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What is Boucle Yarn?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 16, 2024
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Boucle yarn is a specialized type of yarn that is usually made of three plies. Among the three plies used to create this yarn, one thread is usually looser than the others. The looser thread causes the yarn to have a rough feeling and a bulky look. This also makes it more likely to unravel than some other types of yarn. Therefore, care must be taken when working with boucle yarn in order to ensure a proper look and high quality of the final product.

Since boucle yarn is crated by combining several plies of thread together, it is generally a colorful yarn. Often, two or more colors are mixed together in a unique pattern. In this way, it only takes one spool of yarn to create a multi-colored project when using this yarn.

The term boucle is derived from the French word boucler, which means “to curl.” This term perfectly describes some variations of boucle yarn, which contain distinctive ringlet curls. This characteristic makes this material a great choice for creating projects such as scarves, handbags, sweaters, tops, and ponchos. Alternatively, it can make a delightful accent when used along with a plain background.

When used in weaving, boucle yarn provides added strength and is great for both warp and weft. It can be used to create a woven blanket, overcoat, shawl, or even upholstery. When mohair boucle blends are brushed, they look like plain mohair. This is because the mohair in yarn makes it possible for the characteristic ringlets to form, while the wool helps soften the yarn and provide it with a certain amount of springiness. As a result, mohair-blend boucle does not have the sticky feeling commonly associated with pure mohair yarns.

Products created with boucle yarn often need to be hand washed or dry cleaned in order to prevent them from becoming damaged. To prevent shrinkage, any boucle products should be laid flat to dry.

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Discussion Comments

By DentalFloss — On Feb 04, 2011

Boucle can be made out of a lot of different things, but I would say if you're not used to working with it try something acrylic, like Bernat soft boucle yarn. As an acrylic, it can be machine washed and is very durable.

By BambooForest — On Feb 03, 2011

The concept of hand washing and then lying things flat to dry is really a good idea for any kind of hand knitted garment. Whether or not the yarn itself is more delicate, this can limit the risk of loosening hand-sewn seams or damaging other parts of the construction, as well as preventing snags or possible loose ends from coming undone in the washer or dryer as well.

By osmosis — On Mar 27, 2008

Boucle yarn is really fun to make scarves - and sweaters if you're good enough. It's especially good for warm weather.

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