Are you looking for the best yarn for scarves? There are several key things to consider before choosing a yarn to crochet a scarf. In this post, I’ll tell you my 10 favorite yarns for making scarves, while also giving you the tools to evaluate the yarn you already have in your stash!
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If you’re here, you probably have a lot of questions about choosing the best yarn for your next crocheted scarf.
There are so many yarns out there, and it can be tricky to know which ones are best for certain types of projects. If you don’t figure this out, your scarf could end up looking wonky – too loose or tight. It might even shrink when you wash it if you don’t know how to care for the yarn…
In this article, we’ll go into a bunch of yarns that work great for all types of scarves – ones for beginners, for men, and more! All so that you can choose the perfect yarn so that your next crocheted scarf turns out beautiful.
What type of yarn is best for scarves?
The first thing we have to talk about when it comes to yarn and scarves is…which type of yarn is best? Is there one particular type? A certain fiber?
The truth is, scarves can be made from a variety of yarns! Yep, I’ll let you in on a little secret right now…
There is not one single yarn that everyone agrees is the best for scarves.
It’s just not that simple! First of all, there are many different types of scarves – winter scarves, lightweight ones, men’s scarves.
And second of all, scarves are just one of those types of projects that can be made in a variety of types of yarn and still look good.
What to look for in a scarf yarn
Now, all that said: there are some characteristics of a yarn that will make it better suited for a scarf. For example, the yarn should be:
- Durable over time
- Resistant to splitting (esp. for beginners)
- Warm (usually)
- At least somewhat elastic
- Easy to wash
When you can find a yarn that checks all those boxes, it’s probably going to be the perfect scarf yarn! If you’re evaluating a yarn in your stash, look for those things.
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Scarf Yarn by Fiber
You can make scarves from a variety of fibers! Here’s a quick breakdown of 4 fibers that work great for different types of scarves. I’ll show you lots of specific yarns with these fibers
- Acrylic is by far the most common for making scarves. It is extremely durable, easily washable, and great for beginners.
- Wool is also a great choice for scarves. It is likely to be warmer than acrylic, and also holds up well. Contrary to common thought, wool yarn does not have to be scratchy. (I’ll show you my favorite wool yarns farther down!)
- Alpaca, while on the fuzzier side, is pretty much the warmest yarn you can make a scarf from. Personally, my favorite crocheted scarf is made from alpaca!
- Cotton can also be used for scarves, but it is a lot less common. You will want to choose this fiber when you’re going for a cooler, spring/summer scarf.
Now that we’ve covered a few things about scarf yarns in general, let’s move on into the list of reviews!
Table of Contents
- Best Yarn for Beginner’s Scarf
- Best Yarn for Men’s Scarf
- Softest Scarf Yarns
- Best Wool/Alpaca Scarf Yarns
- Best Cotton Yarn for Scarves
- Lightweight Scarf Yarns
- Best Ruffle scarf Yarn
- Scarf Yarn Pricing
- How Many Balls You Need to make a Scarf
- What Yarn Weight is best for Scarves
1. Best Yarn for a Beginner’s Scarf
If you’re a beginning crocheter, you really want to start making a scarf with a yarn that is easy to use. Worsted weight is generally the weight that is recommended for beginners. While there are a variety of worsted weight yarns out there, I want to show you one that is both beginner friendly AND soft, unlike some “value” yarns.
Vanna’s Choice Yarn
Vanna’s Choice is a beautiful worsted weight yarn that makes a lovely scarf. It comes in 3.5 oz balls with 170 yards, which is pretty standard. You’ll only need 1-2 balls to make a scarf!
- Worsted Weight
- Easy to care for (100% acrylic)
- Soft (unlike other “value” yarns)
- 170 yards/3.5 oz in one ball
- Durable and warm
- Can be bought online OR at your local craft store
- Colors are often discontinued
- Some people experience knotting or thick/thin sections
I think Vanna’s choice would be a great yarn to use for your first scarf. The worsted weight makes it great for a beginner, but that’s not all. It is also made of 100% premium acrylic, so it will be extremely easy to care for it (totally machine washable!) This yarn can be bought on Amazon or directly on the Lion Brand website here.
Another thing I love about this yarn is that it is the same price to buy at Joann, Amazon, and the Lion Brand website. You can just choose your favorite place to shop and you won’t have to worry about inconsistent prices!
(UPDATE: I have found an even better place to buy Vanna’s Choice – on We Crochet! At the time of writing, it is only $4.39 a skein rather than $4.99! Check this out here.)
Brava Worsted Yarn
Another great choice for a beginner is Brava Worsted, a yarn by Knit Picks/We Crochet. This is one of my favorite acrylic yarns because it is super affordable yet also very soft. It comes with 218 yards in a 3.5 ounce skein, and there are over 50 colors to choose from if you shop directly on the We Crochet wesbite!
