Fancy Yarn: Classification, Advantages, Disadvantages and Uses

Fancy Yarn: Classification, Advantages, Disadvantages and Uses

Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman (Maya)
AGM, M.Hossain Cotton Spinning Mills Ltd.


What is Fancy Yarn?
Textile yarns are the basic elements of fabrics. For fabric design and production, yarns are mainly considered in terms of their colors, structures and material properties. Fancy yarn, sometimes known as novelty yarn is a yarn that is made with a distinctive irregular profile or a construction that differs from basic single and folded yarns, the objective of which is to enhance the aesthetics of the end product with respect to visual and textural properties. A fancy yarn has a complex microstructure due to the large number of constituent fibers with various properties such as fiber fineness, elasticity, etc. Most fancy yarns are produced by specialist fancy spinners, using machines modified or developed for the purpose. Fancy yarns produced by using hollow spindle machines have a similar look to yarns produced with ring twisting and the combined system, but their structure and properties are different.

Fancy yarns essentially give fashion touches to a fabric, and they have therefore a broad range of end uses – although not as wide as basic yarns. A significant market segment for fancy yarns is ladies’ outwear. Occasionally, they are used in men’s jackets, knitwear, and ties. Hand knitting is a popular end use, mainly for ladies’ and children’s knitwear. Fashion designers use fancy yarns as a means to diversify style. Therefore, furnishing is also an important market area, particularly in curtains and blinds, wall coverings, and upholstery. We have also point out some important uses of fancy yarns in the last section of article.

Classification of Fancy Yarn:
Figure 1 gives the classification of fancy yarns that are commercially used.

Fancy yarn classification
Figure 1: Classification of Fancy Yarn

There are four main criteria recognized for the classification of fancy yarns. They are,

  1. Type of raw material used for effect making
  2. Number of Ground and Effect making material components
  3. Method of manufacture
  4. Type of Effect produced

Classification of fancy yarn is done according to the type and form of material used for effect making. Type of material used for effect making refers basic material of the components, viz; cotton, wool, silk, polyester, nylon, blend etc. Whereas form of material refers forms of components used for the intended purpose. The components can be not only yarns made from staple fibers or filaments but also the lengths of yarns and/or filament, fabric pieces made up of woven material or knitted material or non-woven material as well as the polymer cover for the decorative coating of core component. They can be tape/ ribbon, metallic yarns etc. added for decorative means. The number and type of components virtually change the structure and exterior of the fancy yarn. The number of the components can differ from one to six and more.

Classification of Fancy Yarn according to the type of the Effect
Figure 2: Classification of fancy yarn according to the type of the effect

The classification based on method of manufacturing basically deals with direct or indirect process of getting fancy effect. Direct group deals with production of fancy yarn in single step by specialized equipment, viz; twister for fancy yarn making, special knitting machine etc. Whereas, and indirect category does not use specialized equipment for the production of fancy yarn. The production delays by the number of machines in sequence. Fancy yarn produced by ring spinning system is the best example for this category. Figure 2 describes the classification of fancy yarn based on the type of effects. Grouping of fancy yarn is based on the type of effects earned. Mainly deals with the variation in the optical, structural and compound effect.

Basic yarn profile = Effect variations

  • Spiral = Mock spiral, mouliné, jaspé
  • Gimp = Frisé, caterpillar, ondé
  • Slub = Ground slub, injected slub, injected flame (also called tear-off flame)
  • Knop = Knot, nep, noppé, button, reverse caterpillar, flake
  • Loop = Bouclé, frotté, prong, mock-spun chenille
  • Cover = Twisted flame
  • Chenille = Woven chenille, plied chenille
Structure of fancy yarns
Figure 3: Structure of fancy yarns with type of effects

Advantages of fancy yarn:

  1. More customers attractive
  2. Different color yarns are made from spinning. So, no need to dye.
  3. Luster is higher
  4. More comfortable
  5. Lower quality fiber uses.

Disadvantages of fancy yarn:

  1. Production is lower
  2. Higher price of yarn and fabric
  3. Machine device or m/c price is higher
  4. Yarn not found available or yarn delivery is delay
  5. Maintenance cost is higher
  6. More careful handling
  7. Fabric performance is lower
  8. Yarn strength is lower.

Uses of fancy yarns:

  1. Ladies outwear
  2. Children outwear or kid’s
  3. Carpets
  4. Curtains
  5. Doctor materials
  6. The trim of a car
  7. Hotel lobby of a textile furnishing
  8. Gent’s T-shirt (Knit fabric)
  9. Gent’s shirt (Woven fabric)
  10. Sweaters
  11. Panjabi  etc.


  1. Textile and Clothing Design Technology Edited by Tom Cassidy and Parikshit Goswami
  2. Specialist Yarn and Fabric Structures: Developments and Applications Edited by R. H. Gong
  3. Fancy Yarns: Their Manufacture and Application By R H Gong and R M Wright
  4. Technical Textile Yarns: Industrial and Medical Applications Edited by R. Alagirusamy and A. Das

You may also like:

  1. Different Types of Fancy Yarns and Their Uses
  2. Twist Measurement Methods of Yarn
  3. Classification of Yarn Faults and Its Removal
  4. Classification and Application of Melange Yarn
  5. Effect of Twist on Yarn Strength and Fabric Properties | Twist Directions

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