Yarn/thread substitutions for miniature work

yarns and threads
© F H Powell 2017

This post follows on from our previous post Can I substitute a thread/yarn for the one used in the pattern?

The list below is NOT a comprehensive list of all available threads/yarns which can be substituted. This list has been expanded to include threads/yarns used in 1:6th scale patterns.

We would love to expand this list, so that it is of help to miniature knitters and crochet workers worldwide, so if you can help please e-mail any suggestions/additions which you can make to this list

Manufacturers names are included for guidance only, as many product names and thread thickness can be very similar.


Working from the finest threads up to the thickest:

No 100 crochet cotton is equivalent to and can be replaced by:
Gutermann silk sewing thread
Venne cotton Nm 70/2 – Ne 40/2
Sylko Dewhurst mercerised sewing thread (100% cotton – now discontinued)
1/2 ply silk thread (this is a bit finer than the other threads)
60/2nm or 120/4nm silk yarns (this is a little finer) – sometimes called ½-ply (Uppingham Yarns)
Aurifil #28 or Sulky #30 quilting cot on 100/3 lace threads are comparable to Sulky #30 and Aurifil #28.
Both brands also make size 50 quilting threads, which are a bit finer. These quilting cottons are very strong.
To obtain these threads look for quilting suppliers and bobbin lace making suppliers.

One strand of stranded embroidery silk/floss is equivalent to and can be replaced by the following yarns, which do not split as easily and do not have to be separated before you can use the thread:
No. 80 crochet/tatting cotton (DMC, Anchor, Lizbeth, Presencia Fincrochet – very slightly thicker than one strand of embroidery thread)
No. 70 tatting thread (Venus, Oren Bayan)
Venne Colcoton 34/2
Finca Perlé Cotton Size 12
Cotton Perle No. 12 (Weeks Dye Works)
Cotton Perle No. 12 (now discontinued – DMC and WM Briggs 1999 – 2008 – 5gram Ball 60 metres)
Tatting Crochet (Star – now discontinued)
Tatting Cotton (J & P Coats – now discontinued)
O.N.T. Tatting-Crochet, Size 70 (Coat’s and Clark’s- now discontinued)
Tatting Crochet (Lily – now discontinued)
Egyptian Cotton 40/3
Brok 36/3 100% cotton lace thread
YLI COLOURS, 100% long staple cotton – comes in variegated shades too

Threads comparable to No 40 Cordonnet crochet cotton:
Fresia linen 40/2
Bockens linen 35/2
Pearl Cotton No 12
Brok cotton 24/3
DMC Coton a Broder No 30

1-ply yarn is equivalent to and can be replaced by:
DMC Broder Special No 25
No. 20 crochet cotton
No. 50 Oren Bayan Tatting thread
Gutermann Tacking cotton
DMC Broder Medicis (2-ply tapestry thread now discontinued by DMC)
DMC Flower thread (now discontinued)
Appletons Old English Crewel wool (2-ply tapestry thread – can work up quite stiff)
No 8 Pearl cotton (Coats/Anchor)
No 8 Cotton Perle (DMC)
Venne Colcoton Nm 34/2 – Ne 20/2
Venne Wool Nm 26/2 or Nm 36/2
Shetland Cobweb yarns (Jamieson and Smith)
Ultra Cobweb yarn (Jamiesons of Shetland, natural wool colours only)
Any 2/18 wc yarns, 2/16 wc or 2/16 cc (wool count/cotton count)
Any 20/2nm and 18/2 nm yarns
2/28Linen thread (Uppingham Yarns)
2/30 acrylic yarns (Yeoman Yarns)
Merino Polo 1-ply (Yeoman Yarns)
Fine Crepe 1-ply (Yeoman Yarns)
Any yarn listed as being between 2/36 to 2/28 thread count
Fine cobweb yarns (some of these may not be strong enough to work twisted stitches, cables, etc. )
1 strand of Paternayan (Paterna) 3-ply yarns (sold in skeins for tapestry, but strands will need to be separated, so only one is used)
Crewel Wool Yarn (Weeks Dye Works)
Bella Lusso Fine Merino wool (Italy)
Fine D’Aubusson tapestry wool (France)
Poppies (50% silk/50% wool blend – Gumnuts Yarns, Australia)
Heathway Milano Crewel Wool. (Wales)
Simply Wool (Gentle Art, USA)
JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 Yarn
Malabrigo Lace

No 10 crochet cotton is equivalent to and can be replaced by:
No 12 crochet cotton – slightly finer than No 10 thread
Cotton perle No 5 (DMC)
No 5 Pearl cotton (Coats/Anchor)
Essentials crochet (Rico)
Brittany 2-ply (Yeoman Yarns)
Eco Cotton 2-ply (Yeoman Yarns)
Most 2-ply baby yarns
Renaissance Dyeing Crewel wool/Lace weight yarn
2/16 Lamora – 75% Superfine Wool & 25% Selected Angora (Lanecardate)
2-Ply Crepé (Filigree) 1/10.5 Nm (Uppingham Yarns)
Camilla Valley Farm 2/16 cotton yarns
Jamieson and Smith 2-ply lace yarn (slightly thicker than normal 2-ply – more like 3-ply)
Sugar Rush, Maxi and Bonbon (Scheepjes) – although sold as an equivalent to No 10 thread, this is much finer (about a No 13) and item may work up slightly smaller, but this has a lovely drape