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Skein Lane Studio
208 Carmel Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

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About Acrylic

Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that was created to obtain a softness and bulk not possible with nylons, the first synthetic fibers. Today, acrylic is used widely for a variety of garments and fabrics. Knitting and crochet yarns that incorporate acrylic take advantage of it's best qualities, to make beautiful and interesting yarns.

Fiber Properties

Acrylic fiber is meant to imitate wool, but it lacks wool's insulating properties. Today, acrylics are often blended with other fibers or acrylic spun yarn is plied (twisted) with a strand of another fiber.

There are many ways acrylic yarn are spun, and great advances have been made in their softness. Some of them mimic and even surpass the softness of some natural yarns, such as angora or cashmere.

Acrylics can be made into every color imaginable, and even into a wide variety of textures, including everything from worsted weight yarns to novelties. Versatile and affordable, you might be surprised at what yarns contain acrylic.


A garment made from all acrylic is very warm, but it does not have the capacity to "breathe" as natural fibers do. Acrylic is often a component of baby yarns, for warmth and washability. While you can usually machine wash an acrylic yarn, they are very heat sensitive and may need to be laid flat to dry. Check your yarn label.

Depending on how they are spun, acrylics can pill, just as natural fibers can. As always, matching the project with the right yarn for the purpose is important.

When acrylic is blended with a natural fiber yarn, it may be susceptible to moths. Use mothballs to protect yarn, fiber and garments. If you don't like the odor, periodically place the yarn or garment in a plastic bag in the freezer for 48 hours to kill moth larvae. You should also air out stored fibers in the sun every now and then.


Always read and use the care instructions on your yarn's label. If you need help interpreting the symbols used on the label, check our Yarn Label Symbols page.

Generally, acrylic and acrylic blends can can machine washed. They will not shrink. Skein Lane recommends using a "wool wash" product such as Eucalan, and tepid water (not cold); it's not just for wools. Never use Woolite, as it contains a bleaching agent that can discolor your yarn. You may also add touch of hair conditioner to rinse water for extra softness.

Do not wring or twist the wet item. Wrap in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water before laying flat to dry.


Some popular acrylic and acrylic blend yarns at Skein Lane Studio are:

  • Crystal Palace Yarns.......Deco Ribbon


Learn more about

Alpaca  Angora  Bamboo  Cashmere  Cotton  Linen  Mohair  Nylon  Rayon  Silk  Wool

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