Polyamide, also known as nylon, is a durable and versatile material that resembles more expensive materials like silk and wool but at a fraction of the cost.
What are the best polyamide yarns? Polyamide yarns are nearly always blends with other materials, especially acrylic, wool, and alpaca. Polyamide can lower the cost of warm, luxurious wool yarn, add structure to alpaca fibers, or add softness and stretchiness to acrylic. So the best polyamide yarn varies by project and intended use.
If you are a knitter looking for an affordable yarn option that is low maintenance and can last you a long time, polyamide is definitely a material that is worth considering. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about polyamide yarn and some of the best options on the market.
What to Know About Polyamide
Polyamide is made from the melting and chemical treatment of nylon chips. The material is then formed into tiny fibers and spun into yarn.
Polyamide alone has a lot of desirable characteristics, but you can also find polyamide blends that combine the low maintenance of polyamide with the softness and warmth of natural materials like wool.
Polyamide is a strong synthetic fiber that feels soft and smooth against the skin. It holds heat really well and is resistant to wear and tear, so it is definitely worth the investment. As a synthetic fiber, it is very low-maintenance, resistant to wrinkles, and can be machine-washed.
Polyamide doesn’t shrink in the wash but may lose its shape or even melt under high heat. Because it is treated with chemicals, some people may have allergic reactions to this material. If you are knitting baby garments, it is best to avoid polyamide yarn, which may cause skin irritations to sensitive baby skin.
A lot of yarn blends polyamides with other materials like acrylic and wool to get the best characteristics out of the two materials.
In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a pure polyamide yarn. Polyamide is nearly always blended with other materials when it is included in yarn.
For example, polyamide blends with acrylic may increase the yarn’s strength and durability while retaining the yarn’s softness and stretchiness. A polyamide and acrylic blend is also quite smooth, which is pleasant to knit with.
Polyamide blends with wool may lower the cost of production, but you still get the warmth and silkiness of the wool and the polyamide. You can knit an expensive-looking and feeling garment at a lower cost – compared to something made of 100 percent wool.
Because polyamide is so soft and smooth, it is quite easy to knit with. You can see and pick up the stitches fairly well, and the yarn slides off the needles so effortlessly. Polyamide yarn is perfect for beginners who are looking for something to practice with.
Best Polyamide Yarns
As we said before, polyamide is nearly always added to other fibers to create blended yarns. It is a popular way to cut costs for more expensive fibers such as alpaca or wool, while still retaining the best qualities of these finer materials.
As an easily workable fiber, polyamide can also make a yarn easier to work with, increase stretchiness, and add or maximize softness and smoothness of a fiber.
When choosing a polyamide-blended yarn, consider your final project. Need something warm and textured? A wool-polyamide blend may be best. Something soft? Consider alpaca. Want to crochet something soft and colorful? An acrylic blend could be perfect. And as always, consider the yarn weight, color, and other needs.
If you think polyamide is the right material for you, read on to find out our recommendations for the best polyamide yarns on the market:
|1.||Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn||40% polyamide, 60% acrylic|
|2.||West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply Yarn||25% polyamide, 75% wool|
|3.||Andean Sun Baby Alpaca Wool Yarn||23% polyamide, 70% baby alpaca, 7% Merino wool|
|4.||Regia Premium Alpaca Soft Yarn||23% polyamide, 62% wool, 15% alpaca|
|5.||Lion Brand Mani-Pedi Yarn||25% polyamide, 75% superwash wool|
We’ll go into more detail about each so you can determine if one of these is right for your next project. Happy crafting!
1. Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn
This Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn can give you the softness and smoothness of silk and the coziness of cotton. This medium sport weight (or 3 DK) yarn is a blend of 60 percent acrylic and 40 percent polyamide, perfectly mixing all of the great characteristics of these two materials.
We love all of the beautiful pastel colors that it comes in. Although polyamide doesn’t dye very well, the blend with acrylic really helps the yarn hold the dye, creating some beautiful colors that can give you plenty of options for your next project.
This yarn feels really soft against the skin. Because both polyamide and acrylic can trap heat really well, this yarn makes for perfect sweaters and blankets during colder seasons.
We recommend taking caution if you want to make baby garments with this yarn. Since the fibers were treated with chemicals, they may not be friendly to sensitive baby skin. Although the risk is minimal and present with most commercial yarns of any material, you should still thoroughly wash the garment before using it to avoid any skin irritations.