- 100% premium acrylic yet so soft
- Holds up after a lot of wear and tear
- Machine washable and dryable
- Over 50 color options
- Very affordable at just $2.49 a skein
- Doesn’t split easily
- Can only be bought on online
- Is pricier on Amazon than on We Crochet
- Color photos don’t always match the yarn when it arrives in person
Let’s dig into the details of this yarn a little more. I’ve tried Brava Worsted myself and it truly is a great, affordable acrylic yarn. It can be used for a wide variety of projects, not just scarves (for example, I’ve made a cardigan, and some color work squares!) However, what I love most about it for a scarf is that is durable and really does hold up over time. Scarves need that, you know?
I like this yarn for beginners because it doesn’t split easily. Splitting yarn can be one of the biggest frustrations if you don’t know how to deal with it, which is why I highly recommend yarns like this one for beginners.
Now for the cons. Unfortunately, this is not a yarn you can buy in your local craft store. It is available online only, on either We Crochet or Amazon. I highly recommend purchasing from We Crochet if you can, because you will get a much better deal on the yarn. For this yarn in particular, Amazon is way overpriced.
The last thing to keep in mind with this yarn is that the color is sometimes a little different in person than you expect from seeing the product photos. People expressed this in reviews, but I have also found that to be true in my own orders as well. In my case I bought the Tranquil colorway (code 28454) and it seemed brighter in person than I thought it would be. While this is not a huge deal, it is just something to keep in mind if you order this yarn.
2. Best Yarn for a Men’s Scarf
Now you might be wondering, what yarn is best for a MEN’S scarf? Are there specific yarns that lend themselves better toward men than women?
This will largely depend on each individual’s preference. However, there is one yarn in particular I’ve used to crochet a men’s scarf, so I wanted to share my personal experience with it.
Heartland is the yarn I used to design my very first men’s crochet scarf pattern! I gotta say, I love this yarn for men’s scarves. It has the wonderful characteristics of a durable acrylic yarn, with one special twist: a lot of colors come in a unique “marled” effect that looks great on guys!
- Worsted Weight
- Easy to care for (100% acrylic)
- Has a lot of colors in a manly “marled” look
- Very soft
- 251 yards in 5 oz
- Durable and warm
- May get “shaggy” with use
- Lacks a wide color selection
Sure, you can choose manly colors for just about any worsted weight yarn. However, I personally think this marled look takes it a step further. I made a scarf for my boyfriend in the colors Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and he loves it! The only con I want to mention about this yarn is it has gotten a little “shaggy” with use. But then again, that could just be because my boyfriend is hard on his clothes😂
One thing that excited me as I looked into this yarn more is that (at the time of writing) it was actually cheaper to buy this on Amazon than other places! If you’ve ever bought yarn on Amazon before you know that it is often over-priced. But not Heartland!
3. Softest Scarf Yarn
One pet-peeve I have with crocheted scarves is when they turn out scratchy on my neck. I don’t know about you, but personally I cannot stand that feeling.
Now, the two yarns I mentioned above ARE pretty soft of yarns…but if you want an ultra-soft scarf yarn, I have a few recommendations.
Red Heart Soft Yarn
Red Heart Soft is the first yarn I thought of when selecting a soft yarn for this post. I mean, it’s very name is “soft!” This yarn was designed to be wonderfully luscious and soft, and it lives up to its name.
- Worsted Weight
- Easy to care for (100% acrylic)
- Super super soft! (unlike other “value” yarns)
- Comes with 5 oz and 256 yards
- Durable and warm
- Can tend to split easily
- Not the best for a beginner because of the splitting
- A little thinner than a classic worsted weight
- Tends to get knotted at the end of a skein
Red Heart Soft definitely has a lot of pros, but there are also some cons. Your best bet with this yarn might be touching and feeling it in person at your local craft store so you can see if you like the thickness and feel. If you do decide to buy a skein or a value pack on amazon, make sure you look at the yardage information carefully, since some people have been confused with this.
Personally, I would purchase at Joann’s. You can buy online and pickup in store if you’d like!
Here is what you need to keep in mind with yardage: it will be different if you’re buying a solid, a print, or a heather yarn. (Yes, there are 3 versions of the yarn, and they each have different yardage!) Here is the info you need:
- Red Heart Soft Solids: 5 oz, 256 yards
- Red Heart Soft Prints: 4 oz, 204 yards
- Red Heart Soft Heathers: 4 oz, 212 yards
The photo above is the standard Red Heart Soft Solid yarn. Here is what the other two look like (click to shop on Amazon!)
Obviously, you get the most bang for your buck if you purchase the most standard version of the yarn – the solids. However, the prints (aka multicolored) and heathers have a pretty look to them too, so you might like them better. It will all depend on your preference.
