How to Pick the Best Yarn for Amigurumi – A complete guide

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wooden bowl of yarn with 3 small amigurumi toys next to it

Amigurumi is a Japanese term for a type of crocheting that is typically used to create gorgeous dolls or stuffed animals. Like most crocheted projects, amigurumi works better with some yarns more than others. And before you take up a new hobby in amigurumi, it’s a good idea to learn how to choose the best yarn for amigurumi projects.

If you need to order quickly here’s our top 5 picks below:

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Features to Consider When Purchasing the Best Yarn for Amigurumi

Although you may be able to use yarn that you already have at home for amigurumi, there are a few features to consider when searching for an amigurumi yarn that will lend itself well to your projects.

Weight

First, try to find a worsted weight yarn, which is medium-weight and easy to work with because of its thickness and durability. 

This kind of yarn holds its shape well and is long-lasting, making it an excellent choice for amigurumi projects, which often use tight knits. Worsted weight yarn stays intact as you work with it, which will leave your amigurumi projects looking precise and clean.

For lots more information about yarn in all its glorious forms have a look at our Ultimate Guide.

Material

We recommend 100% cotton yarn as the best yarn for amigurumi projects because of its tightly-woven design that stays together to create a crisp, finished project.If possible, look for mercerized cotton, which can be even more durable than regular cotton yarn. It also gives a slight shine to the finished project, leaving it with an extra boost of eye-catching aesthetic appeal.

You can also use a semi-cotton blend with cotton and acrylic yarn. Or, use 100% acrylic yarn for a lower-budget project. Acrylic yarn can still create a polished finished product, but you may need to be more careful about keeping it woven tightly as you work.

Color Range

To have a consistent appearance throughout each piece of your amigurumi project, it’s best to stick with the same type and brand of yarn.

Before purchasing yarn, check to make sure that the colors you need are available in the set. Most brands have ten or more colors in a collection, but if you’re doing a lot of detail work with multiple colors, you might want to opt for a collection with as much color variety as possible.

What techniques should I know for amigurumi?

Amigurumi uses a wide range of techniques to make whimsical animals, dolls, toys, and more. Among the most popular and commonly used include:

  • Magic circle: Also known as “magic ring,” the magic circle technique lets you form a circle with a tight-knit center, which lends well as the base for many animal or doll body parts you’ll make with amigurumi.
  • Seamless join: The seamless join technique helps you join two or more crocheted pieces together without a visible seam. This video demonstrates how to perform a seamless join:
  • Finishing a closed piece: When you create a head, foot, or another project piece that needs to be closed off cleanly, this finishing technique comes in handy for that polished look without seams.

Necessary Equipment for Amigurumi

In addition to your chosen amigurumi yarn, here are a few other tools and materials you’ll need for success:

Crochet Hook

Smaller crochet hooks tend to work best for amigurumi because the art requires a very tight gauge to keep the finished product woven tightly and allow it to hold its shape well.

Your yarn will often recommend a specific size for you to work with, but downsizing once or twice from that recommendation can work in your favor for amigurumi. Stick to a crochet hook between 2mm and 4mm for the best results.

Floral Wires

Placing floral wires or pipe cleaners inside your amigurumi projects allows them to hold a specific shape or be poseable instead of floppy. Try placing them inside flower petals, doll arms and legs, or anything that you want to have a strong, specific shape.

Stuffing

You’ll place stuffing inside your amigurumi creations to hold them in shape. The right stuffing can help you form everything from an elephant trunk to a snake’s body to the flower petals.

Some stuffing is better than others for amigurumi projects. You’ll want to choose a filler that keeps your finished product fluffy without being too hard or soft. 

Polyester filling tends to work well because you can pull it apart and shape it easily as needed. It also holds its shape well inside, preventing unwanted movement or lumps.

The best way to ensure that whatever stuffing you choose to use doesn’t move around, though, is to keep your knitting as tight as possible as you work.

Top 5 Best Yarn for Amigurumi

Based on their material, durability, and workability, we’ve chosen the following five options as the best yarn for amigurumi:

Lily Sugar’n Cream Cotton Yarn Assortment

When it comes to color variety, you probably won’t have an issue finding the hues you need for your project with the Lily Sugar’n Cream assortment. Lily separates its cotton yarn into varieties of coordinating colors to help you get shades that look beautiful together.

This yarn is 100% USA-grown cotton and medium weight, which is just right for amigurumi. Each skein includes between 95 and 120 yards of yarn, which varies between solids and multicolors. 

Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn is washable using a delicate setting in the washer. Some colors may run, so it’s a good idea to hand wash or dry clean any amigurumi projects that use more than one color.

One of the features we love most about the yarns in this collection is their softness, which doesn’t seem to affect their durability at all. The yarn is soft and smooth to the touch, but when used in amigurumi projects, it holds its fibers together and takes shape well, making it incredibly easy to work with.

Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton Yarn

This mercerized, worsted weight cotton yarn fits the mold for amigurumi yarn. The 24/7 collection from Lion Brand is available in 24 beautiful colors, from romantic pinks and purples to eye-catching teals and blues, each of which lends deep, vibrant color to your project that doesn’t fade.

