How To Soften Scratchy Yarn, or Maybe Not - Darn Good Yarn

How To Soften Scratchy Yarn, or Maybe Not

Written by Kate Curry

Yarns come in a plethora of color, size, and texture. We pride ourselves in having super unique fibers to inspire and rock the world for all our crafters! Whether young or old, beginner or pro, stuck with the same old fibers or adventuring with all the possibilities, all of us have had fibers that we didn't care for the feel of. Bummer, right?

So what do you do? I have a few thoughts on this and am sure one of my ideas will help you out with your yarn purchasing and scratch factor!

Reap What you Sow (or Knit or Weave or....)

You sometimes get what you pay for. Buying large skeins of synthetic, manufactured yarn from a chain is totally your choice. I just want to remind you that yarns of that caliber feel synthetic, cheap, and don't get softer with time. Totally fine but don't anticipate a softening over time.

Some Like It Rough!

Sometimes scratchy and coarse is totally what you want-it does add  a grainy dimension, a rough and tumble feel, a wandering of fiber content that brings on the personality! For example, if you have the Darn Good Yarn Purist Hemp Puff Kit, you want some abrasiveness in those puffs and the two skeins of hemp are perfect for these puffs! The nice thing with hemp or nettle is they are plant based for our vegan friends and they do soften up with use!

Hemp crochet shower puff sitting on a wooden surface in front of a white wall

How To Soften Yarn

Softening yarn is super simple. You'll need: 

Your yarn 
Cool water 
A bowl or a bucket
Fabric softener or hair conditioner 
Mesh laundry bag  (optional)


Step 1: Fill your bowl or bucket with cool water. Pour your softener or conditioner into your water and mix to combine. I usually add a few healthy dollops of conditioner or half the cap of the softener. 
Step 2: Wind your yarn into a loose hank and let it soak in your bowl/bucket over night. Swirl your yarn around to make sure the fibers get soaked and come in contact with the conditioner/softener
A skein of white yarn is in a hank, soaking in water and conditioner in a silver square bowl.

Step 3: Gently squeeze your yarn, but be careful not to twist too hard.
Step 4: You can dry your yarn by hanging it outside to dry in the sun, or you can place it in a mesh laundry bag and dry it on delicate! Make sure your hank is tight so it doesn't unravel and become a big mess!  

 If you need to soften finished projects, we have a tutorial for you here! 

Looking For Soft Yarn?

Blue ball of banana fiber yarn sitting on a white background

Looking for yarn to come already all soft and snuggly? We've got you covered! Take a look at some of our sinfully soft handmade yarn down below!

Think about branching out with your fiber choices, explore coarse, soft, and silky smooth.  Life is not always smooth and sometimes, those bumps in the road are what make life interesting!

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.