The Japanese brought the art of crocheting to the next level with their Amigurumi. The name combines the Japanese words “ami” that means crocheted or knitted, with “nuigurumi” that stands for stuffed doll. Amigurumi makes tiny and stuffed creatures from yarn; without restrictions of sizes and appearances. First introduced in the west in 2003, these crafted products became the most popular and sold out items in the marketplace. Since then, their popularity has continued to increase.
Making amigurumi is an interesting craft but finding the best yarn to create them can be a problem. The market is flooded with so many great options for crocheting toys; however, the important considerations are made on: color, gauge, texture and washability.
Common yarn types best for amigurumi.
- 100% cotton and Mercerized cotton yarn – Cotton yarns make the best amigurumi for they are soft and supple to touch. Aside from being strong and durable, they have excellent water absorption quality requiring sort time to dry. Cotton is always very soft; Pima is the fluffiest. If you work on a baby’s amigurumi, cotton is the best choice.
* Semi-cotton; 50% cotton yarn – It is more light-weight since its cotton content is lowered. Can be machine washed without affecting the quality of the toy. Most yarn toys in the market are made from semi-cotton yarn.
* Cotton blend yarn – Cotton is a wonderful fabric, but mix it with something else, and it is the best. Some mixed yarns are stronger, some softer and some blends make it just the right kind of yarn.
- Acrylic yarns are the cheapest kind but can be easily pulled out of shape. Made entirely of synthetic materials, the toys can be machine-washed without destroying its appearance. But many toys in the market do use acrylic. Because acrylic yarn it is a bit stretchier than cotton, the stuffing can show through the stitches more easily. This kind of yarn is the easiest to find. It has a huge variety of colors and it is more economic. It is totally machine washable. Watch out for the different qualities because some of them can result rough and tough. If your child sleeps with one of your amigurumi, note that acrylic ones could make him or her sweat.
- Wool yarn is perfect for babies and children’s amigurumi, because it is warm and soft. It is a nice yarn to work with and it gives you the best final result, with great firm stitch. The currently wool is soft and with a lot of variety colors. Wool is often blended with much softer fibers (angora, cashmere, silk) that give them a delicious touch. However, it could give discomfort for being itchy. It is hard to care for as it shrinks in the dryer.
*Semi-woolen yarn is blended with other less itchy and irritating material. Like wool, it is warm, cozy and cheaper but harder to maintain as it shrinks when washed.
- Other yarns are: mohair yarn; plush yarn; soft fluffy; mélange; semi-batik; rayon; fun fur and Dralon microfiber. .
Based on observation and experience, a worsted weight yarn of either acrylic or cotton makes the best yarn for amigurumi patterns. However, the answer to the question – What is the best yarn for amigurumi? -” It depends on what kind of project you are making. There’s no such thing as bad yarn, only yarn that is ill-suited for a project.