There are many yarn count systems in the world, so here are a few that are used for coned yarn with industrial standards. Find how to calculate conversions of yarn count at the bottom of this page.
Numero metric count
The numero metric yarn count ‘Nm’ is used the most for industrial yarn in Europe and Asia, which is why we chose to mainly work with this. This metric numbering system (Nm) indicates ‘number of 1000m (or 1 km) of yarn per 1kg weight’. The metric count is written count/ply.
A few examples:
- Nm30 = 30 km of yarn weighs 1 kilogram. These yarns have the same yarn weight:
- Nm30 is only 1 end of yarn
- Nm60/2 is two ends of yarn, both Nm60.
- Nm120/4 is 4 ends of yarn, each Nm120.
- Nm6 = 6 kilometer of yarn weighs 1 kilogram. These yarns have the same yarn weight:
- Nm6 is only 1 end of yarn
- Nm12/2 is two ends of yarn, both Nm12
- Nm24/4 is four ends of yarn, each Nm24
- Nm8 = 8 kilometer of yarn weighs 1 kilogram. These yarns have the same yarn weight:
- Nm8 is only 1 end of yarn.
- Nm16/2 is two ends of yarn, both Nm16
- Nm32/4 is four ends of yarn, each Nm32
Tex indicates ‘how many grams of yarn per 1000m’.
- 30Tex means that 30 grams of yarn are 1000m long. Decitex (dTex) indicates how many grams of yarn per 10000m.
Denier (DEN) is often used for nylon stockings and tights. It indicates ‘how many grams of yarn per 9000m’.
- 30D means that 30 grams of yarn are 9000m long.
For Nm, dtex and DEN applies: ‘The higher the number, the finer the yarn’.
Imperial yarn counts
Cotton count, worsted count and linen count are imperial counts, meaning they are measured in yards and pounds.
|Cotton count (cc or ne)||840 yards/pound|
|Worsted count (wc)||560 yards/pound|
|Linen count (lea or nel)||300 yards/pound|
Imperial counts (cc/wc/lea) are usually written as ply/count, for examle 'wc2/12' or 'cc2/8'. To work out the yards per pounds for a specific yarn count, you multiply the yarn count by the number of yards in the definition, then divide by the ply. For example:
wc2/12 = (12 x 560) / 2 = 3360 yards/pound
cc2/8 = (8 x 840) / 2 = 3360 yards/pound
Converting meters/kilogram and yards/pound
With all these different yarn counts being used, it's helpful to be able to convert yarn counts. You can calculate as follows:
yard/pound to meter/kilogram: multiply by 2.016
meter/kilogram to yard/pound: multiply by 0.495
3360 yards/pound x 2.016 = 6777 meters/kilometer = Nm6.8
8000 meter/kilogram x 0.495 = 3960 yards/pound = wc2/14 or cc2/9 for 2 ply yarns
As the machine works best with industrial spun yarn on cones, you can compare this industrial used yarn count to a light fingering or 2 ply hand knitting yarn (needle size around 2mm).
Note: Hand knitting yarns are almost always not suited for Kniterate.