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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Red Heart Knitting Worsted

Red Heart Knitting Worsted entered the U.S. market late 1936 under the Chadwicks label.

The Chadwick brand & label originated from James Chadwick & Brothers Ltd., that was Purchased
by J&P Coats in 1917.   Chadwick & Brothers continued in the business, all combined under the distribution of The Spool Cotton Co.

Red Heart Knitting Worsted:  100% Virgin Wool, 4 ply, 1-3/4 oz skeins in assorted colors. 

The yarn was quite popular in the market and used in many applications from clothing to afghans.
Skeins in different weights were introduced, along with a growing array of colors.  (1941 newspaper advertisement from Asheville, NC).

In 1952, the companies completed intergration (Coats, Clarks, Spool Cotton, Chadwicks and a few others) was completed and the various brands and marketing names began consolidation to Coats & Clark's.
(yarn photo from Etsy seller vintagevivvy)
By the late 1950's, the Chadwicks brand name has disappeared and all of the labeling is Coats & Clark's Red Heart Knitting Worsted.  Same great yarn, only the brand name has changed.

 There are many great vintage designs out there that call for the Red Heart Knitting Worsted.  Substitution should be no problem  ... a 4-ply worsted weight yarn, that meets the gauge of the specific pattern, will do it.   Do I have any of these patterns in the shop .... absolutely.

In the mid 1970's, Coats & Clarks discontinued production of this yarn and by the late 1970's, all the built up stock in warehouses and shops was depleted.   Why was this great yarn discontinued.   I really have no way of knowing that, but I'd think that with the many fiber changes going on that they moved on to new brands.

Okay, back to work now.   Thanks for dropping by.

PS - 1/21/21:   A reader, Bruce, just finished up a project using a vintage skein of Red Heart Knitting 
Worsted and was kind enough to share a photo of the original label.     Thanks Bruce! 


  1. My daughter-in-law loves everything 1950's and I found an afghan pattern that calls for this yarn. I was trying to figure out how many yards were in each skein. Any ideas? Thank you so very much for your keeping the history alive. It is everything!

    1. According to a 'most supreme' source (Ravelry), yardage is 252 per skein.

  2. I unearthed a bag of this yarn in my storage area and am trying to figure out when I would have ever bought it. If it was discontinued in the 70s my guess is that it was while I was in Germany, as I could have sure used the warmth of wool there. Now, can anyone help with washing instructions. The "washable colors" on the wrapper isn't much help . . . . Many thanks!

  3. Thank you for the info about history of Red Heart yarn. Awhile back I was wondering what yarn displays in stores used to look like, say 1960's and earlier. Partly question came up trying to imagine one of my favorite characters (Randy, short for Miranda) getting yarn for Christmas gift scarves and sweater she promised her adoptive brother in books about Melendy family written in 1940's by one of my favorite authors ELIZABETH ENRIGHT (niece of architect Frank Lloyd Wright).

    I also watched TV series like Selfridge and Paradise (about department stores of other eras), to find out about how wares were displayed in Victorian era--no yarn tho, in these upscale shops. Other fave books set in dept store around 100 years ago are by Grace Livingston Hill, CRIMSON ROSES and DAILY RATE.

    I wasn't able to find vintage photos online of skeins of yarn in stores, except for a British Woolworth's in maybe 1940's. But if you ever come across any pix in vintage ads etcetera, other yarn lovers beside myself may enjoy seeing "the way things were" history of everyday things, now largely forgotten...Thanks!

  4. I have a few skeins of Coats and Clark Red Heart Wintuk. When was this manufactured?

    1. The Red Heart Wintuk was introduced in 1967. It had quite a long run, being discontinued in 1980.

  5. I have a few sceins from my great grandmother and a project she started but trying to get a time line. I have color 912 Geranium Lot 9001

  6. I've gotten the same Red Heart Knitting Worsted pictured in the third ad from the top (the 88 cent one) several times on Ebay. It's nice yarn---and I just realized that there is a knitting pattern on the back of each label!

    I think I bought this same yarn at Woolworths in 1974, at the store that was on 110th and Broadway in NYC (long gone). It was so cheap that even I, an extremely frugal student, could afford it!