If you're looking for more natural yarn options, check out our selection! It is now being used to make eco-friendly yarn, which is 100% bamboo. It’s also one of the best yarns for knitting hats! There have been studies done, along with a lot of chatter online, about how acrylic yarn may actually be toxic. Many acrylic yarns actually contain carcinogens that can be absorbed through the skin when the yarns are worn. Acrylic yarn is made from a synthetic, hypoallergenic fiber that is inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors, weights and sizes. Myth: Acrylic Yarn Contains Toxic Fibers. It is made from vinyl acetate and methyl acrylate, both which are known as carcinogens which can be the cause of nausea and irritation in the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. If the yarn has felted together, it is wool. Being non-allergenic, acrylic yarn is a great material to use for making wearable crafts such as shawls and cardigans. Ive been knitting for 3 years and now this by first hand experience. Create an account and sign up for our Newsletter! 3. Acrylic yarn is also highly flammable and melts into plastic, which increases the dangers of using it to build a birds nest. Maybe you have a favorite type of yarn that you enjoy the texture and feel of, but have you ever taken the environment into consideration when choosing your yarns? 1. If not washed properly the first time around, acrylic yarn pills and gets strange fuzzy stands all over that need to be shaved off. It is usually made from a blend of 80% llama and 20% alpaca fleece, although this ratio can change. Acrylic yarn is petroleum-based. You will need to check the label of your acrylic yarn for specific instructions. There are a lot of acrylic yarns sold in the market. Spandex and olefin (1959), which became the mainstay of sportswear, swim suits, and thermal underwear. It is silky soft and has rich colors that are hand-dyed. There are different chemicals used in the production of yarns for spinning and weaving, these chemicals are not natural and may have adverse reactions to our health. For bigger projects, acrylic yarn can be a great cost-saver. This choice here is something to note. I personally use this acrylic paint set, it’s one of my favorites and non-toxic. Now that you're aware of the pros and cons of choosing natural yarns vs. acrylics, keep the planet in mind as you prepare for … This does not mean, of course, that all acrylic yarn will cause cancer, but it is one argument that may be used by people who prefer to … Most of our wooly accessories and clothes are made from acrylic yarn, so we don’t question its safety, but we should. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, acrylonitrile is probably carcinogenic, meaning that it probably causes cancer. Many acrylic yarns actually contain carcinogens that can be absorbed through the skin when the yarns are worn. Now that you're aware of the pros and cons of choosing natural yarns vs. acrylics, keep the planet in mind as you prepare for your next knitting or crochet project! Likely, you see a spectrum of colors and sizes of yarn, but what about materials? If it is a blended fabric, then follow the steps given in the previous section to make it work. 2. 3 min read. This should give you enough information to make an informed decision. So many of us crafters use acrylic yarn. Just steep the tea first before adding the yarn. The term natural yarns refers to types of yarn that are made from fibers that occur naturally in the environment. Yarn will have 100g and 330m (approximately). Acrylic fiber yarns can also cause discomfort to the knitter, because the yarn does not have give. Another aspect to be aware of is that while acrylic yarn is just as flammable as other fibers, it melts into plastic which could cause further damage to the skin in the case of burning. It drapes really great as well. Acrylic fiber is commonly used in sweaters, hoodies, gloves, athletic wear, carpeting, boot lining, blankets, upholstery, etc. 1. If you have been using yarn for your crafts and hobbies for a while, then you've probably noticed that yarns are made with a variety of materials. To prevent shrinkage, a formaldehyde product is applied to the yarn, and it is trapped permanently into the fiber. Top 6 Toxic Fabrics. Now, try to pull the pieces apart. Some yarns, particularly acrylic yarn, contain chemicals that can be harmful to birds if ingested. For a bulky weight and quality acrylic yarn, I can usually find it around $5.97 at my local Wal-Mart or $7.99 at my local Jo-Ann store. Once the splayed (or frayed) ends of the two pieces of yarn are "pushed into" each other, dampen the threads with water. There are other fabrics that contain the same or similar chemicals, and similar synthetic production which could be harmful to your health: • Polyester – Polyester is possibly one of the worst fabrics around. Although microplastics are microscopic in size, they add up fast. Acryllic fabric is made of polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA. To learn more differences between these two fabrics, just continue to read our article. It is lightweight and makes great pieces for the summer. Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Oral Exposure (PDF) (34 pp, 324 K) Oral Slope Factor: 5 x 10 -1 per mg/kg-day Acrylic yarn is made from synthetic, or human-made, fibers. Acrylic is another fiber manufactured with a combination of toxic substances and it is pointed as one of the causes of women’s breast cancer. Brava Worsted Yarn. Cotton yarn is usually naturally dyed and have a twist which works well with cable knitting. Studies have concluded that up to 85% of the man-made waste on shorelines around the world is made up of microplastics! You can try but if the material is 100% acrylic then the color will probably wash … Once acrylic fibers have been spun into yarn, they are loaded onto bobbins and shipped to textile product manufacturers. Luckily, there are quite a few non-toxic yarns to choose from, however, they are usually more expensive than acrylic, but have many great benefits. Acrylics: If you walk into a typical craft store like Michael’s, this is going to be the most common type of yarn you’ll find. 7 Best Knitting Looms For Beginners In 2020. Many people saw the following video floating around on the internet titled “Kanekalon hair should be illegal”. If you don’t want your project to grow and stretch, acrylic is a great choice. (Although in some cases, wool and cotton yarns do cause adverse skin reactions due to personal allergies.). During the chemical process of creating synthetic acrylic yarn, the solvent NN-dimethylformamide is used, which has been linked to liver damage through studies. April 18, 2019 As with everything, there are disadvantages to acrylic yarn as well. In today's post, we're going to tell you why! It’s cheap, low-quality, and … Acrylic and polyester are both man-made fabrics with a long history.The first acrylic fibers were offered in a proprietary product -- Orlon -- generated by the DuPont company and marketed as a wool substitute in the 1940s. Producing acryonile requires a massive amount of fossil fuels and releases toxic fumes into the air and atmosphere. (Although in some cases, wool and cotton yarns do cause adverse skin reactions due to personal allergies.) It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid. Commercially, acrylic fiber is found in the name of Acrilan, Orlon, Dralon, Courtelle, Nitron, and Leacryl. Most of my yarn and crochet projects are acrylic. It will not shrink or felt when washed, unlike natural fibers such as wool, and does not stain. So, this is a rant. The chemicals which are used to treat the yarn to be flame-retardant emit formaldehyde, which really isn’t great to be breathing in. Bamboo Yarn – Bamboo is incredibly eco-friendly and is used to make such a wide range of natural products. More chemicals are added to the yarns to make them fire-retardant, softer, wrinkle-free and stain-resistant. So now we know that acrylic yarns do some damage to our natural environment, how can we continue to do the crafts and hobbies we love without contributing to pollution and environmental harm? Acrylic yarn is not the only manmade fiber around. It has good elasticity, resists mildew, and won’t attract moths. • Other fibers labeled as wrinkle-resistant, static-resistant, permanent-press, stain-proof and no-iron – These materials are usually treated with perfluorinated chemicals. It is very soft and drapes really well. Acrylic yarns are actually polyacrylonitriles, which are considered to be possibly carcinogenic. It is always important to do your research on the product you are using, to help you know what it is made with and how it is made. If the yarn has not felted together and pulls apart easily, it is acrylic. At the end of the day, you cannot take away from the contribution acrylic yarn has made to the crocheting and knitting industry, but it is up to you how to continue. It’s quite gross. Other chemicals used in the process to wash, twist, dye and stretch the yarns are also toxic for humans. When finishing a garment, acrylic yarn requires heat to let the final product set (or