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6 of the best vegan yarns

More and more of us are choosing to knit and crochet with plant-based yarn, so we've picked 6 of the best vegan yarns for knitters & crocheters.

WATG buddy hemp vegan yarn
Published: February 8, 2022 at 9:00 am
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If you don’t eat meat or use animal products, chances are you choose not to wear them either. With that in mind we decided we’d share some of our favourite vegan yarns. All the yarns below are free from wool, alpaca, silk, mohair and more – but avoiding animal fibres doesn’t mean compromising on quality! We've seen a real surge in the production of plant-based yarns in recent years, meaning that now it's easier than ever to find a vegan yarn for your knitting and crochet projects!

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Quite rightly sustainability is a huge topic right now, and while synthetic yarns can be described as vegan-friendly, and pure wool can be considered sustainable (albeit with the ethical decisions of using animal products), we're going to keep things simple and focus solely on environmentally-friendly plant-based yarns.

Whether you’re dipping a toe into plant-based living or making a long-term commitment to avoiding animal products, we've selected 6 awesome vegan yarns for you to try. Here’s our round-up of the best vegan knitting and vegan crochet yarns.

Best Vegan yarn at a glance

Here's a quick glance at the best Vegan yarns that our experts have tested. Read on for more information on each of these yarns.

Best for summer projects DMC Natura Linen, RRP £4.50

Best for accessories King cole raffia, RRP £5.98

Best for babies Patons Baby Smiles, RRP £3.50

Best for sustainability Hoooked Eucalyptus yarn, RRP £7.99

Best for big stitches Buddy Hemp yarn, RRP £14

Best for softness Scheepjes Skies, RRP £5.99

How to choose Vegan yarn

  • Plant-based or synthetic? While many people choose vegan yarns as a way not to use animal products, many people also choose vegan products for sustainability reasons too. While synthetic fibres are vegan friendly and do not use animal products, they raise an important issue around sustainability as they are not easily recyclable or biodegradable. However, their strength and longevity is in fact a reason some people prefer to use them - the decision whether to use them is ultimately yours, and you can always check out our pick of the best acrylic yarns if you want to know more.
  • What's it for? When it comes to choosing vegan yarn, it's still important to consider the project you're choosing it for. If you're making a substitute for a 100% wool yarn, a 100% cotton alternative will likely end up considerably heavier. When sourcing a vegan yarn for a project, pay attention not only to the yarns thickness weight of the yarn, but also the physical weight too.
  • Make more ethical choices If you aren't vegan (or even vegetarian) but do want to make more ethical choices in your yarn purchases, there are a few things you can consider. You can buy your yarn from smaller companies that tell you about how they raise their animals/source their fleeces and the processes they follow, or buy British (or local to wherever you are) to avoid unnecessary travel or air miles. Alternatively you can use one of the many recycled yarns that are now available. And last but not least, give plant-based a try, there are some truly unique and amazing yarns available!

6 of the Best Vegan Yarns to buy in 2022

DMC Natura Linen Yarn - Buy it now from Lovecrafts

DMC Natura Linen Vegan Yarn

Best Vegan yarn for summer projects

Pros Lightweight, absorbant, drape.

Cons Handwash only.

This is a lovely 4ply blended yarn that’s packed with character. The three plant fibres of 58% linen (from flax plants), 26% viscose (wood pulp fibres) and 16% cotton come together to create a yarn that has a lovely sheen, natural feel and a reliable strength. It’s the perfect yarn for summer crochet and knitting projects (we’re thinking: elegant tops and shawls) as it produces a flowing lightweight and breathable fabric. It’s available in 13 shades, which all have an interesting dye effect – not quite mottled and not quite solid. The DMC Natura Linen yarn comes as a 50g/150m ball and has a RRP of £4.50

King Cole Raffia yarn - Buy it now from Ebay

King Cole Raffia Vegan Yarn

Pros Great structure, fun variegated colours.

Cons Handwash only.

We love raffia yarns, and if you’ve never crocheted with them before we’d definitely recommend trying King Cole Raffia. Made from 100% cellulose rayon (which is made from wood pulp fibres – the same as paper), it’s a fantastic lightweight yarn that’s perfect for projects that need a bit of structure, like summer hats and bags. It’s described as fashion weight, as it’s effectively a ribbon-style yarn, but works up similar to an aran/chunky weight. The yarn comes as a 50g/114m bobbin with a RRP of £5.98, is available in 10 shades and is hand wash only.

