One of the most important choices to make when starting a new knit or crochet project is the yarn that will be used.
This is especially important if you're considering making potholders.
You have to make sure you are choosing a yarn that can withstand heat and other elements that your potholders will be exposed to.
Some yarns will not work for this kind of project—so you need to choose your yarn carefully.
To help you make your choice, we have created this guide on how to choose the best yarn for potholders.
In this guide we'll cover some of the things to look for in a potholder yarn, give our pick for the best yarn, and tell you which yarn you shouldn't use!
What to Look for in a Yarn for Potholders
The most important thing for a potholder yarn is that it is heat resistant.
The yarn will be used to handle hot dishes and pans. Sometimes you may even decide to use a potholder as a trivet—so it needs be able to handle heat.
Usually this means staying away from synthetic fibers, because these tend to melt easily.
Easy to Clean
Another often overlooked consideration to think about when choosing a yarn is how easy it is to clean.
Since potholders will be used in the kitchen, they are absolutely going to get dirty.
So they need to be easy to clean.
We recommend getting something that is machine washable, because nobody wants to have to wash these by hand constantly.
When making a potholder you're going to want to stay away from thinner yarns.
You will need something thicker because the yarn will be able to insulate from heat better.
Generally, the best yarn weights to use for potholders are light, medium, or bulky.
Stay away from using superfine and fine yarns for this project.
The material is important because this is going to determine whether your yarn is heat resistant and easy to clean, which are the other considerations.
But material is also important because it can influence how expensive the yarn is.
Some material is better suited for a potholder, and some you should avoid.
We will cover this in detail in the next section.
Best Yarn Material for Potholders
Cotton yarn is one of the best choices for making potholders.
The main reasons cotton yarn is perfect for this kind of projects is because:
- Cotton yarn won't melt when handing hot dishes and pans
- Cotton yarn is easy to clean
Cotton yarn is also inexpensive compared to other fibers like wool.
100% cotton is preferred but you can use certain blends as long as the blend is mostly cotton.
Check out our cotton yarn selection here.
Wool is another popular choice for potholders.
Wool is heat resistant and it also insulates very well, so when you won't feel the heat of the dish when holding the potholder.
The only drawback of using wool is that it is not as easy to clean as cotton yarn.
However, wool still is an excellent option.
If you want to use wool for your project, take a look at our wool yarn collection.
You can also use a blended yarn for your project, just make sure the blend doesn't have too much synthetic fibers in it, because this could make your project more likely to melt.
Some popular blended fiber options are:
For any blend that has bamboo just make sure the bamboo is 50% or less of the fiber content, too much bamboo could mean your potholder will melt.
Material to Avoid
You can't use acrylic yarn for potholders.
Acrylic yarn is not heat safe so it may still transfer heat from the dish to your hands and it might also melt.
Stay away from using acrylic.
Don't use a 100% bamboo yarn for a potholder, but you might be able to get away with a 50% bamboo as long as the other 50% is cotton or wool.
Bamboo is known to shrink when exposed to high heat, so it's not recommended.
Learn more about bamboo yarn here.
Polyester is also not recommend. Most synthetic fibers will melt and are not good at handling heat.
Nylon is not great for potholders either because it might melt.
We do not recommend nylon.
We do not recommend tencel yarn either. These may melt and wouldn't make good potholders
Our top recommendation is to use cotton yarn for your potholders (though Wool is a close 2nd).
For a specific recommendation check out our cotton lacery yarn.
This is a bulky 100% cotton yarn that is perfect for potholders. With over 40 colors to choose from, you can find the perfect color to match and kitchen.