Caron Simply Soft Yarn
Another soft yarn you can try for a scarf is Caron Simply Soft. You’ll get a full 6 ounces of yarn in one ball, which is a pretty good amount compared to some of the other yarns we’ve looked at!
- Easy to care for (100% acrylic)
- Designed to be soft to the touch
- Cozy and warm
- Worsted Weight
- Comes with 6 oz/315 yards
- Comes in tons of colors
- Can tend to split
- On the expensive side when it comes to acrylic yarns
Overall, I love Caron Simply Soft because it is not too heavy of a worsted weight. It is almost closer to a light worsted weight, so your scarf won’t turn out too bulky. Of course, it is very soft to the touch, which is the best part!
The only con I find when working with this yarn is that it does tend to split. I wouldn’t recommend this yarn for a beginning crocheter, but an intermediate or more experienced crocheter should be fine!
4. Best Wool/Alpaca Yarns for scarves
Up till this point, we’ve been looking at acrylic yarns…but from here on out, we will transition mostly into yarns made from natural fibers!
I have to say, some of my favorite scarves are made from wool or alpaca yarn. The reason being, they give you the ultimate warmth! There’s also just something about a scarf made from a more natural yarn. It just feels right, you know?
Also, if you’re worried about wool being scratchy on your neck, don’t! There are plenty of soft wool yarns out there that are wonderful for scarves and cowls.
Swish Worsted Yarn
Swish Worsted is proof that you can have a soft wool yarn that is still great for scarves. It is 100% superwash wool, meaning it will still be easy to care for your scarf! Each ball is 50 grams, and contains 110 yards.
- Machine washable wool yarn
- Comes in a wide variety of colors
- Soft, bouncy and smooth
- 110 yards in a 50 gram ball
- Available in lighter weights (DK and bulky) as well
- Colors may bleed upon first wash
- Not available on Amazon
- Not available in craft stores
- A bit more expensive than other yarns we've talked about
I gotta tell you, Swish is high up on my list as a great wool yarn for scarves, despite the cons I listed above. The truth is, sometimes you have to spend a little more to get a nicer yarn. The extra money is usually worth it!
You will have to shop on We Crochet to get this yarn, since it isn't available on Amazon, but that doesn't bother me. We Crochet always has great quality yarn, and at the time of writing they offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more!
Mary Maxim Woodlands Yarn
Woodlands yarn is a favorite of mine. It is a fuzzy, warm blend of acrylic and alpaca. Each ball is 3.5 oz with 200 yards. It is available on Amazon, but you will probably get a better deal if you buy on the Mary Maxim website.
- Makes for a warm, fuzzy scarf
- Worsted weight
- Luxurious feel
- Durable over time
- Is machine washable
- Must be laid flat to dry
- Strands sometimes split
- Is only 10% alpaca
Overall, Mary Maxim is an amazing yarn. If you're okay with laying your scarf flat to dry, it is a great choice. Personally, I LOVE scarves made from alpaca yarn. I have an infinity scarf made from alpaca that I wear anytime I'm in the snow because it is just SO warm!
Granted, this Woodland Yarn is mostly acrylic, with 10% alpaca. It is still warm, but you can find even warmer yarns that have more alpaca in them. Here are more alpaca options on We Crochet, which by now you probably know that I love! ;)
5. Best Cotton Yarn for Scarves
The next type of natural fiber we have to talk about for scarves is cotton. Is cotton a good yarn to use for scarves anyway?
The answer is, it depends. If you are looking for a warm scarf, cotton is not the way to go. However, if you want your scarf to be cooler, for fashion-sake only, then cotton is perfect!
Comfy Cotton Yarn
I recommend Comfy Cotton yarn as a great choice for scarves. It is made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester, so it will still have a cottony look and feel, without being difficult to take care of (it is machine washable AND dryable!)
- Get all the look and feel of cotton while still being able to wash and dry your scarf
- Has a beautiful, unique marled look
- Comes in a variety of beautiful colors
- Soft - not a scratchy cotton!
- Comes with a full 7 oz/392 yards
- Splits easily due to the way it is spun together
- Can be difficult to see stitches because of the marled look
- Colors sometimes run onto hands
Despite the cons, I really do love Comfy Cotton yarn. Lion Brand did a great job with this one. While I haven't finished a project with this yarn yet, I do have a design in the works. After crocheting with it for awhile, I have two things to say:
First, the look and feel of the yarn is awesome. It is not scratchy like some cottons, which makes it great for a scarf. And the marled look is amazing and makes for a unique variegated look.
That said, there is a trade off when it comes to that marled look. It DOES make the yarn harder to work with. It can be a bit difficult to see your stitches, and tends to split easily. If you're an intermediate to advanced crocheter, you should be totally fine (as I am). But, I just want you to be aware of the different pros and cons that come with it. There will always be tradeoffs like this, and you just have to decide if it's worth it to you!
