Cotton Yarn Test and Review – Part 5 – And the winner is….

Hi folks!

So it’s time to wrap up these epic yarn test blog posts with my findings.  You’ll find my full spreadsheet of results to download down below if you want the nitty gritty stuff.  If you’d like to refresh on the previous parts of my test you can here : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Cotton yarn test by Shelley Husband

I must say that each and every one of the yarns I tested is perfectly acceptable and fine to use with the right projects.  I would use any of the mercerised yarns for bags or amigurumi, just as I would use almost any of the fluffy ones for blankets.  It all comes down to individual need for specific projects.  Your personal opinions come into it too.

Now you’ll know by now that there are many differences between the 100% cotton yarns I tested so it’s not really comparing apples with apples so to speak, so I have come up with my top picks for a few different categories.

My top picks – just the facts M’am.

This first lot of winners are based purely on factual data. No opinions come into them at all.

Best value for money

If the best value for money is what you’re after, here’s the top 10 from the yarns I tested.  You will need to investigate each further yourself to see if it meets your needs for your project. They all differ in colour range, softness, yardage etc. The ball size and colour range for each varies greatly.  Please note that the first 2 are the 2 thinnest yarns I tested – more fingering weight than DK.

I noted the cost of each ball/skein of yarn and worked out the cost per 100 grams and the cost per 100 metres.    It should be noted that the prices I used were valid at the time of purchase and do not include postage as most large online yarn retailers have free shipping for orders over a certain amount depending where you are. All prices are in Australian dollars.

If you just look at ball/skein price, it’s not an accurate measure as they vary in weight and yardage significantly.  The smallest ball of yarn I sourced was 25 grams and the largest 200 grams.  The variation between how many metres per gram is also something that varies a lot. The smallest yardage on a 50 gram ball was 80 metres and the largest 170 metres – a big difference! Which is why I worked out the cost per 100 metres.

From my calculations, these are the top 10 value for money cottons available to my test purely based on cost per 100 metres.

Scheepjes Cotton 8 $1.72
Yarn and Colours Must Have  $2.10
Drops Muscat $2.14
King Cole Giza Cotton  $2.29
Scheepjes Catona  $2.38
King Cole Cotton Soft $2.51
Rico Creative Cotton DK  $2.55
Rico Essential Cotton DK $2.82
Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply 20 $2.89
Lyric Puppets  $3.22

Cotton yarn test value for money by Shelley Husband

Colour Range

If you need lots of colours to choose from and play with, these are the top 10 with the largest colour ranges from the yarns I tested.

Scheepjes Catona 105 colours
Yarn and Colours Must Have 100 colours
Cascade Ultra Pima 95 colours
Nikkim Cotton 72 colours
DMC Natura 66 colours
Schachenamyr Catania 66 colours
Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic 60 colours
Paintbox 56 colours
Rico Essential Cotton DK 50 colours
Schoeller und Stahl Limone 49 colours

Cotton yarn test colour range by Shelley Husband

Ball/Skein size

I love a large ball of yarn because I make a lot of single colour blankets and items.  Not having to worry about colour changes, means a large ball can go a very very long way.  Plus making blankets, regardless of colour changes, you need a lot! But, there is also a time for small balls when making small projects with lots of different colours.  Most balls/skeins were 50 to 100 gram balls, but here are the biggest and smallest so you can look for what suits you best

Largest

Bendigo Woollen Mills  200g
King Cole Giza Cotton  100g
King Cole Cotton Soft  100g
Sirdar Cotton DK 100g
Patons 100% Cotton DK 100g
Wendy Supreme Cottton 100g
DY Choice Cotton Fresh DK  100g
Cascade Ultra Pima 100g
Mirasol Pima Kuri 100g
Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Solids 70.9g

Cotton yarn test large ball size by Shelley Husband

Smallest

Yarn and Colours Must Have 10g (also available in 50g balls)
Scheepjes Catona  25g  (also available in 50g balls)

Cotton yarn test small ball size by Shelley Husband

My Top Picks – Shelley thinks

These findings are based on my opinion and are by nature subjective.

Drape

If you’re after a lovely drape, here are my top 10 picks for drape in alphabetical order.  Please do remember my notes about the hook size I used and it’s affect on the drape scores I recorded. All of these scored a 2 out of 10 in my drape test.

Adriafil Cheope
Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply
Heirloom Cotton 8ply
Morris & Sons Avalon 4 ply
Rico Creative Cotton DK
Rowan Handknit Cotton
Rowan Summerlite DK
Scheepjes Cotton 8
Stylecraft Classique Cotton
Yarn and Colours Must Have

Cotton yarn test drape by Shelley Husband

Softness

Softness of yarn is another big factor for me in choosing a yarn so here are the top 12 in alphabetical order.  All scored a 2 out of 10 for softness on the ball in my test.

Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply
Cascade Ultra Pima
Debbie Bliss Cotton DK
DY Choice Cotton Fresh DK
Heirloom Cotton 8ply
Katia Cotton 100%
King Cole Cotton Soft
Morris & Sons Avalon 4 ply
Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK
Rico Creative Cotton DK
Rowan Summerlite DK
Stylecraft Classique Cotton

Cotton yarn test softness by Shelley Husband

Notable Yarns

There were some yarns I tested that didn’t really have anything to compare them to.

Adriafil Cheope was a surprise to me.  I can’t stop going back to it.  The colour is divine and the feel is so unusual compared to the other yarns I tried.  It really does feel like linen.  I can imagine a light breezy summer top made out of it.

Adrafil Cheope cotton yarn test by Shelley Husband

Nuturing Fibres Eco-cotton and Moya both stood out from the crowd.  The yarn construction is such that they feel almost like a handspun yarn.  There seemed to be a very subtle difference in thickness of the strands that were twisted to make the yarn which gives them a bobbly, slightly uneven feel in a pleasant way, particularly the Eco-cotton.  They’re hand dyed too which means there’s some subtle variation in tone to the colours.  Nice.

Cotton yarn test moya eco by Shelley Husband

What will I actually use now I’ve done this test?

I make my choice of yarn as it suits each project. If it’s softness I’m after, I would use most of the 12 listed above, but would be less likely if they had a loose twist. Other factors like ball size, price and colour range also influence my decision. I really can see me using Paintbox, Rico Creative Cotton and the Stylecraft for multi coloured things as they are all reasonably priced and have good colour ranges, not the best as shown above but when all factors are considered, they work for my needs.

Cotton yarn test will use by Shelley Husband

For projects where softness is not the main decision maker, and I was making amigurumi or bags etc, I would choose some of the mercerised yarns like Yarn and Colours Must Have, Scheepjes Catona with large colour ranges.  I’d also use the Cascade for these projects, as while it’s not labelled as mercerised, it has a lot (not all) of the mercerised characteristics.

Cotton yarn test will use 2 by Shelley Husband

Stash Yarns – what I have and use now and would like to get

These yarns are my personal favourites from the test with my reasons why I use or would like to use them.  If you did the testing you’d most likely have a different list here – this are my opinions.

Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply cotton is still the top of my list.  I love it because it feels so good and comes in such large balls – perfect for what I do most of the time.  It is also great value for money.  I use it in my CALs a lot.  Honestly, it’s like going home when I use it after using another yarn. I use it to design and work out ideas as well. I am not in their employ btw – I just love it!

Cotton yarn test BWM by Shelley Husband

Cascade Ultra Pima cotton is another go to yarn for me.  It is more a mid price than others, and it comes in skeins rather than balls so winding is needed before you use it, but I don’t mind that at all.  I use it because of the super crisp stitch definition it gives.  It’s a slightly less fluffly yarn, so it’s a little less soft once worked and has less drape.  I use it mostly for my ebook and Siren’s Atlas photos and patterns.

cascade ultra pima cotton for yarn test by Shelley Husband

Morris & Sons Avalon 4 ply Pima Cotton – this one is new to my must use list.  It is a 4 ply which means it is thinner but it was so soft!  I loved working with it.  I keep fondling it even now LOL.  I must make something with it soon!  There are lots of vibrant colours to choose from too.  It is in the upper price range though so maybe a small project.  Even though it’s a 4 ply, it is only a little thinner than my go to BWM so and acceptable substitute.

Cotton yarn test Morris and sons by Shelley Husband

King Cole CottonSoft is a yarn I have used  before and loved.  It is super fluffy and does shed a bit as you’re making, but I don’t mind that.  I used it to make my Flowers Abound patterns. It has a good colour range too.

Flowers Abound blanket by Shelley Husband 2015

Rowan Handknit Cotton and Summerlite cotton were both delightful to work with! So soft and feel so nice while hooking. I had not tried them before and I will have to find a reason to use them again soon. They are both a thicker yarn than many of the others tested.  The colour range of the Summerlite is quite small though.

Cotton yarn test rowan by Shelley Husband

Debbie Bliss Cotton DK is a lovely soft, thicker yarn I love to use.  I have a few balls of it in the stash and really need to use it to make something!  I have made cowls from it before and they have lasted well and are still super soft.

Cotton yarn test debbie bliss by Shelley Husband

Scheepjes Catona is a yarn I’d love to use more of. It’s a mercerised yarn and comes in so many colours and so vibrant too.  I like the option of the 25 gram ball and have a bag project I have started with it. I just have to sit down and finish it.  I would use it for amigurumi, bags, coasters, scrubbies and other things you need a bit of stiffness for.  Just the ticket.

