Nylon yarn is a synthetic material yarn that can be made to resemble the look and feel of many natural fibers. Originally, nylon was created as a substitute for silk when the latter material became difficult to obtain. Nylon is strong, slightly stretchy, and generally cheaper than natural fiber yarns. This makes nylon good for many types of knitting projects. It is also usually easy to work with, so it may be a good material choice for beginner knitters.
Natural fiber yarns, such as wool, may be very expensive. This is especially true if the yarn must be imported and is organic. Nylon yarn is an alternative which can resemble the look and feel of wool, cotton, and even suede for a lower cost. It can be used in place of these natural fiber yarns to create any number of garments, accessories, or even home decor.
Some nylon yarn is designed to look like fur and may have many fibers sticking out from one base thread. This type of yarn may be more difficult to work with than others and requires more time to master. Knitting classes are usually offered locally, and there are books and websites available which teach knitting styles and patterns. Many projects, such as scarves, skirts, or sweaters, can be accomplished using nylon yarn.
When choosing a nylon yarn, it is typically important to choose a type which will suit your project. Some yarns have a more rough feel and might not be good for garments, but are adequate for rugs or tapestries. When making a baby blanket, it is generally a good idea to look for yarn which is vary soft and not likely to irritate delicate skin. Visiting a yarn store to feel different types of nylon yarn may be a good idea, or if having the yarn shipped, look for detailed descriptions which explain the feel and look of the yarn. Many times, a cardigan sweater made of expensive cashmere can be imitated by nylon made to feel exactly like the pricier fabric.
Most nylon yarns can be machined-washed in warm or cold water and tumble-dried on low temperatures. It may be a good idea to wash or rinse the yarn by hand before using it, as the chemicals used to treat it may cause an allergic reaction to the skin. Allergies to the nylon itself are possible.