How to Keep Yarn from Fraying

Knitting and crocheting are both a fun and artful pastime, but when your yarn starts to fray (aka lose its twist) it can be a frustrating experience. Here are some tips to maintain enough twist in your yarn and also prevent fray frustration while knitting or crocheting.


Use a bigger needle when knitting or a bigger hook when crocheting.  

A different kind of hook end is also a good option to try! There are two different kinds of crochet hooks – tapered hooks and inline hooks. Their subtle differences can affect your technique, and potentially cause fraying.

Inline hooks are typically more geometric and more pointed while tapered hooks are more rounded.

It’s worth trying both kinds of hooks to see which one fits your personal technique better.


Work slower

Working too quickly on your projects might cause fraying or unraveling of the yarn.

It’s worth taking a moment to slow down a bit to prevent fraying.


Work with the opposite end of the yarn

Yarn is twisted in a particular direction and it’s possible for it to split if you work against the way it’s twisted.

By working with the opposite end of the yarn you can ensure you work in the same direction the yarn is twisted in, helping prevent those splits.


Try a different brand – Yarn ply, weight, and material matter.

Different brands of hooks are all sorts of different shapes. Try out different ones. The same goes for yarn as there are differences in not just brand, but in ply, weight, and material you’re working with.


Fray Check

Fray check is a good option for fixing frayed yarn ends. It can also be used on seams or to repair tears or holes.

This is a permanent sealant so be careful when applying it and be sure to test it out on a scrap piece of fabric first to see how it works.

It shouldn’t stain most fabrics and can be washed.

You can find fray check online or at your local craft store.


Dangling the Yarn

Another way you can discourage yarn from splitting is to let the skein of yarn dangle down. Once the skein is dangling simply spin the skein in the direction that the yarn is twisted in.

A lot of yarns are twisted clockwise (the “S” twist), but some are wound counterclockwise (the “Z” twist).

If you’re worried about the skein unraveling during the dangle, consider tying something around the skein or using a rubber band to secure it.


Wrong way crocheting (S twist yarns only)

For S twist yarn you can work the yarn around your needle clockwise instead of counterclockwise. This helps encourage the twist of the yarn and ultimately helps prevent unraveling. Be sure to hook in the “wrong” direction for the duration of project to keep stitches consistent.


Adding or removing twist

Adding twist to your yarn can help make it less likely to split. This can be accomplished by altering the way you wrap the yarn around the needle. So, for example, if you normally wrap clockwise around the needle, switch to counterclockwise.

Keep the twist of the yarn in mind when changing your style.  


Yarn Bowls

Yarn bowls are very useful for keeping your yarn from rolling away. They also help keep the ball in place so that the yarn has less of a chance of losing twist.

We feature some great options for bamboo yarn bowls here!


Candle Wax

Melted wax might be a good option for pieces that don’t need to be washed and dried. This is mainly for completed pieces that you want to reduce fraying for.


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