How to soften your hemp yarn

Through the years I’ve used  many different hemp yarns. I’ve used 100% hemp yarn, hemp blends, and even my own softened hemp twine. In my experience each hemp yarn and blended yarn has its own unique quality and texture. 


Today I want to share with you a method I use to soften my hemp yarn when I encounter a “difficult to work with yarn.” It’s an easy process that helps make the yarn (or twine) softer and easier to use.


Keep in mind some hemp yarns have a stiffer quality after they’ve been dyed. In my experience I’ve found yarns that are darker in color tend to be a little stiffer than lighter colored yarns. This may effect how much the yarn will soften during the process I’m sharing. As with any new skill learned it’s important to remember to play around with it and find what works best for you.

If you’re using hand dyed yarn be sure to  follow the dyer’s care instructions. Some hand dyed yarns are not intended to be used for my softening method. Usually the dyes used by hand dyers don’t cause a stiff texture due to the dyed used by hand dyers. 


So, let’s get started!


The first step is to use yarn in a hank. If you’re using yarn in a ball or twine on a spool you’ll want to wind it into a hank. This step will help prevent a tangled mess later. 


Next you’ll want to find a pot you can use specifically for your yarn. Make sure your pot will not be used for food preparation later. Use a pot designated for the sole purpose of processing your yarn.


PLEASE NOTE: You can also use a sink or plastic tub but I prefer a dye pot as mentioned previously.


Now that you have your yarn in hanks and your pot set aside you’re ready for the next steps. 


Fill your pot with enough water to completely cover your yarn. Heat the water to a temperature safe enough for you to touch. This will make it easy to remove your yarn after it soaks. (Tongs are another safe option as long as they’re not used for food use later). 


While your pot is filled and heating begin to prepare your yarn or twine. Most purchased hanks will be tied at the ends. I like to add additional ties to my hanks to prevent a pot of tangled yarn. 


Next you’ll add your yarn to the water and let it soak. I like to let my darker yarns soak a little longer than my lighter colors. 


Once my yarn soaks I carefully remove it from the water, rinse it with cool water, and wring it out. I like to hang my yarn outside on a clothesline, but you can choose your favorite method to dry yours. 


Make sure your yarn is completely dry before using it. The moisture in the yarn (or twine) makes it difficult to knit or crochet. 


I hope you found this helpful as you soften your hemp yarn (or twine). I’d love to hear how it worked for you and if you have any additional tips and tricks!


You can find our hemp and hemp blend yarns HERE