Understanding Yarn Labels

Most commercially produced yarns come with a label, or ball band. Always save the ball band with the yarn; it contains useful information.

The largest print on the ball band is the yarn manufacturer's name and logo, and then the name of that particular yarn. The ball band also includes the fiber content of the yarn.

The ball band lists the weight of the ball and the yardage, or the length of yarn contained in the ball. Yarn companies assign numbers to indicate yarn color. These numbers differ from one manufacturer to the next. Also listed is a dye lot number. Yarns are dyed in large batches, or lots; the dye lot number refers to a particular batch of a color. It's important to buy enough yarn from the same dye lot for a project because color differs from one dye lot to the next.

The ball band also lists what size knitting needles to use with the yarn, and what the desired gauge is for that yarn when it is knit with those needles.

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