How to Make Yarn Braids and Yarn Dreads - Darn Good Yarn

How to Make Yarn Braids and Yarn Dreads

Look at this guy? Isn't he the most adorable dog?  He is a Bergamasco, having the qualities of being social, intelligent, and independent...sounds like some of us! This dog is known for those characteristics but the Bergamasco is really known for having some really awesome hair styles/dreads! When I think of yarn braid styles and yarn dread styles, these beautiful dogs always come to mind.... loving the look! Have you had the pleasure of having someone "do" your hair? It feels like pampering to the max and a new look always makes me feel lighter! Looking for another ta-dah moment and really want to say TA-DAH? Or wanting to try something really different with a very cool look? Think about this. Men and women put their hair in a variety of styles and even colorways to make ourselves look and feel better. Here are some jump start ideas for yarn braiding and yarn dread styles. Color will add so much to our looks and why not? Dare to be different!


Nearly every one has experimented with braids but have you added color and texture to your braiding? Here is a diagram of the basic braiding technique. Divide your hair into three equal segments and just do left over right and right over left as shown here in this diagram.

Image what fun it would be to take that braid of hair and add some recycled sari silk ribbon to the braid. Darn Good Yarn has many options but I am loving Tibet Jewels for this braiding. Add it to one, two or all three braids to get a whole new look. What types of hair braids can you do this with? Check out some of the basic braid styles at How about some of these styles on Pinterest that actually show braids with the fiber? Notice all the different options for box braids, tree braids, kids braids, crochet braids... the options are endless for yarn braiding. Something as simple as taking a bit of hair, braiding it with yarn and pulling it back with a barrette lets your flair for color shine on through.


The world is full of color and why not have it in your hair? This dreary camel looks how he should and his dreads are just part of who he is but can you image if camels had dreads like the colorful wrapping shown here? This could be Dr. Doolittle at his best! The process of creating dreads can take on several forms and for this writing I will write about four types of yarn dread styles. All of these are synthetic and not the actual process of dreading your own own hair. Hair can be decorative and certainly we can add more pizazz to our hair by creative dread styles. Below I have gathered four different techniques for using fiber to create your fun fiber look. Go for one of these idea and get that new look going!

1. Crochet yarn dreads

Have you ever taken fiber and crocheted a hair piece like this?

woman holding a skein of yarn

It looks real doesn't it? But this is actual fiber and why not try a creative fiber from Darn Good Yarn to create a crochet hair piece to compliment your incredibly cool outfit. Take the size crochet hook that best fits your interests for thickness and pair it with a fiber that will jump start what you are wearing. Keep it simple and just do a chain of a few stitches and then crochet those few stitches until your piece is as long as you want. Leave a bit of fiber at each for tying your crochet yarn dread into your hair and the other end for a nice bead or sea shell.

2. Knit Yarn Dreads

There are two ways to do this with knitting. Create an i-cord by casting on a few stitches and then knit one row, purl one row until i-cord is desired length. The other way (which is too labor intense for me!) is to cast on ever-how-many stitches for the length of your dread, then knit a row or two for the thickness you want for the dread. And then how many fiber dreads do you want? While one is an accent, many are a real statement!

3. Full-On Fiber Dreads

The photo below is somewhere between a braid and a dread. This offers a beautiful example of how to take fiber and using no needles or no intensive crafting, you can create a colorful and exotic style with just a wrap of many strands of fiber. Darn Good Yarn has some excellent choices for this full on bulky fiber look but our chiffon ribbon could be very playful for this bulky yarn dread style.

4. Wrap yarn dreads

Beautiful, exotic, enticing. All words I would use to describe the tradition of wrapping hair to make what is sometimes know as "thread dreads" or "faux dreads". You don't have to have hair that you have been nurturing into dreads for the last several days, weeks, months or years.   If you choose to, you can have a wrap of color. And hey, our bearded friends can absolutely have a dread of color to make your facial hair unique to only you. Watch the yarn dread tutorial and the amazing talent this woman's shows for creating a look that is as unique as the fiber you use. Remember while she wraps her all her hair, you can also choose to do one or many depending on your dread style and your patience too! Thanks Riva with a V for this helpful tutorial!

Yarn and fiber is not just for knitting and crocheting. Whether making yarn braids or yarn dreads there are limitless options for creating a style all your own. For those who think you cannot use fiber as you don't do the usual hobbies, think again. Yarn braid and dread styles are limitless and you can get that look you want and  when you go out with your new do, you will be getting looks at how cool your style is! And I love the idea of doing this with friends or family...what a very fun evening with a bit of wine, a lot of fiber and endless possibilities. Ta-Dah! Just dread-full!!!