Best Yarn For Tufting: Wool, Cotton or Acrylic?

Are you starting tufting, but don’t know what type of yarn to use? Don’t worry, this article is for you. We’ll guide you through the process so you can start tufting with the right yarn. With each tufted creation, we encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

“What will my creation be used for when it is finished? How durable should my tufted piece be?” As you can see, your choice of yarn will depend on the use of your creation.


There are many types of yarns, some have advantages and some have disadvantages. Today we will highlight three popular categories:

Acrylic, wool and cotton

Wool Yarn: If your rug is to be placed on the floor, we advise you to avoid using acrylic and opt for wool instead. Indeed, the rugs found in stores are generally made of this natural and durable fiber that will keep its shape even after repeated use. A disadvantage could be the price because is more expensive than an acrylic yarn, even than a cotton one. The most famous wool is the neozealand wool who can be purchased online.

Acrylic Yarn: If on the other hand, you want to make a wall piece or a rug that will not be walked on often, you can use acrylic yarn. Its main drawback is that it will not stand the test of time when used for floor pieces. It tends to fray easily, but if you are new to tufting, this synthetic fiber is a good, low-cost option for you. It’s and excellent option to make pillows because of the soft texture. Also you can find a wide variety of colors.

Cotton Yarn: Is in the middle ground being soft but not durable as wool yarn. Is cheaper than wool yarn but more expensive than acrylic. Like acrylic, it can be used for pillows, wall hanging rugs, coasters, etc. You can find it in two presentations: organic or recycled.

Yarn Thickness

Now that you know which yarn to choose, we will discuss the thickness of yarn you should use for tufting. We can get lost very quickly when faced with all the different sizes of yarn thickness available in stores. However, the thickness doesn’t really matter as long as you can get it through the eyelet of your tufting gun. You can buy wool yarn specially made for tufting on Etsy or you can buy balls of yarn number “3 or 4 hooks” that you can find in local stores specialized on knitting.

Depending on the thickness of your yarn, you can insert 2 to 4 strands in the eye of the tufting gun. This will give you better results and allow you to obtain a creation with depth and a nice density of material. In order to find the best formula, we recommend that you test with a number of different strands before starting to tuft your design.

You are now ready to tuft!

All you need to do is insert your yarn into your tufting gun. The best way to insert your yarn into your tufting gun is to use a yarn threader. This accessory is one of the most important elements of tufting. When you start tufting, the thread will escape from your machine several times, the threader can save you from nervous breakdowns.

Finally, if you choose to buy balls of yarn, we strongly advise you to use a winder. This will prevent you from being frustrated by the frequency with which the yarn escapes from your tufting gun. You can choose between an electric winder or a manual winder, here you can find a recommendation.

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