Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crochet Thread

Crochet thread

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Crochet thread.
Crochet thread.

Crochet thread is specially formulated thread usually made from mercerized cotton for crafting decorative crochet items such as doilies or filet crochet. Crochet thread produces fabric of fine gauge that may be stiffened with starch.

Crafting done with crochet thread is usually complex and slow. As Debbie Stoller, author of the Stitch 'N Bitch series describes it, "this kind of work is simply called thread crochet and is understood by crocheters of every stripe to be a practice reserved for those with advanced skills, prison inmates with loads of time on their hands, or folks with a masochistic streak."[1]

[edit] Differences from yarn and sewing thread

Crochet thread is almost always produced from cotton and has a denser pile and smaller diameter than ordinary yarn. Most crochet threads are thicker in diameter than sewing yarn. Crochet thread can withstand considerable stresses from pulls with sharp hooks.

Crochet manufacturing conventions treat thread and yarn quite differently: manufacturers designate different sizing scales for thread and yarn. Thread is generally packaged on spools instead of skeins or hanks and is offered for sale in a separate section from ordinary yarns or threads. Crochet hooks for use with thread are also sized according to a different scale from yarn hooks. Thread hooks are also manufactured differently from yarn hooks: modern yarn hooks are usually aluminum or plastic, while thread hooks are made of steel and have smaller hook heads and shorter shafts.

The division between yarn and thread is somewhat arbitrary: crochet thread at its thickest is similar in diameter and behavior to fine cotton yarn. The largest sizes of thread crochet hooks overlap with the smallest sizes of yarn crochet hooks.

[edit] Sizing

A demonstration of crochet thread weight: sample filet crochet pattern repeated in different threads.  From left to right: size 3, size 10, and size 20.  A U.S. quarter is included for perspective.
A demonstration of crochet thread weight: sample filet crochet pattern repeated in different threads. From left to right: size 3, size 10, and size 20. A U.S. quarter is included for perspective.

Crochet thread comes in sizes from 3 to 100. Diameter is inversely proportional to number, so size 3 is nearly as thick as yarn and size 50 is as fine as sewing thread. Thread may also be categorized by number of plies and some thread is known as bedspread weight. Smaller sizes (40 and up) are rarely used.

[edit] References

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ Stoller, Debbie, Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker, New York: Workman, 2006, p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7611-3985-0
  • Debbie Stoller, Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker New York: Workman Publishing, 2006.
  • Edie Eckman, The Crochet Answer Book, North Adams, Massachesetts: Storey Publishing, 2005.

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