Patons Baby Smiles Cotton Bamboo Yarn - Buy it now from Etsy

Patons Baby Smiles Vegan yarn

Best vegan yarn for babies

Pros Machine washable, OEKO-TEXT Standard 100 certified, bold colours.

Cons Limited pastel colour range (although their is an acrylic Baby Smiles range with 21 colours).

If you’re hooking up a baby project for summer, then Patons’ Baby Smiles 4ply yarn is a great choice. First, the combination of 52% cotton and 48% bamboo fibres means that it’s not only beautifully soft, but will also keep baby cool during those balmy days and nights. It’s also skin-friendly and saliva resistant, as well as being machine washable at 40°C, and it can be tumble dried – all very handy features for new parents! It also makes a fabric with a nice relaxed drape, and is available in 14 fabulous baby colours. Comes as a 50g/156m ball with a RRP of £3.50.

Hoooked Eucalyps yarn - Buy it now from Amazon

Hoooked Eucalyptus Vegan yarn

Best vegan yarn for sustainability

Pros Machine washable, closed loop environmentally-friendly production process, bold colour range, good cotton alternative.

Cons Has a slight texture from loose fibres that some may not like.

Many of the yarns produced by Hoooked have sustainability at heart, and the Eucalyps yarn is a fantastic eco-friendly choice for your DK projects. This 100% eucalyptus yarn is made in an environmentally-friendly production process using eucalyptus trees from sustainably-managed European forests. But its eco-friendly qualities aren’t the only reason you’ll love this yarn, as it’s also beautifully soft and silky, with a nice plumpness to it. It is supplied as a 100g/165m spool with 14 shades to choose from, has an RRP of £7.99 and can be machine or hand washed at low temperatures.

Buddy Hemp yarn - Buy it now from Wool and the Gang

WATG buddy hemp vegan yarn

Best vegan yarn for quick makes

Pros Nice bold colours, easy-to-use chainette structure, surprisingly soft hemp content.

Cons Hand wash only, expensive price.

The hemp content in the Aran weight Buddy Hemp Yarn adds a whole extra level to your conventional cotton yarns. It’s got the strength and airy quality that you expect from cotton, but with an extra softness and an ever-so-slightly fluffy fibre halo. It’s also made up of a chainette structure (which is neatly subtle), meaning it won’t split or snag on your hook. It creates a sturdy and breathable fabric, which would be great for summer garments, as well as accessories. Comes as a 100g/174m ball, has a RRP of £14 and is available in 12 bold colourful shades.

Scheepjes Skies Heavy - Buy it now from Wool Warehouse

Scheepjes Skies Vegan Yarn

Best vegan yarn for softness

Pros Versatile Aran cotton, natural dye effect, premium fibres.

Cons Limited colour range.

Scheepjes Skies is a 100% premium cotton yarn– and the use of the word ‘premium’ is definitely appropriate, as its one of the softest cotton yarns we’ve ever tried. The Heavy addition to the Skies range gives you beautifully plump stitches with a super-soft fuzzy halo. All the yarns in the range are dyed using natural indigo, producing a hand-dyed appearance in all the 10 shades, which include sky blues and olive greens. It’s hand wash only, comes as a 100g/170m skein and has a RRP of £5.99. As well as the Heavy range, Skies is also available in a light 4ply yarn – perfect for summer.

How we tested these Vegan yarns

All of the yarns featured in this review were physically tested by our experts, who looks carefully at both the aesthetic qualities as well as the physical qualities of how the yarns handle. The yarns are selected according to the theme of the review, and are not selected or provided with any promotional conditions. We test each yarn to the same standards, and review each yarn independently and not in comparison with each other. The way we ensure a fair test is to create a motif out of each of the yarn, with the only differences we allow being changes in hook or needle size to accommodate different yarn weights. This ensures that we not only get an accurate impression of how a yarn looks and handles, but also means we get to see important qualities such as the final fabrics drape and texture.

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This yarn review was first published in Simply Crochet (check out their latest issues or subscribe to see more yarn round-ups and modern crochet patterns)

Authors

Matt SpiersDigital Assistant, Gathered

Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.

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