Last updated: 16/10/2022

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It doesn’t matter whether knitting is a passionate hobby or just a diversified pastime from time to time. Once you start knitting, you will realise the many advantages it has to offer. No previous knowledge is needed for knitting, just a knitting needle and, above all, knitting wool. But what do you have to consider when choosing knitting wool in order to get the best knitted fabric? In this article, we would like to go into more detail on the characteristics of knitting wool with the help of some recommendable examples and answer other important questions on this topic in detail.


  • Knitting wool comes in countless varieties and is versatile. This means that there are enough possibilities for everyone to create individual pieces as they wish.
  • To find the right knitting wool for the upcoming knitting project, some important criteria should be considered before buying. These include material, running length and the manufacturer’s care instructions.
  • Since every supplier produces their knitting wool differently, you will find a lot more information on the label of the respective knitting wool. For a more detailed overview, this should definitely not be ignored in order to avoid mishaps such as shrinkage of the knitted fabric.

The Best Knitting Wool: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for knitting wool

Whether for knitting socks, hats or tablecloths, there are now countless varieties and colours of knitting wool. But to find the right wool for all your upcoming knitting projects, you should consider the following criteria before making your final purchase decision:

To help you understand what exactly lies behind these properties, we explain them in detail in the following section:


The material is one of the most important criteria for buying knitting wool. This is because there are significant differences in the production of knitting wool depending on its intended use. There are four different raw materials for fibre production. Popular examples of animal fibres are virgin wool, silk, cashmere and angora. The wool obtained is particularly soft and especially suitable for making winter clothing. Nevertheless, these materials should be used sparingly, as animal fibres are quite expensive and require a lot of care. The aspect of animal welfare also plays an important role and should be examined more closely with the manufacturer before buying.

For the sake of the environment, both chemically produced and animal fibres can be avoided by using fibres produced from plants. These include, for example, fibres made of cotton, bamboo and linen. In addition to the good ecological balance, vegetable wool fibres are versatile and well tolerated by allergy sufferers. There is also knitted wool made from synthetic and semi-synthetic fibres, such as elastane, polyester and viscose. Even though the production is less environmentally friendly, (semi-)synthetic fibres are much more durable, easier to care for and can be used for many purposes. For example, synthetic fibres are particularly suitable for knitted blankets and cushion covers, as these often need to be cleaned.

Run length and material consumption

To help you plan your knitting projects in advance, you will find information about the running length and material consumption on the band of the ball of wool. This tells you how many metres of knitting wool are attached to a ball and how many grams of wool are needed for a jumper, for example.

Needle size

Depending on how many individual threads are spun together, this can result in balls of knitting wool of different thicknesses. This also depends on the intended use, as you will certainly need a thicker wool for knitting a hat than for a tablecloth. Accordingly, there are also different sizes of knitting needles, which can have a needle thickness of 1.5 mm to 12 mm. In order to be able to knit with the respective accessories without any problems, the recommended needle size is indicated on the banderole.


To ensure that the hard work is worthwhile and that you can enjoy your knitted garments for a long time, you should always follow the care instructions on the label. This includes the washing method and recommended care products, as well as drying and storage. A gentle hand wash will keep the knitwear from shrinking and felting. To prevent the shape from expanding, the pieces should be dried and stored lying down. For long-lasting beautiful colours, it is also advisable to store them in a place protected from the sun.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about knitting wool answered in detail

For a comprehensive overview, we use our guide to answer the most important questions about knitting wool so that any ambiguities can be definitively cleared up.

What can you do with knitting wool?

Knitting wool is versatile. From the materials and wool structure to the choice of colours, there are no limits. As the name suggests, knitting wool can be used to knit any kind of garment. Whether it’s warm winter socks, a hat or a cosy knitted jumper, the choice is huge and can be made in a variety of ways depending on your preferences. Cotton fabrics and animal fibres are particularly suitable for a long-lasting design and pleasant wearing comfort.


Whether it’s a jumper, a hat or a simple decorative item, with knitting wool you have countless possibilities to make special individual pieces yourself. (Image source: Anastasia Zhenina / Pexels)

Knitting wool can also be used to make household helpers as well as decorative items. Potholders, cuddly blankets for babies and hanging baskets are particularly popular and easy to make. The countless possibilities of knitting as well as crochet patterns make every knitted piece an individual unique piece.

What types of knitting wool are there?

There are countless varieties of knitting wool, which differ both in terms of material composition and fibre structure. Animal, vegetable and synthetic fibres are used for the production. Popular types of knitting wool include cotton yarns, yarns made from sheep’s wool, mixed and synthetic yarns. These types of yarns are characterised by durability and versatility. There are also different types in the structure of the fibres.

For an extra strong knitting yarn, several threads are spun together to form a whole yarn. In addition to the different strengths, the spinning technique also offers a wide range of knitting yarns. For example, the fibres can be spun into fluffy, hairy or simply smooth yarns. This can be used to knit woollen blankets, pullovers or socks of different thicknesses and cosiness, depending on your preference.

How much does a ball of knitting wool cost?

Since the price of knitting wool depends on various factors such as material costs, quality or quantity, we give you a rough overview of the pricing of knitting wool in the following illustration:

Price range Product characteristics
Low-priced (2 – 7 €) Mostly knitting wool made of synthetic fibres, as the manufacturing costs are kept low here.
Medium-priced (8 – 15 €) Knitting wool made of vegetable and mixed fibres, also multi-part sets of synthetic yarns.
High-priced (from 15 €) Knitting wool made from virgin wool or other animal fibres. Particularly high quality thanks to real animal hair.

What do you have to look out for when choosing knitting wool?

In order to find the right knitting wool among all the countless variants, all properties such as material, running length, weight, needle size and care instructions should be included in the selection. The name of the manufacturer and the colour number can also be helpful for specific search results. You can find this and other information on the band of the ball or under the article description of the online supplier.


As we can ultimately conclude, knitting wool is a versatile all-rounder. Thanks to the countless variations – from the material composition to the many colour finishes – every homemade knitted piece becomes a special one-of-a-kind piece, depending on your preferences.

If you are overwhelmed by the large selection of knitting wool, you can seek advice from a hobby knitter or a specialist shop. Especially for beginners, the search for the best knitting wool can be a bit difficult, but with a rough plan for the knitting project, even the band of a knitting yarn can give helpful hints.

(Cover picture: congerdesign/ Pixabay)