Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibers, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, knitting, and weaving. Yarn can be made from any number of synthetic or natural fibers. Very thin yarn is referred to as "thread". Yarns are made up of any number of plys, each ply being a single thread these threads being twisted (plied) together or spun together to make the final yarn. Spun yarn is made by twisting or otherwise bonding staple fibers together to make a cohesive thread.
In some cases, thread may be monofilament, or a single fiber. Thicker monofilaments are typically used for industrial purposes rather than fabric production or decoration. Silk is a natural filament and the only natural fiber that is counted as monofilament.
Texturized yarns are made by a process of air texturizing (sometimes referred to as taslanizing), which combines multiple filament yarns into a yarn with some of the characteristics of spun yarns.
Yarn manufacturing was one of the very first processes that was industrialized. Yarn is manufactured by either a spinning or air texturizing process. Spun yarns may contain a single type of fiber, or be a blend of various types. Combining synthetic fibers (which can have high strength, luster, and fire retardant qualities) with natural fibers (which have good water absorbency and skin comforting qualities) is very common. The most widely used blends are cotton/polyester and wool and/or acrylic fiber blends. Blends of different natural fibers are also common, especially with more expensive fibers such as alpaca, angora, and cashmere.
Yarn used for manufacture of fabric is made by spinning short lengths various types of fibers. Synthetic fibers which have high strength, artificial luster, and fire retardant qualities are blended with natural fibers which have good water absorbency and skin comforting qualities, in different proportions to manufacture yarn for fabric. The most widely used blends are cotton/polyster and wool/acrylic fiber blends.
Yarn is usually measured by weight. In the United States, balls of yarn are usually sold in three-ounce, four-ounce, six-ounce, and eight-ounce skeins. In Europe, the units of the weight is grams.
The term craft also refers to the products of artistic production or creation that require a high degree of tacit knowledge, are highly technical, require specialized equipment and/or facilities to produce, involve manual labor, are accessible to the general public and are constructed from materials, such as ceramics, glass, textiles, metal and wood.
Yarn crafts specifically refer to artists who use yarn as a fiber artist medium. Such crafts are crochet, knitting, weaving, needlework, and crewel. Spinners create yarn from rough fibers.
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