Because the material is synthetic, it is very low maintenance. This yarn is machine-washable and will shrink minimally in the wash. Make sure not to use water that is too hot since it can distort or even melt the yarn. We also recommend air drying the garment instead of using a dryer.
2. West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply Yarn
The West Yorkshire Spinners Signature is an amazing substitute for 100 percent wool if you want all of the benefits of wool but at a more affordable price.
The yarn is a blend between 75 percent wool (including 35% Bluefaced Leicester wool) and 25 percent polyamide. That means this sock weight yarn has the strength and durability of polyamide and the softness and warmth of wool. This kind of quality is difficult to find, especially when it comes to a polyamide blend.
This 4-ply yarn comes in quite a few colors, including some self-striping colors that would make really cozy socks, hats, or scarves. If you are making a big garment, make sure to check the dye lot so that you get a consistent color quality throughout the garment.
Don’t be intimidated when you first touch the yarn, as wool can feel a bit rough to the touch when you first buy it. The material will soften after washing, giving you a beautifully soft garment that feels great against the skin.
Wool will shrink in the wash and can be a bit cumbersome to care for. With this yarn, you won’t have to worry about this problem. The material is machine-washable; just make sure not to use hot water so you won’t affect the look of the wool. We also recommend air drying your garment to prevent any unwanted shrinkage.
3. Andean Sun Baby Alpaca Wool Yarn
This luxurious wool and polyamide blend will surprise you. This extra soft baby alpaca/Merino wool yarn is a beautiful blend. Specifically, it consists of 70 percent baby alpaca, 7 percent Merino wool, and 23 percent polyamide.
It is a beautifully soft and bouncy worsted weight wool that feels amazing and expensive against your skin. The wool is sustainably collected and environmentally friendly, so you won’t have to worry about its environmental impact.
While the natural elements make the wool soft and cozy, the polyamide blend adds durability and even some stretch to the mixture. This wool-blend gives you all of the luxury and coziness of premium-quality wool while adding the strength of polyamide to help your garment withstand the test of time.
Although this yarn is a polyamide blend, you should take some precautions when caring for this material. It is best to hand wash your garments in cool water using a mild soap. Do not twist the garment because it may distort the look of the wool. Instead, press it to remove excess water and lay it on a towel to dry.
If you care for this material in the right way, it will retain its look and feel for a long time. Thanks to the durability of the polyamide, this yarn is a worthwhile investment whether you are making a sweater or blanket that will stay with you for a long time.
4. Regia Premium Alpaca Yarn
This beautiful wool and polyamide blend is an amazing option for sock yarn. The fiber is made of 62 percent wool, 15 percent alpaca, and 23 percent polyamide. Since the majority of the fiber content is natural wool, you can imagine the yarn’s amazing softness and luxurious feel against your skin.
The polyamide component of the fiber content strengthens the yarn and adds a slight stretch to it without making it too stuffy. Combined together, this sock weight yarn has all the best characteristics of both wool and polyamide.
This yarn is quite thin, with a recommended needle size of 3 mm. It would be perfect for cozy garments like socks and mittens. This yarn comes in quite a few colors, which you can mix and match to your liking. Each of the colors has a “natural” look that you often see in wool, where you can see some white fibers poking through.
When caring for this yarn, take the same steps as you normally would when caring for 100 percent wool. Although polyamide is relatively low maintenance, you should still hand wash, and air dry your garments to make sure that you maintain the looks and feel of your garment even after some use.
5. Lion Brand Mani-Pedi Yarn
This Lion Brand Mani-Pedi Yarn is a great option if you are looking for a soft and comfortable sock weight yarn. The yarn is made from 75 percent superwash wool and 25 percent polyamide, combining the softness and breathability and wool and the endurance of polyamide.
This yarn comes in a few self-striping colors that would make amazing socks and mittens. It feels light and soft against your skin while still immune to the harsh fade that the soles of socks usually suffer thanks to the durability of polyamide.
The yarn is quite light; you would need to use needles size 1.5 mm to 3 mm with it, so knitting a pair of socks would take quite a while. However, the result is quite worth it since you will have some super soft and luxurious socks to give to your loved ones.
We recommend hand-washing this yarn in cold water and air drying it to maintain your garment’s shape and softness after wearing it for a while. Overall, this yarn is highly recommended, especially if you are looking for a quality sock yarn, because of its softness and durability.