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Yarns

  • Get To Know 24/7 Cotton

    Like its name implies, 24/7 cotton is ready for your projects around the clock. Whether you're interested in making a hat, afghan or bag, you can reach for a ball of this yarn. The sheen imparted by the mercerization process adds depth to the simplest of stitch patterns while the structure of the yarn gives definition to more complex ones.

    Swatches crocheted in 24/7 Cotton yarn.

    Upon first handling 24/7 Cotton you might notice the firm, yet smooth, feel of the chainette style yarn. The mercerization process strengthens the fiber giving you a product that will hold up to wear. (If you’re unsure what mercerization is you can check out our article, “What is Mercerized Cotton Yarn?”)

    The terms "structured" and “firm” shouldn't scare you off of using this yarn for a wearable item. In fact, we have a few patterns for garments and shawls using 24/7 Cotton. Like your favorite pair of cotton jeans, this yarn will also soften as you wash and wear it.

    Inspiration

    Patterns to Crochet in 24/7 Cotton

    Coachella Boots | Trenton Tote | Garden State Afghan | Ella Tied Cardigan

    Patterns to Knit in 24/7 Cotton

    Coffee Shop Wrap | Chelsea Cape | East Hampton Pullover | Grand Lake Pullover

    Yarn Details

    This worsted weight, 100% mercerized cotton, easy-care yarn is ready to inspire with 24 vibrant colors. It comes in center-pull bullet skeins weighing in at 3.5 oz (100 g) ball with 186 yds (170 m).

    Technical care instructions from our website: “Machine wash. Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F. Any dry cleaning solvent other than trichloroethylene may be safely used. No bleach product may be used. A machine dryer may be regularly used at a maximum of Medium Heat setting. Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at Medium setting (150C, 300F).”

    Reviews

    24/7 Cotton reviews

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  • What is Mercerized Cotton Yarn?

    You found a pattern that calls for cotton yarn and immediately start searching for the perfect match. Browsing through yarn options you might find that some use the term mercerized cotton in the fiber content. This description is unclear to many people, especially if you have never seen or felt different cottons.

    In brief, mercerization is a way of treating cotton that makes it stronger and more receptive to dye. After the process you have a smooth, luminous yarn that is easy to care for.

    Where did it Originate?

    Like many inventions, the term “mercerized” was derived from the name of the person who created it. In 1844 John Mercer (see the connection?) experimented with using sodium hydroxide to treat cotton. The chemical caused the fiber to swell and compact thus increasing its tensile strength. However, it also resulted in fibers shrinking by as much as 25% percent.

    Improving Upon a Concept

    While the idea behind mercerization was good, the shrinkage of fibers was not ideal. In the 1890s H.A. Lowe improved upon Mercer’s idea. He discovered that holding the fibers under tension during the process reduced shrinking and also created a lustrous sheen.

    What is the Mercerization Process?

    Mercerization can be done on any cellulose fiber (i.e. cotton, hemp, linen) in fabric or yarn form. To mercerize fiber it is submerged in sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as caustic soda or lye. This is done in repeated bursts of four minutes or less. While immersed in the solution the fiber is kept under tension (the improvement developed by H.A. Lowe) to prevent shrinkage. An acidic bath is used to neutralize the alkali treatments.

    Any cotton fiber can be mercerized, however, long-staple varieties respond best.

    24/7 Cotton, shown above, is a worsted weight 100% mercerized cotton from Lion Brand yarn

    Mercerized Cotton or Not?

    Neither type of cotton is hands down better than the other. Mercerized cotton will be shinier and stronger than non-mercerized varieties. Dye takes to mercerized cotton easier and thus produces richer tones. Somewhat contradictory to that, non-mercerized yarn will be more absorbent making it a better choice for items like washcloths.

    Part of mercerized cotton being stronger means it sacrifices softness. If you are making something where strength of the fabric or structure is important than mercerized cotton will be a better option. An item that relies on softness and drape is better suited for a non-mercerized cotton. However, mercerized cotton will soften with washing and wear and is still useable for garments.

    Try It!

    Want to try mercerized cotton for yourself? Lion Brand Yarn offers a worsted weight option, 24/7 Cotton, as well as many patterns to pair it with.

     

    Patterns Shown

    The Coffee Shop Wrap
    Coachella Boots
    Chelsea Cape
    Springtime Stroller Blanket

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  • Crochet For Your Home with Fast-Track®

    Fast-Track® is an incredibly useful and versatile yarn. The softness of the cotton-poly blend makes it great for clothing while the tape-like shape makes it sturdy enough for home goods.

    We've already shown you how great Fast-Track® is for garments with the super popular knit Oxford Boyfriend Sweater. You agreed! The demand was so great we added three more color choices to the kits.

    Well, this yarn is also excellent for crocheting home wares, as well. It's soft but still durable, chic but useful. Since it's washable and it comes in a lot of different colors, Fast-Track® can work with almost any decor. It's sturdy enough for a rug, but light enough for a basket or bowl.

    Home Decor with Fast-Track®

    Baskets and Bowls

    Rugs and Mats

    The easy care means it's perfect to use this around kids and pets! They'll find it comfy to nap or play on, and when an inevitable mess appears, it's simple to clean. Toss it in the machine to wash, then lay it flat to dry.

    Of course, this is also a fun yarn to get really creative with. Try making it into jewelry or weaving it for wall hangings. Get the kids involved -- there's no need to knit or crochet, they can make bracelets or other pieces by braiding, wrapping, or weaving.

    The unique look will make for truly interesting and beautiful pieces.

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