Wool allergy? Consider these yarns, instead!

Home/Did You Know . . . ?Wool allergy? Consider these yarns, instead!
Lion Brand Yarn

Wool allergy? Consider these yarns, instead!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
A significant percentage of Americans suffer from allergies. For the yarn crafter, there is no gloomier news than a wool allergy. While the allergy can range from sensitivity to more serious irritation, it’s always best to consult a physician to discuss further. If you know you’re sensitive, or you’re crafting for someone who is, we’ve put together a list of yarn options that will keep you working & wearing comfortably.

What’s in a wool allergy?

The real question is, what is it that’s in wool? While many medical experts agree that true wool allergies are rare, it’s very possible to have sensitivity to lanolin, the oil that’s in sheepswool. You might have irritated skin, or even develop a rash, upon wearing, or your symptoms might present as more classic allergies: itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. Whatever the discomfort, it’s important to figure out if your reaction is to lanolin itself. Since this is an ingredient in other products (like some skincare, lotions, and lip products), it should probably be avoided in general.

Lion Brand Yarns for You

100% Acrylic

We offer several 100% acrylic yarns, which many crafters find to be the best option for any fiber sensitivity. Our Thick and Quick yarn, now available in Bonus Bundles, is one of these. Another all-acrylic option is our Mandala yarn, newly back in stock! Jeans is another of our acrylics, and it’s well-liked by crafters – review after review remarks about how soft it is. Also, if you’re looking for more color variety, you can check out our Landscapes yarn. It comes in solids, too, but the multi-color skeins are pretty gorgeous.

Acrylic Blends

Many of our yarns are acrylic blends, and the composition varies based on color. For our Hometown USA yarn, the Solids, Multis, Neons & Twists are all 100% acrylic. But the Tweeds, are 94% acrylic, and 6% rayon. Our Heartland yarn breaks down in a similar way, with the Solids being 100% acrylic, and Tweeds composed of 94% acrylic and 6% rayon.

Baby Soft comes in Solids, Prints and Pomadours. The Solids & Prints are 60% acrylic, 40% nylon, and the Pomps are 62% acrylic, 27% nylon, and 11% rayon. Vanna’s Choice comes in many colors, including Solids, Prints, Heathers and Twists. The breakdown of fibers is very different between colors, so please take a close look if you have particular needs! Several of them are 100% acrylic – Solids, Prints, Twists, and Mist, Dark Grey Heather, and Silver Heather. The others are blends.

Cotton & Cotton Blends

Our 24/7 Cotton is the obvious choice for a 100% cotton yarn. The cotton has been mercerized, a process which increases its luster. Crafters have touted it’s strength (no splitting) and the drape of finished garments. With 24 colors, there’s something perfect for every project! The Fast-Track yarn is a cotton blend, composed of 60% cotton, and 40% polyester. This unique super-bulky yarn has a wide, flat shape that’s is great for jewelry and accessories, while strong enough for bags and bowls.

We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re a crafter with a wool sensitivity, we’d love to hear what works for you! If you’ve worked with a yarn of ours successfully, and we haven’t mentioned it here, let us know. We hope to provide all our crafters with what they need to craft happily, healthily, and focus on what’s most important: your current WIP.

Share this post


  • I was trying to log in with my old account : inkdrops@northrock.bm but kept saying password was invalid. I asked to change it but never got the email, so I started a new account. I hope I am not going to have to do this every time I log in !!!

    Tricia Thompson-Browne
    inkdrops@northrock.bm / swagandbrownie@gmail.com

  • It would be nice when you offer kits that use yarns with wool to have a non wool option. Thank you.

  • I’ve made many chemo caps, scarves, and blankets with your non wool yarns. Unfortunately I learned the hard way about my continued sensitivity to wool. Having my hands and forearms break out in hives and being red and itchy was no fun. I’ve made many beautiful caps and scraves in Heartland..I love the different colors. I just finished weaving in tails in a two color striped blanket for the homeless in Homespun.
    I prefer the soft yarns for the chemo cap projects.

  • Please send me knitting patterns and kits. I do not crochet.

  • I agree with Mel: non-wool/other animal fiber options with kits and patterns would help those of us allergic. A non-wool option for sock yarn would also be appreciated.

  • I am allergic to work also but found out because we owned sheep that it was the processed wool that was the problem. The fleece did not make me itch and my hands were wonderfully soft after handling the fleece

  • I’ll enter another vote for non-wool options when wool-containing kits are offered. I am vegan and choose not to use animal-based fibers.

  • I don’t have a true wool allergy, but a skin problem that leaves my skin very itchy when I wear wool. It’s great to have other options.

  • Thank you for the information, it’s good to have these options. As I just found out I am allergic to wool. I just used wool for the first time and the reaction was not pleasant.
    Have a great day.

  • I find that I can only use 100% cottom for my projects in crotchet as I break out with any other type.
    I love to look at the other fibres as they have such beautiful colors but know my hands would be bleeding
    if I tried them. I have learned to live with what I can do.

  • Awesome! I only use acrylic or acrylic blends. I’ve learned the hard way that wool is not an option. Plus, I crochet for charity, and they won’t take anything made with wool in in. Thanks!

    • Hi, Sandy – Glad you’re finding alternatives for your personal & charitable projects. 🙂

  • Please offer non-wool options in your kits. That would be fantastic!

    • Hi, Corrine – thank you for your feedback, this is a great idea. I’ll pass it along!

  • I agree with Mel…would be wonderful if kits came with non-wool alternatives. I cannot work with or wear wool, although I grew up wearing it! Many, many years ago. Alternative yarn suggestions in your patterns would also be great.

    As an aside…many places do not accept chemo caps made with wool because of patient sensitivities. I have made a number of hats many of which are designed by Robin Celli with your non-wool yarns, and they have all worked out beautifully.

    • Hi, Susan – thank you for your feedback! This is a great idea, I’ll be sure to pass it along. And it’s so nice to hear that you’ve chosen our yarns in the past for such a generous project – kudos to you for crafting for a good cause!

  • I’ve been hoping for a listing like this! So many of the nice blending yarns, like Scarfie, I’d like to use, but can’t use wool. How about putting a permanent entry on the Lionbrand website that lists alternatives? I’d like to be able to refer to that when I’m planning a project, and I could continue to use some of the older patterns that I use over and over..

    • Hi, Jan – thank you for the feedback! And that’s a great idea, let me see if I can pass it along. Would be great to make it easy for people!

  • I would very much like to see more bamboo yarns being offered as an alternative. I have found some lovely ones in the last year but you have almost none. I myself love wool yarn but know there are many people who can’t use it and bamboo yarn is a wonderful replacement yearn. yet you don’t have any at all in sock yarn. And only one in a cotton version.

  • I use Homespun for many of my prayer shawls and other projects.
    I wish you would offer the patterns that you use in your kits, can’t always afford the cost & purchase yarn on sale at
    local retailer.

    • Thank you for this feedback, Chris, I’ll pass it along!

  • Leave A Comment

    You must be <a href="https://blog.lionbrand.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.lionbrand.com%2Fwool-allergy-alternatives%2F">logged in</a> to post a comment.