Two hanks of banana fiber yarn sitting on weathered white wood slats with green plant in background.

Everything You Need To Know: Banana Fiber Yarn

Written by Kate Curry

Banana fiber yarn is a type of yarn that you will not find in your average big-box yarn store. The silky feel of this yarn is enough to make you go wild for this yarn- the fact that it's vegan and sustainably sourced is an extra bonus! No banana trees were harmed in the making of this yarn! This soft and glossy yarn is a great yarn to have in your arsenal to diversify your ever-growing yarn collection. 

A group of women are sitting in a dirt-floor room. They are all wearing colorful saris and are sitting behind a large pile of magenta banana pulp that will soon be spun into banana fiber yarn. They are all smiling at the camera

What Is Banana Fiber?

Banana fiber yarn is made out of the decaying outer layers of bark from banana trees. The bark is ethically harvested and soaked in water to dissolve chlorophyll structures (that's the pigment that makes plants and algae green!). Once the chlorophyll is removed, that leaves the cellulose fibers that are then extruded into pulp and spun into yarn. Once the pulp is spun into yarn, it is then hand dyed, wound, and weighed by our artisans. 

Since banana fiber yarn is made of the decaying bark of the banana trees, no trees are harmed or destroyed in the making of this yarn! The bark naturally peels off as the tree grows- kind of like a snake's skin. This means that no trees are being chopped down for the yarn, we're just using what the trees no longer need. The trees get their dead bark removed for them, our artisans get safe and fair employment, and you get some incredible fiber. This not only creates a gorgeous yarn, but also a renewable and sustainable yarn. 

Oh! And it's also vegan & bio-degradable! 

Two skeins of mulberry (white, pink, and purple) banana fiber are laying on a white wooden table. In the background there is some foliage.

Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you when you're working with our banana yarn! 

Needle Size: US 7-9

Hook Size: US I, J, K

  

Gauge:  4 /3 sts per inch

Loom: Banana fiber works well on all basic circle and long looms

 

Texture: Soft & glossy, this yarn is similar in texture to bamboo yarn. It's incredibly soft to the touch, before use and after your project is finished! You may find that your finished project is a little stiff- but not to worry. The yarn softens as it is used and your project will soon relax. Due to the hand-spun nature of the yarn, some inconsistencies (like thick-thin spots) can occur!

Twisting: Sometimes your yarn will curl in on itself- but not to worry! You can untwist the yarn by twisting it in the opposite direction. This will straighten your yarn!

A picture of our Kaleidoscope Banana Fiber yarn on a blue crochet hook. There are a few twists in the working yarn, making it curl up.
A picture of our Kaleidoscope Banana Fiber Yarn, where the working yarn has been de-curled by twisting the yarn in the opposite direction of the curl.

Tightness: While you are working, be conscious of your tightness. Unlike yarn that is made of plastic, banana fiber is not as elastic as acrylic based yarns. Working loosely while you craft is recommended.

  

Colorways: All of our banana fiber yarns are hand-dyed, so there can be some inconsistencies between dyelots. We recommend buying all the skeins you need for your project in one order so we can do our best to match them! If you find yourself needing more skeins, please email us a picture of your dyelot at info@darngoodyarn.com along with your order number, and we will do our best to match dyelots!

A ball of our Kaleidoscope Banana Fiber Yarn on a wooden table. The yarn is being worked on a blue crochet hook and it looks as if someone has begun chaining the yarn.

Physical Quality: Surprisingly soft! Reminiscent of Bamboo yarn - Hand-spun, so it may have some inconsistencies like thick and thin spots, or knots. This yarn will soften as you use it and will become even softer with time! This yarn is not only soft, but incredibly strong! I have never had this yarn break or tear while in the middle of a project!

How to clean: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry or dry clean - dryer only on delicate cycle

How to unwind: Our banana fiber yarn is sold in hanks, so you will have to open the skein so the yarn is wrapped around your hands (as if you were about to put it on a swift). Look for a knot and gently untie it, don't cut it! From there you will have 2 ends.

Inspiration

We have a few incredible kits and patterns made with our banana fiber if you need a little inspiration!  

Meet the Author

Profile picture of the author, Kate Curry, wearing a dark red Nanda Poncho sitting on concrete stairs in front of brick wall.

Kate has been on the Darn Good Yarn team since 2018.

They have their degree in Creative Art Therapy & Psychology - and like crafting and animals a little too much.