More Cotton Yarns to Try
6. Best yarn for a lightweight scarf
What about if you want a yarn for a light, more airy scarf? This is one of my favorite types of scarves, so I'm excited to share from this category!
As we get started, just a few things to keep in mind:
First of all, remember that a lightweight scarf will usually be similar to what I said about cotton above. It will make for a cooler, airy scarf that isn't necessarily intended for warmth.
However, depending on the fiber you use, lightweight scarves may still be warm! I'm going to show you my particular favorite that gives just enough extra warmth on a cool spring day.
Chroma Fingering Yarn
My go to yarn for lightweight scarves is Chroma Fingering. This yarn fades into multiple different colors for a beautiful self striping effect. It comes in 100 gram balls with 396 yards. The best part is, you'll only need 1 ball to make a pretty good sized scarf!
- Colors and fade are amazing
- Just need one skein to make most scarves/cowls
- A soft wool
- Great for a little added warmth (but not super warm)
- Runs from thick to thin sometimes
- Can be a little scratchy on the neck depending on how sensitive you are
- On the expensive side
Let's unpack this a little more. You might notice that I said this yarn is soft, yet can also be a little scratchy. Honestly, I can go either way on this, haha. This yarn feels amazingly soft to the touch. It is not inherently a scratchy wool. However, sometimes when I first put on my scarves made from it, it feels a bit scratchy on my neck. I'm thinking it just depends on how sensitive your neck is.
Overall, I still wear my scarves made from this. It usually just takes a few minutes for my neck to adjust to the first feeling of scratchiness. So...take that information however you'd like, depending on your own skin! 🤪
P.S. Check out my Autumn Leaves Cowl that uses this yarn!
More Lightweight Yarns to Try
7. Best Ruffle Scarf Yarn
One last yarn we have to talk about is ruffle scarf yarn! This is a VERY unique type of yarn that allows you to create scarves full of ruffles very easily.
Red Heart Sashay
Sashay is the best ruffle scarf yarn that I have personally used. It creates the traditional ruffle scarf without having to do a ton of extra crochet stitches! In fact, you can work up a scarf in a matter of minutes if you know what you're doing. This yarn is acrylic, but due to the delicate ruffle material, you will need to hand wash scarves made from this.
- Make traditional ruffle scarves quickly and easily without needing to know a lot of crochet technique
- Comes in many colors
- Is easiest bought on Amazon, not found in most craft stores anymore
- Ends of the yarn fray easily
As far as where this yarn can be found, I have been having trouble finding good information on where it is available. I used to buy it at Joann all the time, but now when you search for it, it says "not sold in stores." It seems that this yarn isn't as readily available as it used to be.
Luckily, though, it can be found on Amazon in a lot of different colors!
Also - like I mentioned, ruffle yarn makes for very unique scarves. These scarves are meant mostly as accessories, not for warmth or anything like that.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about or the specific technique that is used to create these scarves, check out this tutorial on YouTube.
Pricing for Scarf Yarn
As you might have noticed, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2-12 when purchasing yarn for a scarf. That is a big range, I know! The price largely depends on the type of yarn you are buying. Acrylic yarns are usually the cheapest, ranging from $2-6 for a skein. Whereas, natural fibers like wool and cotton can get up to a higher price tag.
Overall, think about the type of scarf you want. Sometimes the higher price point is worth it, so don't be afraid to spend a little extra!
How Many Balls of Yarn do I need for a scarf?
Throughout this post, I've mentioned several times how many balls of yarn you'll need for a scarf when using that specific yarn. If you're wondering how many balls of yarn you need to make a single scarf, the truth is, it will depend on what scarf you're making.
It is safe to say that most patterns will use between 1-3 skeins of yarn. Scarves do not need a crazy amount of balls (like sweaters, for example, that can use 10+!)
That said, the amount will depend on lots of factors - for example, are you making an infinity scarf, or a cowl? Is it extra long? What weight is the yarn? All of these questions will impact the amount of yarn you need.
For this reason, I highly recommend finding a specific crochet scarf pattern before buying any yarn. Inside whatever pattern you choose, you can look at the yarn details and see how much that scarf requires.
What yarn weight is best for scarves?
All in all, the most common yarn weight used for scarves is worsted weight. This is generally the best because it is medium weight - not too thick and not too thin.
However, we've talked about a lot of different yarn weights in this post. You can most definitely use other weights of yarn depending on the type of scarf you are going for - see below.
- For a warm scarf: use worsted or bulky weight yarn
- For a lightweight scarf: use fingering, sport, or DK weight yarn
I hope you enjoyed this post and found a new yarn for your crocheted scarves! To see more yarn and tool reviews, click here.