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The Magic Of: Banana Fiber

April 20, 2021 4 min read

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. 

A close-up shot of our 'Sea Mist' Banana Fiber Yarn. This is a chunky blue yarn. A close-up shot of our 'Ikat Indigo' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is chunky and is white, purple, and bright blue. A close-up of our 'Rich Magenta' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is chunk and is a bright, deep, magentaA close-up of our 'Steel Blue' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is chunky and is a silvery-blue.

A close-up of our Neon Yellow Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is a crazy bright yellow and is chunkyA close-up of our 'Teal' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is a green-based teal and is chunkyA close-up of our 'Dusty Rose' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is a soft pastel orange-pink and is chunkyA close-up of our 'Tangerine' Banana Fiber Yarn. This yarn is a crazy bright orange and is chunky

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!  

An infinity scarf made out of banana fiber (colorway: rich magenta) is curled into a cute spiral

Our Spring Infinity Scarf is a knitting pattern that is a beginner infinity scarf pattern. Who doesn't love a versatile scarf? This kit will require 4 skeins of banana fiber and US Size 13/9mm needles- a perfect pattern for a new knitter!

A person wearing a yellow tank top made out of DGY banana fiber yarn (colorway: sunflower). This person is on the beach.

The Sunny Days Tank Top is a quirky and fun crochet pattern. With 4 skeins you can make this tank top that isn't only adorable, but eco-friendly and sustainable! 

A model wearing a black skirt with long brown hair is standing in front of a teal window. She's wearing a scarf made out of DGY banana fiber yarn around her shoulders (colorway: mulberry)

 The Simple Tunisian Crochet Scarf is a basic crochet pattern is sure to wow anyone who sees you. For only 4 skeins of banana fiber, you can have a lightweight scarf that you can wear across all seasons! 

A woman wearing a black shirt with blonde hair is outside, walking past a large bush. She is wearing a fringe-cowl around her neck made out of DGY banana fiber yarn (colorway: mulberry swirl)

The Simple + Quick Banana Scarf is one of our FAVORITES here at DGY - how could we not love it? Those colors, the tassels, the soft banana fiber, it's heaven on earth. This is an easy pattern that you will be able to work up into a stunning piece to add to your accessory collection! 

If you have any questions about banana fiber yarn, our patterns, or any of our yarn- please don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@darngoodyarn.com!