What is Tape Yarn?

Malcolm Tatum

As the perfect yarn type to use for many types of clothing accessories and decorative touches, tape yarn is an ideal choice. Here is some basic information about this type of yarn, including some suggestions for items that can be created using this versatile yarn type.

Tape yarn may be used to create sweater vests.
Tape yarn may be used to create sweater vests.

Tape yarn is also referred to often in patterns and in store advertisements as ribbon yarn. One of the unique characteristics of these woven yarns is the fact that the yarns are flat, just like ribbon or tape. The flat nature of tape yarn makes it possible to achieve a weave and pattern that could not be accomplished with other types of essentially round yard types.

Achieving a perfect stitch with tape yarn is more difficult than it is with regular yarn.
Achieving a perfect stitch with tape yarn is more difficult than it is with regular yarn.

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One of things to keep in mind when creating with ribbon yarn is that it is more difficult to achieve a perfect stitch with it. This will mean that even an individual who is very proficient with knitting may need to slow down and pay closer attention to the process used to create the stitch. On the other hand, some people may prefer the slight variance in the stitch, since it will give the finished product a slightly looser weave in the pattern, which may actually be considered a pleasing design element.

While these yarns used to be available only in cotton or wool blends, the various tape yarns on the market today offer a variety of fibers, including blends of synthetic and natural materials. In fact, many people find that a cotton and nylon blend for ribbon yarn is very easy to work with. As a bonus, the finished item usually maintains its shape longer if there is some synthetic material included in the tape yarn used.

These yarns are great for creating clothing accessories that are essentially flat in nature. This makes it fun to knit or crochet belts, scarves, and headbands with ribbon yarn. Larger items, such as vests and even summer tops can be created using ribbon yarn as the medium of choice. Sweaters that are ideal for the cooler periods of the autumn and spring also can be created using tape yarn. Because the pattern will tend to be looser than other sweaters, the garments will be ideal for those seasons. For some really interesting patterns, ribbon yarn can be mixed with other yarns, giving the accessory a unique feel and look.

Tape yarn is not hard to find at all. Usually sold in hundred foot long skeins, tape yard can be purchased at many craft stores, sewing and fabric shops, and in most discount retail stores that carry material. As a great way to add a different twist to knitting and crocheting projects, this type of yarn can produce attractive results that will be sure to please everyone.

Unlike conventional yarn, tape yarn is flat.
Unlike conventional yarn, tape yarn is flat.

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Discussion Comments


What about cleaning? Can a linen/nylon tape yarn be handwashed?

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