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Cotton yarn

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Cotton yarn was Mayflower's original specialty, and if your grandmother knitted with cotton yarn in her youth, she most likely had yarn from Mayflower in her hands. Today, we've expanded our range, but our cotton yarn is still of the same high quality.

Since Mayflower's humble beginnings 70 years ago, we have expanded our cotton yarn range considerably. We have increased our focus on sustainability and have, for example, added yarns with GOTS certification. This international certificate certifies that Mayflower handles both environmental and social responsibility in the form of good working conditions throughout the supply chain.

Cotton yarn is a fantastic yarn quality that is both durable and soft. In addition, cotton is also an organic material, which provides excellent breathability. Cotton yarn is especially perfect for summer wear, as cotton is not very warm. However, it is excellent at expelling heat and sweat away from the body, so you'll feel comfortable even on very hot days. 

When crocheting, cotton yarn is often the preferred choice. It is a very firm yarn that can easily hold its shape if you want to crochet a teddy bear, for example. At the same time, the individual stitches stand out clearly in cotton yarn, which can make crochet projects easier to manage. 

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  • Cotton Junior 8/4
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    Cotton Junior 8/4

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  • Cotton 8/4


    Cotton 8/4

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  • Just Cotton 8/4 10-pak Just Cotton 8/4 10-pak
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    Just Cotton 8/4 10-pak

    12.00 USD
  • ANYDAY Cotton 8/4 Colorbag 10-pak ANYDAY Cotton 8/4 Colorbag 10-pak
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    ANYDAY Cotton 8/4 Colorbag 10-pack

    11.00 USD 17.00 USD
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    ANYDAY Cotton 8/4 10-pack

    9.00 USD 17.00 USD
  • Cotton 8/8


    Cotton 8/8

    3.00 USD
  • Anyday Cotton 8/4 Print Colorbag ​​10-pack
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    Anyday Cotton 8/4 Print Colorbag ​​10-pack

    14.00 USD 18.00 USD
  • Farmers Yarn

    Farmers Yarn Cotton 8/4

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  • Cotton 8/4 Organic GOTS


    Cotton 8/4 Organic GOTS

    3.00 USD

Cotton yarn is often used for summer knit and crochet, but it is actually a yarn quality that can be used all year round. 

Cotton is especially known for being breathable, durable and easy to wash, but in addition it is also one of the more budget-friendly yarn types. 

In this text you can find all the most important information about cotton yarn. Notably, the advantages and disadvantages of cotton yarn, the best projects and lastly how to get the best result with the yarn type. 


Introduction to cotton yarn

Cotton yarn is spun by cotton fibers and is the most widely used type of plant fibers in yarn and textile production. 

The quality of cotton yarn depends in particular on the fiber length of the cotton. The longer the cotton fibers, the stronger, softer and smoother yarn you can produce. 

The cotton fibers themselves consist largely of pure cellulose, but cotton also contains a few percent wax and fat. 


Organic cotton yarn

Organic cotton yarn deserves a section for itself, because it is a type of yarn that is more and more in demand today. At the same time, surprisingly high demands are placed on this type of yarn, and many are surprised at how extensive the approval is. 

Mayflower supplies, among other things, yarn with GOTS certification. Here, of course, there are requirements for the yarn to be produced from organic cotton, but the requirements are actually far more far-reaching. There are great demands on how the cotton is grown, of course completely without the use of pesticides. 

With a GOTS certification, there are also high demands on the production itself. For example, wastewater must be minimized and treated properly, and strict requirements are also made in relation to permitted dyes and the like. 

Last but not least, there are also requirements for proper working and wage conditions throughout the entire production chain, and thus a social responsibility is also taken. 



The properties of the cotton yarn

Like all other yarn types, cotton yarn has both its own advantages and disadvantages. In addition, cotton yarn also has a number of properties that do not necessarily belong to one of the two categories.

For example, cotton yarn is not particularly heat insulating, as cotton fibers are more flat and do not have the same fullness as warmer fibers. This feature is a clear advantage if you want to make summer clothes, while it can be difficult to get winter clothing warm enough. 


Benefits of cotton yarn

  • Durable
  • Good absorbency
  • Budget friendly
  • Can be washed at high temperatures
  • Compact structure


Disadvantages of cotton yarn

  • Curls easier than wool
  • Less elasticity


As you can see above, cotton yarn has many properties and it is important to remember these properties when choosing a project. 


