What is Worsted Weight Yarn: Knit & Crochet Friendly Yarn

Md Mahedi Hasan

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What is Worsted yarn?

Worsted yarn refers to high-quality wool-type yarn. This yarn is a long-staple wool made involving the short hairs coming out of the fiber. Apparently, this yarn fabric is useful in making tailored suits, hosiery, baize, and even carpets for clothing. Worsted yarn tends to be 3 inches long with a fine diameter.

Here, fibers are washed, combed, or carded to get back with higher twisting and stronger features.

From the outside, there is an appearance of crisp yet smooth and lightweight yarn. But this lighter-weight yarn is well-woven for weaving construction. A bit costly price does not get them in a wrinkled position. This yarn holds creases and uses exact shape and shininess.

Are you one of those crafters who are looking for knitting and crocheting yarn? Get a quick review on our absolute favorite worsted weight yarn in this article!

What is Worsted Weight yarn mean?

Worsted weight yarn denotes that medium-weight yarn that is not too light or bulky. This is a yarn that is neither thick nor thin. The worst weight term origins from Worstead village in the Norfolk country of England.

Weaving and the demonstration of the spinning process are featured items in the annual festival. Rather, this yarn sits in the middle category, number 4, given by the Craft Yarn Council. Aran or Afghan yarns are well-debated to be this weight yarn.

Interchangeably, anyone takes this yarn to be like the 10-ply yarn in Australia. Meanwhile, the term ‘worsted’ refers to the spinning method that is creative to involve combing the fibers. The standard given by the Craft Yarn Council provides uniformity as well as standardization, which is a widely accepted system.

According to this standard, worsted weight yarn is a medium weight label that includes number 4 where 16-20 stitches knitting gauge takes for every 4 inches.

Features of Worsted Weight Yarn

From having excellent stitch quality to recommending for beginners, Worsted Weight yarns come in as a featured option for all. Features are:

a. The Budget-Friendly Feature

Crafting more projects has become easier because a ball of yarn is enough to keep your projects continuing.

b. Durability

This medium-weight yarn is durable and strong. Besides, multiple plies have taken them spun, twisted, as well as braided together.

c. Versatility

This yarn is useful in making clothing items as well as home décor items.

d. Bulky brings the Variation.

This medium-weight yarn is easy to bulk up because of its thickness. Using a few strands spun together with a combination of different colors can add variety.

What ply is Worsted Weight Yarn?

Four-ply is the best number for worsted-weight yarn. Plies refer to the small, stranded yarns that spun together with a view to creating a larger strand. Yarns tend to range from 1 ply to 8 ply. Here, plies are strands.

So, 1 ply means single strands. 8 ply means 8 strands that spun together. The higher the number of piles, the decrease in the amount of pilling. The eternity superfine fingering is the best example of this type of yarn. Another name, Aran, in the form of worsted weight, tends to be 10 plies or 4-number category yarn. It is like the 8 ply DK Yarn. Here is the chart for easy understanding:

Standard VersionUSAUKAustralia
3Light WorstedDK8-Ply
Standard Version of Worsted Weight Yarn

What is Worsted Weight Yarn: WPI vs STS/Inch?

WPI is the label of wraps every inch. It ranges from less than 6 to 35. On the other hand, the STS or Stockinette Stitch label ranges from less than 6 to 40. Thicker yarn tends to occupy more space and leads to fewer wraps per inch. That is why, there is a rule of thumb to follow that the higher the range is, the lower the yarn number gets.

How to Identify the Worsted Weight Yarn?

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to determine whether the yarn losing all kinds of yarn ball bands is the worsted type or not. Here are 2 quick methods to follow:

Method: 01

Keep a pencil and tape measure near to you.

Now, lay the tape measure on a surface that is flat. After that, keep the pencil right below the measuring tool. Measure an inch with chalk to identify it later easily. Wrap the yarn around the 1-inch pencil area. Now, count how many times you did wrap the yarn around that 1-inch area of the pencil. If the number of wraps is around 9 to 11, it is a worsted-weight yarn.

Method: 02

Keep a WPI tool. WPI tools should have a pre-measured area. Because using this, you will be going to wrap the yarn.

What to Consider Before Using Worsted Weight Yarn?

Worsted weight yarn is a labeled yarn with a number 4 on it attached. It is a standardized set of symbols that indicates the gauge of the yarn and the recommended needles.

i. Gauge Range:

For the knitting, the gauge range is,

16-20 inches for 4 inches.

For the crocheting gauge ranges,

11-14 stitches for 4 inches.

ii. Needle Size

Knitting needle size chart
Knitting needle size chart

Recommended needle size for knitting is around (7-9 for the US), and 4.5 to 5.5 mm metric in general. For crocheting, the nature of the hook depends on the product as well as the own preferences.

iii. For Thicker Items:

Keep it 6.5 mm and up to 6.5 mm, for knitting thicker items.

The considerable range is not specific showing from the given points. So, it is wise for you to try out the needle as well as the hook size based on your project requirements.

iv. Meters or Yards

This yarn usually denotes 170 to 240 yards per 100-gram skein, depending on the yarn fiber content.

How Worsted Weight Yarn Gets to Use?

Different Worsted Weight Yarn Application
Different Worsted Weight Yarn Application

This medium-weight or 4-ply yarn is an easy substitute for any pattern that requires the worsted yarn feature. Knitting and crocheting are the main application areas. To create any kind of knitting patterns or craft projects.


Determining the exact knitted or crocheted piece is as significant as learning about the yarn thickness. This is where the ‘Weight’ of the yarn comes in. Thickness also takes you into figuring out hook or needle size.

Here, in the case of worsted weight yarn, plies are important to get the difference Between American, Australian, and UK terms. This yarn stays in the center of the yarn weight spectrum. A perfectly all-Purpose yarn cannot be comprehensive without the mention of this worsted one!

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