Yarn Ply Guide to Ply Charts & Conversions
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Yarn Ply – Guide to Ply Charts & Conversions

Discover how yarn ply affects the style and finish of your crochet or knitting creations.

What Is Yarn Ply?

The number of strands twisted together to create your yarn is referred to as the yarn ply. Twisting two or more independent strands results in ply or plied yarns. 8 strands are connected to create 8 ply yarn, popularly known as DK yarn.

Yarn Ply & Yarn Weights

Throughout the world, yarn ply is frequently used—and isn’t necessarily technically accurate—to describe how thick or thin a yarn is. For instance, if the single strands were thicker to begin with, a 4 ply yarn may be thicker than an 8 ply yarn. The Craft Yarn Council created a standard yarn weight system with numbers beginning at 1 to address this issue. The UK and Australia mark the majority of yarns with a ply number, despite the growing popularity of this technique. Here is a generic table of comparisons:

What is Plying?

The word “plying” is derived from the verbs “plier” (to fold), “plico” (to bend or fold), and “pleko” (to braid or twine), respectively, in French, Latin, and Greek. To create a distinct kind of yarn, strands or fibres are twisted and combined throughout this procedure.

Yarn Weight
UK Yarn TypeUS Yarn TypesAustralian TypesSuggested Hook in Metric Size RangeSuggested Hook in US Size Range
Lace Yarn Weight Category1 plyLace2 ply1.5 – 2.25 mmSteel 8-1
Regular Hook B1
Super Fine Yarn Weight Category2 plyFingering3 ply2.25 – 3.5 mmB1 – E4
Fine Yarn Weight Category4 plySport5 ply3.5 – 4.5 mmE4 – 7
Light Yarn Weight CategoryDKDK8 ply4.5 – 5.5 mm7 – I9
Medium Yarn Weight CategoryAranWorsted10 Ply5.5 – 6.5 mmI9 – K10 ½
Bulky Yarn Weight CategoryChunkyBulky12 Ply6.5 – 9 mmK10 ½ – M/N13
Super Bulky Yarn Weight CategorySuper
Super BulkyOver
12 ply
9 – 15 mmM/N13 – Q
Jumbo Yarn Weight CategoryJumboUltra
20 Ply
15mm and largerQ and larger
Yarn Ply Chart

Different Methods of Making Yarn Ply

If a producer wants to create a handspun, machine-spun, or unique type of yarn, they will utilise a different way of yarn plying. Having said that, here are four of the most popular techniques in use today:

  • Regular
  • Chain or Navajo
  • Machine
  • Special

The Different Yarn Ply Twists

It is best to have a thorough grasp of each of the two popular sorts of twists because you will later encounter both of them.

  • Z Twist
  • S Twist

Advantages of Piled Yarn


Unplied yarn is less resilient to stretching, weight, abrasion, and friction. Because of the additional twist direction and layer during plying, the yarn’s resilience is significantly increased. The fibres are more tightly coiled together and have better tension and pressure distribution the more twists there are.


Undoubtedly, balanced yarns aren’t always necessary, but they are always simple to work with. Additionally, they crochet, weave, or knit smoothly and are more tangle-resistant.

Efficient Structure

Due to the strain of the opposing twist, plied yarns take up more room. So, while weaving or knitting using plied yarns, you would require less yardage of yarn since the yarn will open up while keeping its strength.

Yarn Ply Types

Now that you are aware of the fundamentals of plying, the following are some of the most typical varieties of yarn plies you may encounter while buying one:

  • Single Ply
  • Two Ply
  • Three Ply
  • Four Ply
  • Cabled
  • Chained or Chainette
  • S-on-S Plied

When knitting, crocheting, and weaving, your newly acquired knowledge of yarn manufacture and various plies will undoubtedly make a substantial impact. The ply type will affect the finished item’s weight, stitch definition, and yarn longevity. It should go without saying that a yarn’s durability and weight increase with the number of plies it has.

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