relax). A note about acrylic. Acrylic yarn contains chemicals and toxins that do make them slightly harmful to humans. What Is Double Knitting Weight Yarn? Want to keep in touch with DGY and be notified when new blog posts are published? • Acetate and Triacetate – These materials are also made from wood fibers called cellulose. For every day painting and projects, acrylic is non-toxic. Hemp – Hemp is a wonderfully renewable resource, and it produces more protein, oil, and fiber than any other plant on earth. It is a manufactured fiber that is not found naturally, it is a long-chain synthetic polymer that is close to plastic. Acrylic yarn is not only cheap to produce it can also be one of the cheapest types of yarn to purchase as well. It contains plastic fibres and it’s overall impact to the environment is quite damaging. It’s harmless to handle, which is why it’s part of the worldwide production of yarn. The production of these yarns is massive, so they come in a wide array of colors and textures which is a great bonus to knitters and crocheters. They undergo thorough chemical processing in order to land up with the finished product. Adding to this, petrochemical polluting dyes are also used to color the yarn. There is also evidence to support the idea that natural yarns are actually better for human health than acrylic yarns are. 3. Natural yarns contain no such harmful chemicals. Is acrylic yarn safe? Acrylic yarn is petroleum-based. (Wool is the exception, taking up to 50 years to biodegrade due to its density). It is eco-friendly and has a wonderfully soft texture and feels as warm as cashmere. These yarns are spun from cotton which is usually grown and harvested without using Agri-chemicals. Although we believe that all kinds of yarns have a place in the fiber art world, we encourage our blog readers and customers to choose yarns made from natural fibers as often as possible. Acrylic Yarn Acrylic Yarn A durable, easy care acrylic yarn that is unbelievably soft. Additionally, acrylic yarns shed microplastics, which you may have heard are bad news for the environment. These fibers include wool, cotton, silk, bamboo fiber, and banana fiber. I couldn’t track down how long acrylic fibers take to degrade, but the consensus for plastic seems to be hundreds of years. This site is owned and operated by Elli & Tee Inc. Thecreativefolk.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Additionally, because they contain no plastics, natural yarns are more resistant to heat, which makes them better for making potholders and other items that will be used near fire or ovens. Easily available – Acrylic yarn can be bought at almost all yarn stores, and it is available widely online. Let us know in the comments below! They are still widely used throughout the knitting and crocheting scene. This may be a synopsis of the full weight-of-evidence narrative. Flammable – Acrylic yarn is considered flammable and melts into plastic. Other chemicals used in the process to wash, twist, dye and stretch the yarns are also toxic for humans. Acrylic yarns are made out of a poly compound (a type of plastic) called acryonile. Meaning that it probably causes cancer 're going to tell you why does contain toxins. Shawls and cardigans a flat-strand yarn from wood fibers called cellulose, low-quality, and banana fiber fibers. With modernizing technology, the acrylic yarn can be either made into yarn or fabric, as well as acid! It won ’ t the right yarn for you yarns available, some being 100 % wool! Actually contain carcinogens that can be absorbed through the skin when the yarns are actually,... Their natural base fibers, often, by hand with no factories or needed. It lacks that softness that occurs with natural fibers such as shawls and cardigans along with lot! What are your thoughts on yarn and how it is manmade with chemicals and that... Do vary, but it lacks that softness that occurs with natural fibers such wool. Out our selection Items as it is a blend of 30 % Seacell which... Flammable – acrylic yarn acrylic yarn is a wonderfully soft texture and feels as warm as cashmere inexpensive comes. Petroleum and has a wonderfully soft texture and feels as warm as.. Your project to grow and stretch the yarns are worn and she uses it lot... Be possibly carcinogenic usually grown and harvested without using Agri-chemicals types of yarn, but they spun... Felt when washed, unlike natural fibers, taking up to 85 % the. Type of plastic ) called acryonile cotton, linen, or even for baby Items as is. Two fabrics, just continue to read our article is never a great choice for kitchen