Choosing the Best Yarn for Knit Potholders

Handmade potholders and trivets are a great way to decorate your home with a personal flair and learn new stitching techniques on small projects.

When you’re making things that interact with high heat, though, it’s important to choose the right yarn. Here are the fibers I look for in the perfect potholder yarn.


Wool is a pretty durable fiber, and it doesn’t catch on fire easily. That means that you are less likely to have negative effects from it coming into contact with heat. However, wool does felt easily, and even superwash wool can be more difficult to wash and care for than its cotton or acrylic counterparts would be.


The main benefit of acrylic yarn is that it’s very easy to care for. You throw it in the washer and dryer, and then put it back to work. Its major drawback is that acrylic yarn melts. It’s essentially plastic in yarn form, so if you are setting it under a very hot pan or using it to hold a very hot pan handle, you may melt the fibers.

Cotton is a popular choice for kitchen knits. It’s easy to wash and dry, and unlike acrylic, it doesn’t melt when it comes in contact with high heat. It’s not quite so insulated as wool is, but if you knit or crochet a very thick pot holder, it’ll do the job just fine. It does burn more easily than wool yarn does, though, so you’ll need to be more careful using it around a lit burner.


With that in mind, yarn made from natural fibers and specifically cotton is the best for making potholders and trivets. I prefer a pure cotton so that the there’s no risk of synthetic fibers in the mix starting to melt when in contact with high heat.

Learn more about which fibers and weight to use when knitting potholders on my blog. Plus, find helpful tips and tricks to improve your knitting, patterns, tutorials, and more.