Cotton is affordable and widely available. It comes in a wide variety of weights, colors, brands, and finishes; it’s available shiny or matte, smooth or textured. You can buy either yarn or thread made of cotton.
Due to environmental concerns, I prefer organic cotton. I cannot in good conscience recommend knitting or crocheting with conventionally farmed cotton, which is grown using significant quantities of harmful pesticides — not to mention alarming amounts of water.
Cotton yarn may take some getting used to if you usually knit or crochet with other fibers such as wool or acrylic. You’re likely to notice that cotton is inelastic in comparison to many of the other popular fibers.
Projects You Can Crochet Using Cotton:
You can use cotton for making a wide variety of different projects. My favorites are crochet flowers, potholders, dishcloths, washcloths and kitchen projects, but you can also make cotton clothing, accessories and other things too.
If cotton has a downside, it’s that it tends to be heavy. This isn’t such an issue for knitting, that I’ve noticed. I’ve mostly run into problems with too-heavy cotton projects while crocheting. Crochet work tends to be dense and use lots of yarn; when you put those factors together, it can result in projects that are weightier than is ideal. So you might not want to crochet large projects using worsted weight or bulky weight cotton. I wouldn’t recommend crocheting a worsted weight cotton afghan, for example; in my opinion, it would be preferable to make a lighter weight cotton bedspread using crochet thread.
I once crocheted a long cotton scarf using a medium-weight yarn; the scarf turned out so heavy that I unraveled it. Which isn’t to say that you can’t crochet scarves out of cotton — you certainly can! In fact, several of my favorite scarves are cotton. See these holiday scarves, for example. They’re made of hefty cotton yarn; but the scarves are really short, which helps to keep the weight down a bit.
In my opinion, cotton is best used for crocheting scarves that are either short, lacy, or made with crochet thread.
If you’re willing to work with crochet thread or fine-weight yarns, your possibilities expand greatly. Now we’re talking doilies, mandalas, dainty edgings for linens, and even jewelry. (See this elegant beaded crochet necklace for one noteworthy example.)
Learn More About Crocheting With Cotton:
I’ve posted several related product reviews of cotton yarns I enjoy working with. I hope you will find them helpful; they are linked here for your consideration.
- Product review: Knitpicks Simply Cotton worsted weight yarn
- Bio Sesia Organic Cotton Yarn by Plymouth Yarn Company
- Sprout Organic Cotton Yarn by Classic Elite
J.J. Pizzuto’s Fabric Science
Allen C. Cohen
Fairchild Publications, New York
Textiles: Fiber to Fabric
Dr. Bernard P. Corbman
McGraw-Hill Book Company
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Find More Info About Knitting and Crochet Supplies
- Best Yarns for Knitting and Crochet
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