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Jane Stafford Textiles Helpline

This Helpline exists because of Jane Stafford Textiles which can only exist if you support us. Please give us the chance to supply yarn for your projects. Check out our online store. We love to support you – we hope you will support us.


Could you tell me the difference between 8/2, 8/4, and 8/8 cotton?

I was wondering if your 16/2 cotton was unmercerized?  I’m assuming if your cotton doesn’t say mercerized then it isn’t.  Could you tell me the difference between 8/2, 8/4, and 8/8.

Our 16/2 is unmercerized.  The difference between all those cottons is simple the size.  They are all plys of a base yarn which is the #8 part of the fraction.  8/2 is a 2 ply, 8/4 is a 4 ply and 8/8 is an 8 ply.  They get progressively fatter and therefore have less yardage per pound.  The 16/2 is half of the size of a #8……so that first number sort of gives you an idea of the size of the yarn.  The higher that number is the finer the yarn.  Most sewing cotton is a 50/2.  16/2 is quite fine, 8/2 makes a lovely tea towel, 8/4 makes a medium weight placemat or lovely cotton blanket and 8/8 makes a great placemat.   Sometimes those numbers are reversed.  2/8 or 8/2 are the same.