Types of Yarn Packaging- Hank, Skein & Donut


Hello Readers,

Understanding the Types of Yarn Packaging- Hank, Skein & Donuts, is very important if you are gonna use them, because then you will not only know their names but also how best to use them for your different types of projects.


A hank is a loop formed with long length of yarn that is twisted into a cute bundle, like this:


A hank has a ‘classy’ feel to it, so it contributes to a yarn looking high-end. As I mentioned, a hank is just yarn looped around, so it’s really time & cost saver for spinners and dyers to work with their yarn, to sell it to the consumer that way. Finally, from a yarn-store perspective, hanks lie neatly on the shelf, making display easy.

How to Use- First thing to remember is, do not work directly from the hank whatever you do! I have heard tales that some people do knit from the hank but I cannot see any way that it isn’t going to end in the most horrible tangled mess.

You will need to wind it. I have shared 4 ways to wind a hank into a ball.

Use of Hank- For bigger projects where you will need lots of yarn; hank is the perfect choice. You can store it neatly without affecting the yarn texture or tension.


There is a little controversy with Skein because in olden days, both ‘hank’ and ‘skein’ were used to refer to the hank, but indicated with different measurements. Now, mostly people say that a skein is an oblong center-pull bundle, like this:


This is the type you’ll find in most of the local yarn stores and even with big brands. It sits nicely on the shelf or in box.

How to Use- The best part of Skein is, its ready-to-use, no winding! 🙂

Use of Skein- It’s also very common to hear the word ‘skein’ used to refer to ‘a unit of yarn’. For example, the book Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Creative Projects doesn’t refer to things you can make using oblong bundles of yarn… it’s things you can make with one unit of yarn, no matter how it is wound.

The whole intention of this post itself is not to just understand the standard types of yarn packaging but also to acknowledge that other folks might use the word differently and that’s totally fine! 


Simple! It looks like a donuts:


These are center-pull ball with donuts shape.

How to Use- Like Skein, its ready-to-use, and are more convenient because of center pull yarn, they don’t roll around while working! You can check more benefits of center pull here.

Use of Donuts- These are the perfect for small projects and for beginners who are learning to crochet or knit.

That’s all for now, I hope this post has put some light on the confusion with types of yarn packaging. If you have any questions or suggestions please do write in comments below. 

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