Difference between Woolen Yarn and Worsted Yarn

Last Updated on 09/11/2021

What is Woolen Yarn?
Woollen yarn is thick and usually created from the shorter fibers of the sheep’s fleece. Woolen yarn is soft, light, stretchy, and full of air. The fibers in the woolen yarn are held loosely and subjected to only to only a limited or less twist during spinning. These yarns are woven into thick bulkier materials are ideal for warm winter jackets, sweaters, skirts, blankets etc. Woollen yarn is used to make thick, heavyweight woven or knitted garments. The maximum length of woolen yarn that can be spun from one pound is 54 hanks each of 256 yards.

What is Worsted Yarn?
Worsted is a high-quality type of wool yarn, the fabric made from this yarn. Worsted yarn was made from the long-staple pasture wool from sheep breeds such as Teeswaters, Old Leicester Longwool and Romney Marsh. The worsted process involves combing the short hairs out of the fiber. Worsted yarn fabric is typically used in the making of tailored garments such as suits. It is also used for carpets, clothing, hosiery, gloves and baize.

Difference between Woolen and Worsted Yarn:
Woolen fabrics have a soft feel and fuzzy surface, very little shine or sheen, will not hold a crease, and are heavier and bulkier than worsteds. Blankets, scarves, coating, are from woolen yarns. Worsted wool is smoother than woolen, takes shine more easily, does not sag, holds a crease well, is lighter and less bulky, and wears longer than woolen. Fine worsted wool is even seen in clothing for athletics.

woolen and worsted yarn

Woolen and worsted are two different classifications of wool fabrics and yarn. The table below lists some of their properties:

The differences between woolen and worsted yarn are as follows:

Woolen YarnWorsted Yarn
Spun from wool fibers of:

  • Length : spun from short fibers of 1-3”
  • Diameter: medium or coarse

The fibers are washed, scoured and carded.

Spun from wool fibers of:

  • Length : longer than 3”
  • Diameter: fine diameter

The fibers are washed, scoured, carded, combed and drawn

Woolen yarns are only carded, less twisted and hence weak in strength.Worsted yarns are carded and combed, highly twisted and stronger.

  • Bulky
  • Uneven
  • Low to medium slack twist
  • Tensile strength lower than worsted

  • Fine
  • Smooth
  • Even
  • Tighter twist
  • Higher tensile strength
Fabric Appearance:

  • Soft
  • Fuzzy
  • Heavier weight
Fabric Appearance:

  • Crisp
  • Smooth
  • Lighter weight
Woolen fabrics are woven with plain weave and sometimes twill weave. Weaving is not compact and fabric is not durable or strong.Worsted fabrics are woven chiefly with twill weave and weaving construction is close, compact, and as such more strong fabric.
Woolen can be easily adulterated and napping finish is given to produce soft surface.Worsted cannot be easily adulterated as it has a hard finish on the surface.

  • Insulator due to trapped air
  • Does not hold a crease well
  • Less durable than worsted

  • Less insulator
  • Holds creases and shape
  • More durable than woollens
Less expensive than worsted.Costlier or expensive than woollens.
These fibers are warmer than worsted. It has no luster and is less durable. The napped surface tends to catch and hold dirt but stains can be easily removed.It wrinkles less than woolen, holds creases and shape and become shiny with use.

  • Sweater
  • Jacket
  • Blankets
  • Carpets
  • Tweeds

  • Suits
  • Dresses
  • Gabardines
  • Crepes

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