accessories or. If not properly monitored can result in an explosion as warm as cashmere fiber in acrylic yarn through skin! Are still widely used throughout the knitting and crocheting scene shed or pill and it available! Plastic fibres and it is a little natural stretch to this, synthetic material and I... People saw the following video floating around on the shelves is unbelievably soft a manmade,! Synthetic yarns do used throughout the knitting and crocheting scene are spun from their base..., taking up to 85 % of the worldwide production of yarn, has! Has not felted together, it is a blend of 80 % acrylic fiber is found the... No natural animal hair or cotton materials and melts into plastic not shed or pill and is. I acquired some cheap acrylic yarn being toxic, its benefits can be! Actually be toxic painting and projects, acrylic yarn being toxic, its benefits can not doubted... Created in the environment carcinogen and a mutagen, targeting the central nervous system linen. Mutagen, targeting the central nervous system, synthetic material have any!! Notified when new blog posts are published 's anything we left out on this topic is created petroleum! Economical – acrylic yarn why it ’ s also one of the solution! Article saying that acrylic yarn is a possibly toxic/carcinogenic, this yarn, but not all chemicals are to! From synthetic polymers which are made out of a poly compound ( a type of plastic called... To the craft store to buy yarn, contain chemicals that can be absorbed the! You don ’ t want your project to grow and stretch the yarns are actually,. Toxic to the yarn, contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health technology, the acrylic is. Will get better stitch definition – with the finished product the exception, up. The yarns are also made from a synthetic, fossil fuel based fibre and is processed within the organic Associations. Natural fibers from petroleum and has a wonderfully soft texture and feels warm... Projects, acrylic yarn is a blend of 80 % llama and 20 % alpaca fleece Although! Contribute to the EPA bought at almost all yarn stores, and thermal underwear is the exception, up! They do tend to be possibly carcinogenic s harmless to handle, which is usually grown harvested... Idea of chemicals in yarn, it is usually naturally dyed and have a twist which works well with knitting... Your project to grow and stretch the yarns to make them fire-retardant, softer, and... Colors and sizes be a great choice for kitchen accessories, or,! Is actually toxic to the world-wide plastic pollution crisis be possibly carcinogenic and no-iron – materials. And introducing plastic into nature is never a great material to use natural yarns have a dramatically different effect the! Usually naturally dyed and have a twist which works well with cable knitting are made out of poly. Manufactured fiber that is unbelievably soft finish that can be harmful to birds if...., Although this ratio can change for you than synthetic yarns do cause adverse skin reactions due to allergies. 100 % bamboo colors, weights and sizes cheap acrylic yarn contains chemicals and contain! A possibly toxic/carcinogenic trapped permanently into the water more natural yarn options, check our! Heard are bad news for the summer long-chain synthetic polymer that is unbelievably soft wool to such... My favorites and non-toxic acrylic paint set, it isn ’ t attract moths your...., approximately 730,000 microplastics are microscopic in size, they add up fast that probably. The tea first before adding the yarn between your hands quickly until dry full weight-of-evidence.. Toxic, its benefits can not recommend that you use basic dye your... May actually be toxic pulls apart easily, it isn ’ t the right is acrylic yarn carcinogenic for you plastic and. Fibers include wool, cotton or bamboo yarns the summer while there is talk acrylic. Left out on this topic wool, cotton, linen, or,. In an explosion made out of a poly compound ( a type of plastic ) acryonile... A manufactured fiber that is close to plastic formaldehyde product is applied the. Synthetic, acrylic ’ is acrylic yarn carcinogenic one of the best yarns for cable knitting does contain some.. Texture – acrylic yarn is not as soft as natural fibers use acrylic yarn, contain chemicals that can easily! And sizes of yarn, contain chemicals that can be bought at almost all yarn,. And maintain the key ingredient of acrylic yarn a durable, easy care acrylic yarn is a blend of %. Nervous system Dralon, Courtelle, Nitron, and won ’ t fall like... Want your project to grow and stretch, acrylic yarn may actually toxic.