How to Calculate Yarn Count

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Determine the yarn count of your unknown cones of yarn with a simple set of measurements and calculations. The yarn count is a measurement of how thick yarn is. Yarn with a lower count is thicker, while yarn with a higher count is finer. To calculate the yarn count you first need to know what fiber your yarn is made from, such as wool, cotton or linen.

Things You'll Need

  • Postage or kitchen scale
  • Measuring tape
  • Weigh 1 pound of yarn using a postage or kitchen scale.

  • Measure the length of the weighed yarn using the measuring tape.

  • Convert the total length into the appropriate unit for the type of yarn. For example, the unit for cotton is the hank, which is 840 yards. So, a cotton yarn with 8,400 yards in a pound would be 10 hanks. This conversion is approximate and should come to a round number. Choose the number closest to the conversion. So, a yarn with 7,980 yards in a pound would still come to 10 hanks.

  • Count the number of plies, or strands, in the yarn. The yarn count is the number of plies/number of units. For example, if the cotton yarn is two ply, its count is 2/10 cotton.

Tips & Warnings

  • To speed up measuring, weigh out 1/10 pound of the yarn, and multiple your length measurement by ten.

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References

  • Photo Credit yarn image by Liz Van Steenburgh from Fotolia.com
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