Weekly Rec – Old Yarn Labels


I love yarn. I love old yarn. I love those labels on old yarn. 

Vintage yarn label - Lilly Rayon Crochet

This probably reveals too much about the depths on my obsession with the whole making-things-with-yarn hobby. Perhaps I should be keeping this particular passion to myself. It may make me look like a weirdo. But… I do love those old yarn labels. I had so much fun going through my stash and reading them all. Again.

And maybe there are a few fellow weirdos out there that will enjoy all the pictures of my old yarn labels! Maybe they will even share a few of their own. I can’t be the only one…. right?

Some of these old labels remind me of things I knew but forgot. Like Acrilan! It used to be everywhere, or at least that’s the way I remember it. And I do remember when JCPenney’s sold yarn.

I don’t remember it being 77 cents though.

I like the way all my old yarn is labeled “mothproof”. The acrylic, the nylon, the cotton and even stuff like this:

If its an animal fiber and its labeled “mothproof” that company is either

a) lying to you, or

b) added a pesticide to the dye bath. Its not really, completely mothproof but the theory is that when moth larva eat your yarn they will die. Maybe.

(I’m sticking with all the anti-bug strategies that I shared in my How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Stash post. I’m not putting my faith in modern chemistry, lol. Also, I’ve added a new strategy since I wrote that post. A friend  told me that she uses peppermint and spearmint teabags. Mint is a good bug repellent and tea comes in pre-made sachets so this is an awesome idea. Now I have tea bugs buried in my yarn stash too.)

Some of my old yarn labels make wild, outrageous promises.

red heart wintuk yarn. its

“Tangleproof” my butt! I betcha a zillion dollars I can tangle that yarn up.

Check out this skein of acrylic-made-to-look-like cotton. I’m not supposed to knit in stockinette with it.

bucilla tempo yarn

I wonder what happens when you make stockinette stitch with it. Does it self-destruct? Do the knitting police come to your door? I have to try it. You know I have to. That note on the label is like saying “don’t press this button”. You gotta press the button.

Then there is the virginity question. Some of my balls of old yarn are virgins. Yep.

(This is what sent me unearthing all my stash in the first place. A reader made a comment on a post last week about a jerk she knew who would not accept a gift unless it was made with “virgin acrylic”. What? Virgin acrylic? What the is that? And do I have any? Turns out that I do.)

old yarn labeled as

So virgin yarn is pure? Untouched? Holding out for the right crafter?

I think its supposed to be yarn that wasn’t recycled or made from something that used to be something else. Back then recycled stuff was BAD. Times change. Now we have to pay extra for the privilege of stuff made from other stuff.

Best of all is the little logos that you can find on some of the old yarn labels.

logos from old yarn labels

Those always make me smile (because I’m a sentimental squish-squish).

What a waste of time! Taking pictures of old yarn labels???

I could blame this post on that commenter who mentioned virgin acrylic. Or I could blame Jess because she de-stashed that Acrilan on me, forcing me to take it home. But I’ll be honest and own up to my abnormal interest in the labels of vintage yarn. I had a blast looking over everything and taking my pictures. And maybe they will find their way to a like-minded soul who will, after reading this, go tearing though their own stash to see if they have any “virgin acrylic”.

Let me know if you do.

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33 Comments on "Weekly Rec – Old Yarn Labels"

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Sadly all my virgin acrylic was lost to a wildfire a couple years ago, that also took the silk, hemp, camel down, etc. my stash now fits in two small tubs, but I’m remedying that. I too love the old labels..many were so very artistic!


They were artistic! Glad to know I’m not alone in my appreciation of them. Nice to have company.

And yes, you have to rebuild your stash ASAP. If you don’t have SABLE (stash accumulated beyond life expectancy) can you ever really be comfortable?


Sadly I don’t own old yarn… I only started knitting 4 years ago so all my yarn dates to around that time and more recent. The old labels are interesting though!


All the stuff I show here? I didn’t buy any of it. lol I just took in unwanted, orphaned yarn. Just wait. People will de-stash on you and then you’ll have all kinds of strange, vintage, and mystery yarns that live in your home.


I don’t have any old yarn, but I do love old labels. Not just old yarn labels, but old food labels, medicine labels, general merchandise labels. They can be quite amusing.


Old medicine labels….


*runs off to ask google about old medicine labels*


I have given the “Virgin” fiber claim some thought since it was brought up here. Since it seems to turn up on old unused skeins… Maybe it means that you now own a skein that you can never match, make into anything, or even toss! The yarn is holding out for a lifetime commitment
What you really need to be on the look out for is the Extra Virgin fiber. From Acrylers that were raised on only the finest olives.


BTF (before the fire) I had an unintended stash of acrylic. Discovered multi stranding, and had some knitted rugs that withstood three kids and five dogs.


Acrylic does makes great rugs. If you stitch them right, they will wear like iron.


“Extra virgin”

“first squeeze from the puddle of polymer chemicals”

“from all organic, naturally synthesized acrylic”


Sears “Roebuck” was the source for my very first kit. Single Granny Afghan blocks with wool yarn cost 99 cents each. I finished the Afghan and is still on the living room love seat. (Can’t make that same claim very often now.)


No you can’! How wonderful that you still have it!