Wraps per inch of commercial yarn

Some of you will know I create sample wraps of all my hand spun yarns*. 

While working on our book, Alison Daykin and I wondered “how does our hand spun compare with commercial yarn thickness?” There are various charts giving the wraps per inch of commercial yarns but they seem to differ widely. How accurate are they? To check we conducted a little experiment.

My questions were

  1. If we create a wrap of a commercial yarn, is it consistent day to day?
  2. Are our wraps per inch for commercial yarn the same as quoted wraps per inch? 
  3. Do our wraps give the same result?

 We each wrapped various yarns every day for 4 days.  

We tested 

  • Two sock yarns – one thicker than the other
  • Two double knitting yarns one thicker than the other 
  • One chunky 

The answer – we were both pretty consistent – but we wrapped differently. I always had an extra wrap or three compared with Alison. 

However our wraps didn’t correspond to either of the charts we found on line 

This is what we found

  • Sock yarn 16 – 22
  • DK was 11 – 15 
  • Chunky 7- 9 

No-one said it was an exact science but always interesting to check. 

We might experiment further with other commercial yarns. 

If you are interested in seeing how your wrapping compares we would love to hear from you.  email us on beechwoodcraft@gmail.com

*These Cardboard embroidery bobbins are perfect for creating wraps. You can write on them, they are cheap, easily available, and the centre portion is one inch square so just right for counting wraps and twists in an inch. I buy mine from Debscrosssticth

1 thought on “Wraps per inch of commercial yarn”

  1. I think the important thing about wpi is that your own number is consistent, you can then do tension squares etc, to see how any given yarn fits into a category, also worth logging the m/100g as an additional reference.


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