Tencel Yarn 101 [Basics & Yarn Review]

by - June 26, 2019

Hi fellow yarn enthusiasts,

I'll be writing all about TENCEL YARN today!  This includes my yarn review on the "Yarn Bee Fresh Haven" yarn, project ideas, and links to patterns made with the wonderful Tencel fiber. 

So, here's my quick story... 
After crocheting with acrylic, cotton, polyester, and various other fibers for some time, I've finally stumbled upon an amazing find -- Tencel Yarn!  While shopping at Hobby Lobby, I was looking to pick up some cotton skeins, but found these neighboring my target in the same aisle.  The beautifully muted, pastel colors of pink, blue, and jade green instantly caught my eye.  Being the yarn enthusiast I was, I of course had to go over and pet those plush-looking skeins.  I was completely sold after realizing how utterly soft and dreamy they felt, and was surprised to learn about this 100% "Tencel" material.  With each skein being on sale for 30% off, I was pretty convinced that someone upstairs wanted me to buy it, so I took the cue and bought a few skeins in my favorite color -- pink!!

I'm so eager to share what I've learned about this yarn.  Read on, and you can check out my projects using Tencel, too!

First of all, what in the world is "Tencel"?
Tencel is a fiber that is man-made from wood pulp, which means it is fully biodegradable. The wood pulp that is used to produce Tencel is harvested from tree-farmed trees (primarily beech trees and eucalyptus) that have been planted on land that is not suitable for food crops or grazing.  For that reason, it is considered an organically sustainable material.

About Tencel Yarn
Tencel yarn is absorbent and breathable like other natural fibers.  It's a cellulose-based fiber and can be used similarly to silk, bamboo or mercerized cotton.  The texture is smooth, soft, and silky, and it isn't splitty either.  Thus, Tencel is not only easy to work with, but feels very pleasant against the skin as well and is suitable for blanket and clothing projects.  Tencel has a beautiful sheen and comes in a variety of colors.  Since it offers great stitch definition, it can really showcase some more complex, or textured stitches.  It also offers a wonderful drape.

How does it compare to other yarns?
Whether it's wet or dry, Tencel yarn is strong -- stronger than cotton!  Similar to cotton yarn, though, Tencel is not stretch or elastic.  It's softer than silk, believe it or not!  It's also smoother on the skin than wool or cotton.

Pro's in a Nutshell
  • Environmentally friendly and sustainable
  • Soft, silky, smooth
  • Beautiful sheen with a variety of colors 
  • Not splitty
  • Easy to work with 
  • Great stitch definition
  • Great absorption ability 
  • Strong fibers

Things to Know
  • Not very stretchy/elastic

Perfect for projects like:
Spring or Summer season clothing and accessories, including (but not limited to):
  • Kimono tops
  • Cover-ups 
  • Shawls
  • Short-sleeve cardigans

Patterns using (or work great with) Tencel:
Note: I'll continue adding patterns to this post as I design or crochet more projects with tencel! 

Tencel Yarns to Try!
It's currently on sale for $3.49 USD/skein, which is an AMAZING price for this quality yarn!  It comes in beautiful colors, including this lovely Pink, Light Blue, and Jade Green.

Another great option! This brand has a wide variety of pretty colors to choose from! 

Halcyon 8/2 Tencel Yarn
This lovely yarn comes in 400yd mini cones, or in 0.5lb tubes (that's equivalent to 1680yds/tube!).  The 0.5lb tube is definitely a bang for the buck if you are looking to complete a project with higher yardage! 

My experience with Yarn Bee Fresh Haven

Yarn Bee Fresh Haven is a medium weight yarn (180yd/skein) with a soft, tencel feel. This yarn is ideal for all kinds of knitted and crocheted creations, and is SO easy to work with as it's silky smooth and not splitty at all.  I love the feel of it on my skin when I finished my cover up; it was like wearing a dream!  The fiber was so soft and light-weight.


Check out my project, the Kunia Cover Up, which features this beautiful YB Fresh Haven yarn!

So, what do you think about this introduction to Tencel yarn?
Will you give it a shot?
Which type and color of Tencel yarn will you choose?
Which projects will you plan to use it with?

I'd love to hear from you!  Please share with me in the comments below.


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  1. How does it Wash up? I am noticing lots of fuzz while I work with it. Does the fuzz wash out or get worse with laundering?

    1. Hi, which brand of Tencel yarn are you using? That's strange to hear because I used Yarn Bee Fresh Haven (100% tencel) and I noticed absolutely no pilling while working with it (unlike acrylic yarns and others) and after wearing it too. I have not washed my piece yet but I'll let you know how it turns out. I always place my crocheted items in laundry mesh bags before tossing it into the machine.

    2. I used and LOVED working with Yarn Bee's Fresh Haven yarn. I even won the Sweepstakes price at the fair with my beautiful 75 inch afghan made from this product. I took some of my leftovers, made a pretty, intricately patterned dish cloth, and then washed it the other day. I'm happy to report that it washes up nicely. It's not as perfect as it was before leaving, but the stitch definition was still there, unlike it is after washing cotton yarns. The yarn remained soft, and if it's even possible, might even be softer! I will DEFINITELY be using this yarn for baby blankets in the future. The completed projects have a nice weight to them and will feel so nice wrapped around a baby! I HIGHLY recommend this yarn!

    3. Wow, I'm so glad to hear that you had such a great experience with Yarn Bee's Fresh Haven yarn too! And to hear that it might be even SOFTER after washing? That's amazing! Also, congratulations on winning at the fair with your 75" afghan!! I can only imagine how gorgeous your stitches and pattern must be!

  2. I was super excited to try this yarn on a baby blanket I just made because it was super soft. Like you, I was originally going to go with cotton and this yarn caught my eye. Unfortunately, when I washed the baby blanket, I now have pills all over it :( I had left the ends at approximately 1 inch after weaving them in and they unraveled in the wash. I'm hoping that's the issue and not the entire blanket. Did your garment do the same thing or did it hold up after washing? The baby blanket was so beautiful prior to washing!

  3. I adore the tencel. My hobby is needlework, but I really don't like the "yarn feel of acrylics". The 100% cotton can be too stiff. Tencel is the perfect blend. Good stitch definition and lovely results.

    1. That's lovely to hear! Yes, I think tencel is a great fit for needlework crafts, as it's much softer than cotton and mimics threads more so than acrylic yarn. Glad you enjoy tencel like I do!!

  4. Tencel loses about 20% of its strength in the water and has a significantly lower abrasion resistance than cotton, even though its tensile strength is much greater. So you need to be careful when you wash it. Even though it doesn't felt or shrink like wool will, you should treat it like wool when you wash it: handwashing is best. (there is a type of Tencel called Tencel A100 or LF which seems to be much more resistance to abrasion, but I don't know where to find it).