To wash the yarn, you can place it right in the washing machine with cool or warm water. It’s also dryable on low to medium heat without warping the yarn or pulling its fibers apart.

We think this yarn is perfect for amigurumi because it has a gorgeous sheen that doesn’t overwhelm the finished product. Instead, it adds just the right amount of luster that results in a crisp, polished finish.

Another perk you’ll find in this yarn is that its tightly woven fibers make it just about as workable as you can get for yarn. Its construction is strong, so you probably won’t need to worry about fibers coming apart and giving you a less-than-perfect result for your amigurumi project.

Mira Handcrafts Acrylic Yarn

If you’re looking for a set of yarn for amigurumi with the widest variety of colors to meet your projects’ needs, you’ll probably find what you need with this 40-color pack from Mira Handcrafts. 

This set includes several shades of every color of the rainbow, plus neutral white, black, and gray shades that lend well to animal or doll eyes and bodies. 

Because this set of yarn is acrylic, it’s friendlier on the budget than most 100% cotton yarns and cotton blends. Although acrylic yarn tends to be a bit less durable than cotton and cotton-blended yarn, this set can be a good one for beginning amigurumi crafters to start with because it is still easily workable.

When you purchase this set, you’ll also get a collection of free eBooks with yarn patterns and projects to give you some inspiration and practice before going full-steam ahead.

Each of these skeins is small, with about 22 yards of yarn. However, some of the more popular colors come with a duplicate. The full set is a total of 875 yards of yarn.

Yarn and Socks Snow Blossom Yarn

When your amigurumi project can benefit from a little extra fluff and texture from its yarn, this wool yarn could be a fantastic option. Wool yarn tends to be more fibrous than acrylic and cotton, which can lead to a texture that’s fit for a fuzzy animal amigurumi project, like a sheep.

Wool yarn can also give your finished project a bit of a chunkier look and feel than you’d get with cotton or acrylic, but you may need to use a bit more stuffing to help it hold its shape as well.

This wool yarn is a light worsted weight yarn, but it’s still incredibly durable and workable. You can also toss it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with lukewarm water and tumble-dry it using the dryer’s delicate cycle.

If you purchase this pack, you’ll get four surprise color skeins that are about 197 yards each. The colors range from neutrals to subtle pinks, purples, and blues, and it could be just the right set to give you some variety in your current yarn collection.

Lion Brand Yarn Bonbons Yarn

Lion Brand Yarn offers its Bonbons yarn in sets of mini skeins with coordinating colors. Each skein is about 28 yards, and, with eight skeins in a pack, you’ll get approximately 224 yards of yarn.

Bonbons yarn is available in cotton, polyester, or acrylic, so you can choose which type is best for your amigurumi project. 

Each type is considered a lightweight yarn, so you’ll want to make sure you make tight gauges as you work while keeping an eye on yarn fibers. You can always add some extra stuffing to help the yarn hold its shape.

We like the idea of using this yarn – because of each skein size and its lighter weight – for detailed additions to your amigurumi projects rather than the star of the show. It can be a terrific option for buttons for doll clothing, doll hair, and animal spots, for instance.

FAQs: Best Yarn for Amigurumi

The following questions are ones we frequently get about amigurumi and yarn. Our answers might give you a little more clarity when searching for the best yarn for amigurumi:

Can I use any yarn I have on hand for amigurumi?

Generally, yes, but it may not create the finished product you had planned in your head. Yarn with a medium weight that holds fibers together tightly is best. Loose, thin yarn can come apart easily while you work, preventing you from getting the tight gauge and clean look that makes amigurumi so popular.

How much yarn do I need to buy?

The best way to figure out how much yarn you’ll need is to first look at the pattern. Professional amigurumi patterns often say how many yards of each color you’ll need.

You can then compare that to the yards in a skein. Always round up to another skein of yarn if your pattern calls for an amount that’s close to the yardage in a skein.

Project Inspiration for Amigurumi

What can you make with the art of amigurumi? The options are a bit more limited than other forms of crocheting, but there are still plenty of ways to let your creativity shine.

Pinterest is an excellent resource for finding inspiration for your amigurumi projects, but here are a few ideas that you can start with:

Stuffed Animals and Toys

Amigurumi is known for its ability to produce adorable animals and dolls. However, you can push the boundaries to create sea creatures for a hanging crib mobile, a lookalike doll for a special child, or crocheted cars and trucks.

Headbands and Hair Accessories

Amigurumi can be a handy skill to have if you want to make headbands or hair accessories, such as jazzed-up bobby pins or cute bows. 

For example, you can crochet fancy flowers and rosettes or adorable bumblebees to hot glue onto a plain headband or hair clip.

Fashionable Additions

Enhance the look of your dressy outfits with a handmade brooch made with amigurumi or crocheted buttons you can sew onto a sweater. Amigurumi techniques can also be beneficial for crocheting necessary additions to costumes.

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