How to calculate yarn count

Written by kaylee finn
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How to calculate yarn count
Yarns come in different thickness. (yarn image by Liz Van Steenburgh from

Determine the yarn count of your unknown cones of yarn with a simple set of measurements and calculations. The yarn count is a measurement of how thick yarn is. Yarn with a lower count is thicker, while yarn with a higher count is finer. To calculate the yarn count you will first need to know what material your yarn is made from, such as wool, cotton or linen.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Postage or kitchen scale
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Weigh 0.454kg. of yarn using a postage or kitchen scale.

  2. 2

    Measure the length of the weighed yarn using the measuring tape.

  3. 3

    Convert the total length into the appropriate unit for the type of yarn. For example, the unit for cotton is the hank, which is 840 yards. So, a cotton yarn with 8,400 yards in a pound would be 10 hanks. This conversion is approximate and should come to a round number. Choose the number closest to the conversion. So, a yarn with 7,980 yards in a pound would still come to 10 hanks.

  4. 4

    Count the number of plies, or strands, in the yarn. The yarn count is the number of plies/number of units. For example, if the cotton yarn is two ply, its count is 2/10 cotton.

Tips and warnings

  • To speed up measuring, weigh out 0.045kg. of the yarn, and multiple your length measurement by ten.

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