Yarn counts are a way of measuring linear density of a fibre, originally expressed as the number hanks of yarn of a given length that can be spun from a pound of raw fibre. They originated when yarns made from different fibres were produced by separate trades.
On this website counts are expressed as two numbers separated by a slash / . For example, some of our cotton is 8/2. This is a Number English count (Ne) and means that eight hanks of 840 yards could be spun from a pound weight of cotton fibre. The second number shows that two ends of the spun yarn were plied (twisted together) to form a yarn of 3360 yards length per pound weight.
These abbreviations are used to indicate the count system:
Nm Number metric
NeC Number cotton (Sometimes seen as Ne, and referred to as Number English)
NeL Number English Linen
NeK or wc worsted count (wool)
ysw Yorkshire skein weight
Try our Yarn Count Converter page to find equivalent counts and to calculate lengths of yarn from weight.« Back to Glossary Index