Does Yarn Absorb Water? What To Know and Tips

Are you on the quest to know about the absorbent capacity of your yarn before you start crocheting with it? Then, this article is made specifically for you.

Not all yarns absorb water and the one that does absorb at different levels, based on the type of yarn and the brand of yarn. Some are described as the best absorbent yarn depending on what they are used for.

Let’s take a quick look into each yarn’s water absorbency level and how to test for it.

How Do I Determine My Yarn Water Absorbency  Level?

Different statements are being heard about yarn water absorbency level; some people believe cotton yarn cannot absorb water to the extent wool yarn does, while some belief otherwise.   

Thankfully, there are practice tests that can be done to know the level of your yarn water absorbency. However, one test will be discussed in this article and we will be using different brands of cotton yarn for the test. Remember, it was written earlier that the absorbent level can be best determined using different brands of the same yarn. 

Materials Needed:

  • Different brands of cotton yarn are crocheted in little pieces such as a coaster, dishcloth, or hat.
  • Kitchen Weighing balance.
  • Wash Basin filled with water.


  • Weigh the different brands of yarn in their dry state on a kitchen weighing scale and note the readings in a table form.
  • Soak them in a wash basin full of water for 25  to 30  minutes until it is fully saturated.
  • Fold the cotton clothes into two and gently pat the water out of them to stop them from dripping.
  • Make sure not to squeeze the water out of the yarn as you will not be able to get an accurate result.
  • Weigh each of the different brands of cotton yarn on the scale and make sure to note them down in the same table, then do a few calculations to determine the water it can absorb.
  • Wring the water out of the yarn, weigh it, and do a few calculations to determine the level of water it can reabsorb.


Firstly, determine the number of yards(Yardage)  used to make each piece of clothes soaked in water by checking online for each weight of the ball yarn and how many yards are there.

Then, subtract the dry weight of each clothes from the wet weight, to determine the total grams of water absorbed.

Take the weight derived after wringing water out of the cloth and subtract the damp cloth weight from the wet weight to determine how much water could be reabsorbed after the next washing.

Finally, to get the grams of water absorbable for each cloth, divide the weight of the total water absorbed by the cloth yardage and take the reabsorbed weight and divide it by the cloth yardage.

Check out the results in the table below:

Brands Of  Cotton  Yarn Yardage Wet Weight(g) Damp cloth(g) Water absorbed (g) Water Reabsorbed(g)
LilySugar n Cream 54 176 83 2.66 1.13
Crafter Secret Cotton 56.78 169 85 2.38 0.88
Lion  Brand 24/7 Cotton  Yarn 46.50 102 66 1.65 0.24
Red Heart Scrubby Cotton 45.53 122 79 1.97 0.24
Knit Pick’s Dishie 55.10 130 68 1.83 0..60
Premier Just Cotton 48.44 146 74 2.40 0.90
Lion  Brand Re-up 40.50 128 25 2.54 0.84
Bernat  Handicrafter Cotton 62.10 158 76 2.06 0.84
Hobby Lobby  I  Love This Cotton 46.80 131 64 2.26 0.80
Big  Twist  Cotton 46.98 119 71 1.95 0.44
Premier Home Cotton 36.54 102 52 2.22 0.79


From the results above, the lily sugar n’ cream is the most absorbent cotton yarn that can be used for any purpose especially dish clothes.

Does Cotton Yarn Absorb  Water?

Cotton yarn is the most absorbent yarn as it can absorb water up to  65% by  weight. However, not all brands of cotton yarn have that high percentage absorbance due to the manufacturing process.

Does Wool Yarn Absorb Water?

No. Wool rather adsorb water, meaning it does not suck up water but allows water to attach itself to it without mixing with the fiber. 

However, it absorbs water up to  30%, when soaked up in water though it might take several hours before you can get that done and when it finally does, it might not be as wet as the cotton yarn will.

This is made possible because of the following properties of wool;

  • Wool is water resistant.
  • It pulls moisture away from the surface of the skin because it is air trapped; thereby not allowing water to get mixed up with it.
  • It produces heat while drying making it difficult to allow water absorption.
  • It has a slow saturation attribute.

Does Acrylic Yarn Absorb Water?

Yes. Acrylic yarn absorbs water and also acts like wool at the same time providing warmth. In other words, acrylic yarn absorbs water but not at the level at which cotton yarn absorbs water.

The synthetic fiber made from acrylonitrile holds water because of the artificial way the yarn is being made. However, it holds on to sweat and odor more than it holds on to water.

Does Cashmere Yarn Absorb Water?

Yes. Cashmere yarn is a lover of water and absorbs water up to 55% by weight when soaked up in the water and at the same time, acts like the wool yarn in keeping you warm. The yarn holds water well because of its natural source as natural yards are known to absorb water except for a few.

Does Silk Yarn Absorb Water?

Yes. Silk yarn just like wool absorbs water up to 30% of its weight without getting wet. This is made possible because of the high percentage of serine in the yarn causing it to produce a high number of peptide bonds and a polar hydroxyl group.

However, it is possible that silk gets damaged when washed as it is a very delicate yarn and has a high potential to stain other fabrics when washed.

Does Silk Yarn Absorb Water More Than Wool Yarn?

No. Silk does not absorb water up to wool, although it might have the capacity to hold water up to 30% of its weight.

Does Bamboo Yarn Absorb Water?

Yes. Bamboo yarn is highly absorbent and holds water more than three times its weight as it is produced from a natural source preventing you from getting wet when worn as a result of the micro gaps and micro holes embedded in the fiber.

The most exciting thing about the yarn is that it absorbs water more than cotton but people prefer to use cotton yarn more than bamboo because of its ability to get blocked.

Does Polyester Yarn Absorb Water?

No. Polyester yarn does not absorb water as they are made from plastic material. They are highly resistant to water because of their hydrophobic nature.


When deciding on a dish clothes project to do, the best thing to do is to go for a yarn that can absorb water and can stand the test of time.

However, the absorbency depends on the brand you go for and this can be practically tested and calculated.