Good projects with cotton yarn

The compact structure of the cotton yarn is one of its greatest benefits, but it can also present challenges as this property also provides limited elasticity. It is important to be aware of these factors when choosing a cotton yarn project - whether you crochet or knit. 


Loose-fitting summer clothes 

Since cotton yarn is not particularly heat insulating, it is perfect for summer clothes. However, the lack of elasticity means that you should avoid knitting tight-fitting clothing.

Wool fibers have great elasticity, and the effect can be that a tight-fitting sweater can shape according to the body and still return to its original shape when you take off the sweater. In comparison, cotton lacks elasticity and therefore it easily ends up retaining a crooked shape if pulled out of shape while wearing it.

This problem does not arise with more loose-fitting summer clothes, and fortunately it only needs to have a few centimeters of positive ase to stay neat.



There are endless options for making knitted and crocheted interiors with cotton yarn. For example, pillowcases, clutches, small bags for tablets or phones, table spices, pots, bookmarks, crochet christmas decorations, amigurumi or something completely sixth. 

Cotton yarn is excellent for interior as it holds its shape and is durable. At the same time, cotton yarn is available in all the colors of the rainbow, so it is easy to find a nuance that fits your particular project. 


Teddy bears

Teddy bears are one of the most popular projects with cotton yarn, and here the yarn's lack of elasticity actually benefits you. A woolen teddy bear can easily be pulled out of the shape of the weight of the filling, while cotton yarn will keep the shape better. In addition, teddy bears, knitted toys, amigurumi and other toys you can crochet or knit, are most often washed at high temperatures if you make it in cotton yarn.


Dishcloths and towels

Knitted dishcloths or crocheted kitchen towels? There are no yarn qualities that are better for dishcloths and towels than cotton yarn. Here, the cotton is particularly distinguished by its abrasion resistance and ability to absorb fluid. In addition, cotton also has a natural ability to attract dirt particles. 

An important factor when choosing yarn for home-knit or crocheted dishcloths and towels is also hygiene. A dishcloth can quickly absorb many bacteria and therefore it is necessary to wash it often at at least 60 degrees. Many fiber types can't handle so hot when washing, but cotton yarn manages it without any problems. And white cotton yarn can even be cooked. 


Baby blankets and clothes

It is also obvious to crochet or knit baby blankets and baby clothes with cotton yarn, for cotton is both soft and easy to wash. 

Cotton is good for the summer season, and it can be especially good for a summer blanket - for example for the stroller. Cotton also naturally has a bit more weight than other fibers, and it can be very soothing for the baby to feel the weight from the rug without getting it too hot. 


Tips and tricks with cotton yarn

Once you have control of the basic properties of the cotton, you are ready to get started on your first cotton yarn project. We just have a few good tips we would like to give you.


Wooden knitting needles can be an advantage

If you knit with cotton yarn, you may find that the stitches do not settle as nicely and evenly as desired, and it can be difficult to have a completely similar knitting gauge. This is not abnormal and it is typically due to cotton yarn being smoother than most animal fibers.

If you are dealing with this, switching to wooden knitting needles can be an advantage that helps keep track of the yarn.


Crochet or knit too tight

Cotton yarn is firm in the structure and therefore it can quickly become hard for fingers and arms if you crochet or knit tight. 

When making teddy bears and not having to adhere to a crochet strength, you should practice crocheting or knitting so well loosely that it is comfortable to sit with the work between your hands. However, if you crochet teddy bears or amigurumi that requires filling, you should pay close attention to crocheting a fixed structure. Partly, the solid structure makes the filling invisible, but more importantly, it is that babies or toddlers cannot peel filling out through holes in the surface. 

If you knit or crochet clothes in cotton yarn, it is necessary to comply with a particular knit or crochet gauge to fit the targets of the finished project. If the stitches feel tight, consider changing needles or hooks to a smaller size so that your stitches can be looser and you can still adhere to the right knitting or crochet gauge. 


Choose a good beginner project

Cotton yarn is relatively cheap, which is why there are many beginners who would like to start practicing in cotton yarn. However, cotton can be a little more challenging to work with at first.

Other fibers, such as wool, have a natural elasticity, which makes it easier to get a nice result with an even stitch image. This is a feature cotton does not have and therefore it will be visible if the stitches are not knitted evenly. 

A good beginner project with cotton yarn could be a more open knitting pattern - for example knit with hollow pattern, as small variations in the mesh size will become less visible. 

In relation to crochet, it is not so crucial whether you are experienced or not. Crochet gives a closer result and therefore variations in the masks will not be nearly visible.


