Polyester vs Acrylic Yarn

Having a hard time deciding between polyester and acrylic yarn? Knowing which type to use can generally be hard for a beginner, but it's a very normal and common situation.

Each yarn type has its own attributes, texture, and durability. So usually, you'll want to use the most suitable and efficient yarn type for your project.

Polyester and acrylic yarn, are both good yarns with their own positive attributes, and negative ones also. By the end of this article, you'll know what separates polyester, from acrylic yarn. 

What is Polyester Yarn?

Polyester is a man-made synthetic fiber, a special kind of plastic. Polyester yarn is simply made by taking plastic pellets which are liquidated and then inserted through a spinneret. They then form long threads which are cooled so they can become dense. Referred to as melt spinning. 


Polyester Yarn Pros:

  • A very durable yarn, polyester is a strong lasting fiber
  • Easy to care for and washable
  • Has a high water resistance
  • Elastic
  • Synthetic, won't cause allergic reactions

Polyester Yarn Cons:

  • Low breathability
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Hold odors


What is Acrylic Yarn?

Like polyester, the acrylic yarn goes through a similar process when it's made. Acrylic is a fossil-fueled fiber, created from petroleum.

Acrylic yarn is made to replicate wool and cotton yarn, being a good yarn for beginners. 

Acrylic is also one of the most common yarns you can get on the market. Often said to be a cheaper alternative to natural fibers.


Acrylic Yarn Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • A very durable yarn, similar to polyester
  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Synthetic, won't cause allergic reactions
  • Easy to find

Acrylic Yarn Cons:

  • Holds odors
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Not very soft
  • Not good for high temperatures


Acrylic vs Polyester?


Comparing both, it's obvious that these two yarns are highly similar. 

Both have pros and cons that are alike, and both are unnatural fibers. 

They are both good yarns, and I would use either for a small project.

If I had to choose only one, I'd go with the acrylic yarn. It's highly affordable, there's a better range of colors and styles, and lastly, it's easy to find. 


If you're looking for a wide range of colors and yarns, browse our yarn selection here.


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