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Best Yarn for Scarves

Wondering what's the best yarn for scarf making? We have your answers here.

By: Dana Byerwalter, Editor, FaveCrafts.com
Best Yarn for Scarves

What is the best yarn for scarves? That's a little like asking what is the best yarn for clothing, shawls, or some other wearable craft. While the best yarn for blanket patterns and best yarn for dishcloth patterns for example are a bit more cut and dry, yarn used for scarves is more subjective. 

We've done the research so you don't have to. The best yarn for scarves is a soft acrylic yarn like Caron Simply Soft. But there are so many other yarns you can use depending on your level of crochet or knitting experience, and we'll explain the advantages and disadvantages below.

What's the best yarn for a scarf?

Acrylic: an acrylic yarn that is resistant to splitting is the best yarn for scarves for beginners. This is because acrylic yarn is so cheap, meaning it's lower risk for beginners than trying a first project on an expensive natural fiber yarn, and yarn that splits easily is more challenging to work with. Many acrylic yarns are quite soft, making them comfortable for wearing around the neck.

Acrylic/wool blends: this is my personal favorite for making scarves! A wool blend like Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is great because it is more affordable than 100% wool yarn but still has the snuggly wool feel. According to Lion Brand's website, "It has the feel, warmth and softness of wool with the easy care of acrylic." This is also a super bulky yarn. Though absolute beginners should learn to knit or crochet with a worsted weight yarn, super bulky is great for everyone because you can work up patterns so quickly!

Natural fibers: these are ideal yarns in general in life. They are cozy and easy to work with. They comprise the softest yarn for scarves. Natural fibers tend to "breathe" better than acrylic, making them ideal for any wearable patterns. Natural fibers however do come at a higher price and are ideal for those more comfortable with knitting and crochet.

Cotton: cotton is a fine choice, but there are a few drawbacks. It is an inelastic yarn, so it can be challenging to keep tension consistent and this may affect the drape of the project. It also tends to split easily, and cotton is more slippery than other yarns. Last, some cotton yarns can bleed colors, which of course isn't ideal---you don't want your shirt turning the color of your scarf! Cotton is an inexpensive and breathable yarn, and if you choose a lighter color and are reasonably comfortable with knitting and crochet, this could be an excellent option. 

Wool: there are several pros and cons of wool. In general, beginners should shy away from it for a few reasons. First, if you have a wool sensitivity, it's a bad idea to make scarves with wool that will be touching your skin! Wool is also more expensive and more difficult to wash. It does wick away moisture better than acrylic, making it great for keeping you warm and dry! But because it is expensive and difficult to wash, an acrylic yarn or blend may be a better fit for new crocheters and knitters.

What is your favorite yarn for making scarves?

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This is great to keep on hand even for us old timer who have been crocheting for years, as well as the ones new to crocheting or knitting. I have printed this one out and will be sharing! After reading this I would say I'm Acrylic type of person. I love working with a soft yarn that doesn't split while working with it. For kitchen wares I use 100% cotton yarn. Thank you so much for sharing this free craft(?).

I'm an acrylic/wool blend gal. It just feels way better. Cheaper than wool (which is an obvious plus) while not being as uncomfortable for me as using a straight acrylic yarn for my scarves.

I like acrylic because it is affordable and because it's not as much of a risk to just throw it in the washing machine. But, I prefer the bulkier look of wool/acrylic blends like Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, but I do find them a little itchy. To be completely honest though, I like anything that feels soft!

Personally, I think wool acrylic blends are ideal, since wool on its own is too itchy, and acrylic yarn is so easy to take care of. I love Wool-Ease Thick Quick for chunky infinity scarves, which we all know are the best kinds of scarves.

I've wasted my time knitting and crocheting a bunch of scarves that are actually really itchy and I never wear them. I made the mistake of buying cheap acrylic yarn that didn't have any wool in it and my skin finds 100% wool too itchy. An acrylic-wool blend is probably your best bet if you want something soft and easy to work with.

I love a good natural fiber in worsted or bulky weight! Depending on who is receiving the scarf though, it might end up being knit out of acrylic.

I like anything soft, so mostly what I do is go through the yarn aisle touching everything until I find one I like. It usually ends up being acrylic/wool blends or a soft acrylic.

Those who know me know I'm firmly planted in the "wool-is-almost-always-better" camp, but the answer to this question gets a little more complicated when you take into account affordability. In my perfect world, every scarf (or any winter garment, for that matter) I ever knit would be made of alpaca yarn, since it's warmer even than wool, and it feels amazing against the skin, but for the price point, acrylic has it beat while still being soft enough to wear. I just think the lack of breathability in acrylic yarn is a deal-breaker for me. I'd rather be wearing itchy wool. However, my compromise is superwash wool. In all my experiences, superwash wool has been just as warm as regular wool, soft to the touch, and easy to care for. So my vote goes there!

Alpaca is the best! It's so soft when you're working with it. I made my sister a hat with alpaca and I didn't want the project to end because it felt so good on my hands.

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