Hemp Yarn – Guide To This Yarn Material & Best Uses

By Jodie Morgan

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Looking for an eco-friendly, durable yarn? Hemp fibers might be the perfect choice. I explore what hemp yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.

Hemp Yarn

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 16, 2023.

Table Of Contents

Exploring Hemp Yarns: Knitting With This Sustainable Fabric

Hemp yarn is a plant fiber sold at moderate prices. This fiber is a relative newcomer to fiber arts, but it’s popular because it’s renewable, durable, easy to blend, and novel. They’re tough, have great stitch definition when knit up, and are great for hardwearing knits.

Where It Comes From

Hemp yarn comes from the hemp plant. This versatile plant is used to make everything from medicine and cosmetics to hemp fabric for clothing and paper. It’s also used to make rope, hemp cord, fabric, and yarn.

How It’s Made Into Yarn

After the hemp plant is harvested, the fibers are separated from the core of the plant. The long fibers are then spun into yarn or treated to create bleached hemp products or they can add to the durability of other yarn blends.

How To Wash Natural Hemp Yarn

Here are the care instructions for hemp fibers. Because hemp is a natural fiber, apply these tips: it’s best to hand wash your projects in cool water or lukewarm water. Or machine wash on gentle in cool water. Lay your projects flat to dry.

Always check the yarn label for instructions specific to the yarn you’re using, or consult the information provided in the shop seller’s account.

Does It Shrink When Washed?

Hemp yarn doesn’t felt, but it will shrink if you expose it to hot water or put it in the dryer.

How To Soften Hemp Yarn

Here is a quick and easy method to soften hemp yarn.

  • Soak it in a bowl of cool water for about 15 minutes.
  • Gently squeeze out the excess water
  • Lay the skein flat to dry
  • Your yarn should be softer when it’s dry.

Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!

Pin For Later

Hemp Yarn Pin

Benefits And Best Uses Of Hemp Yarn In Knitting Projects

Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make yarn. It’s often used for projects and things like crochet, rugs, bags, purses, belts, hats, towels, blankets, throws, pillows, and tablecloths.

Hemp fits lots of options for your next knitting project! It’s often used in another craft like macrame and weaving. It’s also available in twine, in any color and size.

Common Blends Using This Fiber

Here is a list of common blends using this yarn, and why they’re created.

  • Hemp/Cotton blend – The cotton makes the yarn more breathable, while the hemp makes it more durable.
  • Hemp/Wool – The wool helps to insulate, while the hemp keeps the yarn from being too heavy.
  • Hemp/Silk: The silk adds a luxury sheen and drape, while the hemp adds durability
  • Hemp/Linen Blend – lovely and light, the linen gives texture and drape

A hemp blend is usually softer than pure hemp fiber, so it’s often used in garments that will be worn next to the skin. For more blends that are suitable summer yarns see my guide here.

Where To Find High-Quality Hemp Yarn

If you’re looking to place orders for hemp yarn, you can find it at a yarn store or craft stores in your area, at big box stores like Michaels, Walmart and Joann, and online brand shops. Though keep in mind not every place will have it in stock. Here are brands or manufacturers of hemp yarns to try: Just Hemp Yarn, or Wool & The Gang Buddy Hemp.

What’s The Price Like? Hemp yarn is a moderately priced fiber.

Interesting Facts

Want to know some fascinating tidbits about this material? Impress your friends with these.

  • It’s environment-friendly because it doesn’t require much water or chemicals to grow.
  • Hemp is one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans
  • The hemp plant, which produces the hemp seeds, is a renewable resource, and it doesn’t require much water as other plant fibers like cotton, bamboo or linen does..
  • The fibers are strong, and are used to make things like rope and canvas textiles
  • When multiple fibers are twisted together, it becomes even stronger
  • Hungary and China are major producers of this fiber(1) USA hemp is also becoming increasingly popular due to its quality and sustainable farming practices.
  • Using this yarn is a good way to reduce your environmental impact
  • It’s being researched as a possible biofuel producer(2)
  • There’s evidence to show it deflects UV rays(3)

FAQS About Hemp Yarn

Is Hemp Yarn Safe For Babies?

Yes, it’s safe for babies, however it feels rough. You are best to use a wool/hemp blend.

Is Hemp Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?

The hemp plant is a renewable resource, and it doesn’t require much water as other plant fibers like bamboo or linen does.

What Can I Make With Leftover Hemp Yarn?

Here are ideas for what to do with your leftover yarn: a small bag or purse, a bookmark, a dishcloth, a coaster, or a keychain decoration.

Is Hemp Yarn Itchy?

No, it’s not itchy like you’d experience if you have allergies, but certain hemp yarns are not suitable next to the skin. Opt for a blend of fibers that will be softer.

Is Hemp Yarn Good For Clothes?

Yes, it’s good for clothes. The fibers are strong, so they’ll last longer. Plus, it’s eco-friendly. However, it can be a little rough, so it might not be the best choice for something worn next to the skin.

Is Hemp Yarn Good For Winter?

Yes, it’s good for winter. The fibers are strong insulators.

Is Hemp Yarn Good For Summer?

Yes, it’s ideal for summer. The fibers are breathable, so it won’t make you sweat.

Do Hemp Yarns Pill?

Hemp yarns don’t pill, unlike other fibers. It doesn’t stretch much either, so it keeps its shape.

Can You Dye Hemp Yarns?

Yes, you can dye hemp yarns. Many crafters use dyed hemp to add more vibrant colors to their projects.

Does Hemp Yarn Get Softer?

Yes, it does. Just wash it and lay it flat to dry. After multiple washes you will notice the difference in softness.

Is Hemp Yarn Good For Sweaters?

Yes, because the fibers are durable, sweaters made with hemp yarn will last longer.

How Do Cotton And Hemp Differ?

Cotton is a soft fiber, while hemp is rough. Hemp is also more durable and doesn’t require as much water to grow.


Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!


  1. N.d. Usda.gov. Accessed October 15, 2022. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/41740/15857_ages001eg_1_.pdf?v=0.
  2. Ahmed, A. T. M. Faiz, Md Zahidul Islam, Md Sultan Mahmud, Md Emdad Sarker, and Md Reajul Islam. 2022. “Hemp as a Potential Raw Material toward a Sustainable World: A Review.” Heliyon 8 (1): e08753. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e08753.
  3. “Influence of Yarn Folding on UV Protection Properties of Hemp Knitted Fabrics.” 2009. https://hero.epa.gov/hero/index.cfm/reference/details/reference_id/4256166.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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