for making smaller stitches and more detailed amigurumi patterns. It’s made of 100% combed and mercerized cotton. This option is machine washable but not machine dryable. In addition, washing it in hotter water the first time is recommended to prevent the color from bleeding. 

Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK – This DK-weight yarn is soft, easy to work with, and made of 100% cotton. It’s available in tons of color options, so it’s a great choice if you need a specific shade for a doll or a toy animal. 

WeCrochet Dishie – This cotton option is super durable and ideal for making an amigurumi project that lasts many years. It’s machine washable, soft, and holds its color well. This worsted-weight yarn comes in solid colors as well as multi and twist options.

Best Acrylic Yarns

Joann Big Twist – Made by Joann Fabrics, Big Twist is an affordable and durable 100% acrylic yarn. It’s also machine washable. The downsides of Big Twist are that the dye lots are not guaranteed, and some crafters find that it splits and pills more easily than other yarns.

Lion Brand Basic Stitch & Skein Tones – Available in many shades, Lion Brand Basic Stitch is a great option. In particular, the Skein Tones range is some of the best yarn for making lifelike amigurumi dolls. It’s a 100% acrylic, worsted-weight yarn that’s soft, easy to work with, and doesn’t pill easily. 

Yarn Art Jeans – Yarn Art Jeans is a 55% cotton, 45% polyacrylic yarn that’s smooth and soft. It’s a sport-weight yarn that’s great for smaller or more detailed amigurumi projects.

Paintbox Yarns Simply DK – This 100% acrylic, DK-weight yarn is available in a wide range of color options – from pastels to bright colors to muted tones. It’s easy to work with and a cost-effective option for making amigurumi. 

Best Specialty Yarns

Bernat Blanket – This yarn is a 100% polyester, super bulky option that’s ideal for making larger amigurumi projects. It would make a great choice for a teddy bear or any larger, fluffy, lovable friend! It’s a chenille-style yarn that’s available in both solid and multi colors.

Paintbox Yarns Chenille – This super soft and cozy choice from Paintbox Yarns is 100% polyester. It’s a bulky yarn that works up quickly and is machine washable. This option is one of the best chenille yarns for amigurumi. It’s ideal for larger projects or amigurumi you’re making for a baby or child.

KnitPicks Fable Fur – Fable Fur is a super bulky, faux fur yarn made from a premium polyester that doesn’t shrink and holds its shape well. This yarn works up quickly, and the faux fur makes it extra soft and snuggly. However, the texture also makes it more challenging to see your stitches. Plus, it needs to be hand washed. 

Woobles Easy Peasy Yarn – This yarn has a super smooth texture and clear stitch definition. It doesn’t snag, fray, or split easily, making it easy to work with and one of the best yarn options for beginners. It’s a worsted-weight yarn made of 75% cotton and 25% nylon. It’s machine washable and is available in 13 colors.

multi color skeins of chenille yarn in a stack

Brands We’ve Tried, but Don’t Recommend

While there are plenty of excellent amigurumi yarns out there, some are more challenging to work with and may not yield the best results. Here are some yarns that we’ve tried but wouldn’t necessarily recommend for your next amigurumi project.

Caron Simply Soft – This popular worsted-weight yarn comes in tons of colors and is very soft. However, it tends to fuzz up and pill over time, making it somewhat frustrating to work with for amigurumi patterns.

Red Heart Super Saver – Many people love this Red Heart yarn for its versatility and cost-effectiveness. You can find this worsted-weight acrylic yarn almost anywhere, and it comes in lots of colors. However, we don’t prefer this yarn for amigurumi, as it’s a little too coarse and is lower quality than other options.

Lily Sugar’ n Cream – This cotton, worsted-weight yarn is another inexpensive, easy-to-find option that’s available in a number of color choices. It’s a popular option for kitchen projects, such as washcloths and dishcloths. While this yarn is durable and keeps its shape well, it’s not very soft and can be a little too stiff for amigurumi projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap up, here are some common questions about choosing the best yarn for amigurumi.

What type of yarn is best for amigurumi?

When it comes to amigurumi, the best yarn to use is usually a medium-weight yarn, also known as worsted-weight yarn. The two most popular types of medium-weight yarn for amigurumi are acrylic and cotton. Acrylic yarn is soft, affordable, and easy to find, while cotton yarn is durable, breathable, and machine-washable.

What thickness yarn is best for amigurumi?

As mentioned earlier, medium or worsted-weight yarn is the most common for amigurumi. However, some amigurumi patterns may call for different yarn weights, such as DK weight or bulky weight yarn. It’s important to follow the pattern’s recommended yarn weight for the best results.

What is the best yarn for amigurumi beginners?

For beginners, we recommend using medium-weight cotton or acrylic yarn in a light color. This will make it easier to see your stitches and correct any mistakes.

What is the best yarn for amigurumi doll skin?

When making an amigurumi doll, we recommend using yarn with diverse skin tone colors. Some popular brands of yarn for amigurumi dolls are Lion Brand Skein Tones, some Schachenmayr Catania colors, and some Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK colors.

What is the best cotton yarn for amigurumi?

Cotton yarn is a popular choice for amigurumi because of its durability and softness. Some of the best cotton yarns for amigurumi include Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton, Schachenmayr Catania, and Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK.

What is the best plush yarn for amigurumi?

Plushie yarn, also known as chenille yarn, can give your amigurumi a soft and fuzzy texture. Some popular plush yarns for amigurumi include Bernat Blanket Yarn and Paintbox Yarns Chenille. However, it’s important to note that chenille yarn can be more difficult to work with.

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