Help for washing cotton yarn

Cotton yarn is easy to wash, which is one of the factors that makes the yarn so popular. Here you will find an overview of what you need to pay attention to when you machine wash cotton yarn.

First, you should always check the banderole before washing cotton yarn. In this guide you will find general advice, but if a banderole says something else, you should follow it instead.


Machine wash of cotton yarn

Colored cotton yarn should usually be machine washed at 40ºC or 60 ºC, while white cotton yarn can withstand boiling. 

When washing colored cotton yarn, it is important that you do not wash it at a lower temperature. Especially in the beginning, there will be a risk that too low temperature will cause the yarn's colors to bleed out. If you are going to wash the yarn at a lower temperature, you should immediately repeat the wash cycle at the right temperature to 'lock' the colors again. 

If you want to make dishcloths, you should always choose cotton yarn which can be washed at 60 ºC for hygiene reasons. At this temperature, you are absolutely sure that all bacteria are removed during washing, so the dishcloth is hygienic to use again. 


Choose the proper washing program

There are usually no problems with machine washing cotton yarn, but it may be a good idea to choose a program with extra flushing time.

Cotton yarn has an excellent suction capacity and therefore it is extra important to get it rinsed thoroughly to get all the soap residue out.

In most cases, the cotton program on most washing machines will suffice. 


Let cotton dry

Knitted and crocheted cotton clothing should be dry to avoid it being pulled out of shape.

Wet or damp cotton clothing can easily get heavy and therefore it is not a good idea to hang it to dry. 


Pay attention to shrinkage

Cotton yarn likes to contract in washing. On average, expect it to shrink by 3-6%. This is insignificant if you have made dishcloths or the like, but you need to be aware of this trend when making cotton clothing. 

The problem is solved by shaping the clothes and possibly pulling it slightly in shape when it comes to dry. Also, always remember to wash your knitting sample and measure/count on the finished number of stitchs after washing, so you can now go up or down in needle/hook size before starting your project.


FAQ about cotton yarn

Below you will find some of the most common questions and answers about cotton yarn.


What does cotton 8/4 mean?

Cotton 8/4 indicates the thickness and length of the yarn. Here, the 8 implicates the yarn is spun in thickness 8, while the 4 tells that it is spun by 4 threads.


What can I crochet of cotton yarn?

The best suggestions are crocheted dishcloths, interiors, crocheted bags and nets and clutches. Crocheted things for baby such as teddy bears, baby clothes and baby blankets, as well as crocheted pacifier cords, crochet stroller chains and a crochet mobile are very popular. In addition, you can make lots of summer clothes like blouses and tops, and the crocheted bucket hats are also a favorite.


Can you knit socks of cotton yarn?

It is not a good idea to knit socks of cotton yarn as the fibers lack elasticity. Therefore, you will quickly get a pair of loose and slack socks, which are neither particularly neat nor comfortable. 

If you need to make socks, we recommend using a classic stocking yarn mixture of wool and polyamide. If you would like to avoid animal fibers, you should look for a mixture with eg acrylic. 


How much does cotton yarn shrink?

Cotton yarn shrinks on average 3-6% in washing. If you make clothes in cotton yarn, it is a good idea to shape and stretch the clothes after washing when it is drying. That way, you can avoid the clothes also turning out smaller once it dries. 


What thickness should cotton yarn have for dishcloths?

The most common recommendation is to use cotton yarn 8/4 for knitted dishcloths. You can also easily use cotton yarn 8/8, which will give you thicker and more powerful rags with greater suction capacity. Similarly, however, it will also be more difficult to twist the cloths, which is why most people prefer to use cotton yarn 8/4.

Buy cheap cotton yarn online at Mayflower

With Mayflower, you always find a large and varied selection of cotton yarn in many different variants. You will find soft cotton yarn of the highest quality that can be used for all the fun knit and crochet projects that you dream of. And the best thing about it all is that you are always guaranteed good prices when you buy Mayflower Cotton yarn on our webshop. 

At the webshop you can also often get yarn on sale, which makes prices even better. By keeping up with the site, you can find exceptional deals where you can save a lot of money on high quality yarn. Our sales and good prices allow you to experiment with different colors and textures without compromising on quality. 

In addition, shopping yarn with us is always easy and convenient as you can do it all online at peace from your sofa. On the webshop you get access to our large selection of cotton yarn 24 hours a day all year round, and as we deliver right to the door, you also do not have to spend time on both waiting time in the store and on transport.

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