Unknown yarn?

I have several balls of yarn I “inherited” from a neighbor who has passed away. One is a lovely lavender that I am thinking is wool, but how on earth can I tell. I have no way to post pics currently. So my question is this…

is there a way I can tell what the fiber content may be when I have no label information what so ever, and the yarn is most likely 20+ years old?


PS. I am thinking of knitting what I want to knit anyway, felting and if it doesn’t work just giving it to one of the kids in the neighborhood. At least then I’ll know what the rest of the ball is :slight_smile:

There is the burn test. Hold a flame to the end of a piece. If it smolders and smells, well, natural, then it’s likely to be wool. If it melts, then it’s acrylic.

There’s also the spit test. Take two pieces of the yarn, dampen them with spit or water, rub them together briskly in your hands to create friction. If the two pieces of yarn are felted together when you’re through, it’s likely wool or another animal fiber. Also if it felts you will know it’s not acrylic or cotton.

See? This is why I come to you guys! I knew if anyone was to have the answers it would be someone here!

goes off to set yarn on fire and then spit on it


100% wool will dissolve in bleach. If it only partially dissolves then it’s a blend.


Your reply was wayyyy to funny!!! Gotta admit this site is great and found the answer before I needed to post…

I’m new here and will enjoy reading the forums endlessly!
Thanks, moderators!

Yours truly,

Sylvia aka, Silva ‘of the forest’ or Forest_Nymph