Cotton yarn test catona by Shelley Husband

Sirdar Cotton DK is the yarn I use to teach beginners to crochet.  It comes in 100 gram balls which gives my beginners a lot to practice with and because it’s mercerised (well I think it is, it’s one that’s not labelled as mercerised but it has all the characteristics the other mercerised yarns have), it’s very unlikely to split.  This means mistakes can be easily unravelled.  Being so smooth with little fluff also means beginners can see what they are doing much better than a super fluffy yarn.

Cotton yarn test Sirdar by Shelley Husband

Since I did my test, I was very lucky to receive a box of gorgeous blue Yarn and Colours yarns in mini 10 g balls and 50 g balls.  How cute are those minis?  Great for small projects with lots of colours. I’ll use it like any mercerised yarn suited projects and might use them in teaching too as there’s enough to make a granny with them.  Hmm.  Yes.

cotton yarn test yarn and colours must haves by Shelley Husband

So where’s all the Data?

I have added my excel spreadsheet with all the collated data about all the yarns tested if you want to see it all.  Just click the file name below and you’ll be able to download it and peruse at your leisure.

Cotton yarn test results by Shelley Husband 2017

Where to get the yarns

These yarns are available in a few places around the world.  I got some here in Australia from Bendigo Woollen Mills, Morris and Sons and Little Woollie, and the rest from Deramores,  Love Knitting and Wool Warehouse, all in the UK (although some of the Love Knitting yarns were sent from the USA).  In the spreadsheet I recorded where I got each yarn.  That is not to say that’s the only place to get them, it’s just where I bought my samples.

So now it’s over to you.  I hope you find my testing of help next time you are ready to choose a cotton yarn.  Please remember, these are my opinions and you my try a yarn and feel differently about it and that’s totally fine.  What’s important to you may not be to me and vice versa.

xx Shelley

PS check back soon for my discussion paper on knots in yarn balls!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a small commission that will help me continue to design and provide new patterns for you.

20 thoughts on “Cotton Yarn Test and Review – Part 5 – And the winner is….

  1. Carrie Copeland

    Wonderful!!!! Thank you so much for your time and consideration of all these yarns! Great information to have.

    Reply
  2. Loquiltus

    What a great run down on yarns. Thank you for spending the time to create such a useful reference for those who crochet with cottons.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Ware

    Such good thorough information. I can see myself referring to it again and again. Thank you so much for your time and diligence. What an impressive write up!

    Reply
  4. Ali

    Amazing research! Loving seeing some of my favourites pop up in your list (BWM and King Cole Cotton Soft!). Thanks for doing the leg work so I don’t have to! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Jean Nuttall

    Thank you once again Shelley for your painstaking research, and for sharing it. I use and love your top two, BWM and Cascade Ultra Pima – though the small colour range with the Bendigo is a negative for some projects. I’ve also used some horrid cottons from the “cheap shops” for things like Christmas decorations, but now with the results of your research that will change! Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      My pleasure Jean 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful. I agree the colour range is a little on the small side for the BWM, but for my love of neutrals it’s great. I hope you find some better cottons to use now 🙂

      Reply
  6. Carle Dehning

    Hello Shelley,
    What a big surprise to see us featured in the post, thank you for taking the time to include our dye house, I will show it to our staff when they are all in and I am sure they will feel just as proud and thankful as I do xx Carlé [nurturing fibres]

    Reply
  7. Alison

    Hi Shelley, I have been looking forward to these final test results and am really grateful for your hard work and time, even if you did enjoy it. When you buy on line and you unable to really feel or see first. This will give me the courage to try some of the other cottons available. I have used Scheepjes cotton 8 and just stuck to that as I liked it so much plus its good colour range.

    Reply
    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      I’m so glad you’ll find my playing helpful. The scheepjes cotton 8 is a nice yarn to use! So you lucked onto a good one there. But it’s nice to have options and try new things every now and then 🙂

      Reply
  8. kal20m

    Thank you so much for this. It will be great to use when I do purchase some cotton to use as I had no idea about most of these points.
    Have the best day and thank you again !

    Reply
  9. Karen Mathieson

    Funny, I got your newsletter with the test results the same day as there was a debate in one of my crochet groups about the best cotton. BWM is also my personal favourite! Thanks for your hard work putting this together, very useful indeed!

    Reply
  10. Trina

    Thank you so much for all the time and effort you have gone to in testing and sharing your results. I only started crocheting a couple of months ago, and can only use cotton. So far i have only used Mislet Dandellie and love it, but im looking forward to using your results to try something new.

    Reply

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