The Best Yarn For Summer Clothes – 9 Things To Consider When Choosing

9 Tips To Choose The Best Yarn For Summer Clothes

I am sharing with you my tips and tricks on how to choose the best yarn for summer clothes. Follow these nine tips and tricks for the perfect choice.


Summer is fast approaching and the gauge on the thermometer is slowly rising! That means it is time for summer makes and garments.

But what is the best yarn for summer clothes?

Knitting and crochet are often considered warm weather sports. Big, thick wooly jumpers and blankets are the first thing many think of when it comes to these yarn crafts.

However, knit and crochet is super cool as we know it and they are an all year round crafts. With the right choice of yarns, stitches and techniques you can produce stunning items you can wear through the hottest seasons!

Here, I am sharing with you my 9 tips on how to choose the best yarn for summer garments, some of my favourite ones I have used before and cool summer patterns.

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choosing best yarn for summer clothes guide

1. Is Cotton the best yarn for summer clothes?

Many would be keen to shout out yes! And although to a certain degree I have to agree, I would not be sitting at the front row of the cotton appreciation concert… Here is why…

Cotton yarns are spun from fibres that are found in the seed pod of the cotton plant. After being harvested the cotton is cleaned, dyed and spun into yarn. 

Yes, cotton is breathable, it withstands a wash very well and is a versatile yarn to use for many projects. It has great stitch definition and holds colour well.

Cotton is very absorbent and gets rid of moisture well. That means it keeps you cool in warmer months.

However, compared to wool, cotton is inelastic. It does not allow for any stretch at all.

Although this is desirable for some projects, when it comes to clothes I say, ‘no thank you’ because it has no “bounce” or drape…

Cotton yarn may also shrink a bit when washed, but it will also stretch out of shape quite a bit when worn.

It may also feel very heavy and “sticky” to work with.

2. Thinner Yarn For Summer Clothes Is Better

This is an important thing to consider when choosing the best yarn for summer clothes. Thinner is definitely better in this case.

If you are a fan of bulky or worsted weight yarns, I am afraid when it comes to summer clothes, downsizing you yarn weight is definitely better.

The lighter yarns create a thinner finished fabric which is easier, lighter and cooler to wear when the weather warms up.

Your finished project will also be more breathable as the thinner fibre is more likely to allow flow of air better.

how to choose the best yarn for summer clothes

3. Is Acrylic Yarn A Good Choice For Summer Clothes?

I have to say acrylic would not be my first choice when it comes to summer garments. Acrylic yarns are man made fibres.

That means they are not made from natural materials find in nature. Acrylic fibres are manufactured from petroleum products by melting and extruding the materials into long, thin fibres.

Unlike natural fibres, acrylic yarns are mass produced quickly and easily, and at a very low cost. This makes them great budget yarns.

Although not environmentally friendly, for people starting out in crafts with tight budget, they are a the first choice to practise with.

It is very durable, easy to care for in the washing machine and a great choice for people with allergies to animal fibres.

However, when it comes to summer clothes, you could use a budget friendly acrylic blend yarn. This is acrylic yarn that has been blended with natural fibres like cotton.

4. Opt For Open Lacy Stitch Patterns For Your Summer Clothes

Whatever fibre, weight or blend of yarn you choose, this tip is crochet gold!

For summer clothes, we are looking for something light, airy and breathable. Drape and bounce is always good too.

You can easily achieve this by choosing open and lacy stitches combined with larger crochet hook or knitting needles than the yarn label calls for.

This type of fabric will allow air to flow freely through, keeping you cool in warmer weather.

5. Stay Away From Fuzzy Yarns

Fuzzy yarns tend to produce fabric that has not got any open spaces. Therefore it is not light and breathable fabric which will result in a warmer garment rather than one suitable for summer.

One example is yarn that consists of an outer cotton tube that is filled with wool fluff. These yarns might fool you as the fibre content is around 75-80% cotton.

You might think these yarns are great for summer due to the high content of cotton, do not fall for their trick.

The wool fluff that this net like cotton tube is filled with, felts together easily and will create super warm garment.

Not quite what we are looking for when it comes to best yarn for summer clothes.

choose the best yarn to use for your summer clothes and garments

6. Choose Superwash Animal Fibres (If You Have To)

You do not like cotton? I get it. I’m not a massive fan either.

I find it sticks to your hook, hurst your fingers and it does not glide over the hook the same way as animal fibres do.

So can you choose an animal fibre for your summer garment?

You absolutely can! At the end of the day, animals do not shed their fur completely through the summer, right? They only thin their coats.

Which means, if you choose animal fibres make sure you stick to two things.

Firstly, make sure you opt for super wash animal fibres. Superwash animal fibres are treated with a soft coating to stop them from felting.

It means you can create lacy open stitches for your summer garment and they will stay as you created them.

Stay away from non-super wash animal fibres because they can felt when you expose them to moisture and agitation. Plus, you cannot undo what has once been felted. 

Secondly, opt for super wash animal fibre yarns as thin as possible, no chunky or aran weight yarns. I would recommend yarn no thicker than fingering or sports weight.

7. Choose Best Yarn For Summer Clothes For Your Budget

Crocheting and knitting a summer garment takes time. Hey, thin yarn…

Wearing summer garments through the warmest months will put them under a lot of pressure. You subjected them to a lot of moisture and heat.

The thing is, if you use cheap yarn of a lesser quality, chances are your garment will not hold up for very long.

It is better to invest a little more into a better quality yarn. This way your handmade garment will last you a few seasons.

As opposed to buying cheap yarn, your garment might end up being a one season make. That means you might have to buy more yarn and make another one for next year and the year after and ….

8. What type of yarn is best for summer clothes?

Here, we are going to look at some specific fibres that crocheters commonly use as some of the best yarns for summer clothes.

This blog post contains affiliate links and if you click through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and service not because of the commission I receive from your purchase.

BAMBOO YARN

It is lightweight, soft and glossy. Bamboo is breathable, cool and has a beautiful drape with a shine similar to mercerised cotton.

It’s also eco-friendly as bamboo is a renewable resource. People harvest bamboo without killing the plant. As it is a natural fibre it is also biodegradable and, therefore, environmentally friendly.

I have used a fabulous Rainbow Bamboo yarn from Hobbii which was a delight to work with and I love the resulting fabric.

The Rosa Top is one of the designs I have made in this yarn. It is one of my favourite summer tops to wear due to how soft and full of drape it is!

rosa top - bamboo yarn best for summer clothes

Secondly, a great bamboo yarn to work with is King Cole Bamboo yarn. I have used this yarn for a couple of designs.

The Summer Romance Top is an easy T-shape summer top. The pattern is available in sizes XS-5XL and a great beginner project.

summer romance uses cotton yarn for summer
Summer Romance Top

I used the same yarn for my Boho Beach Vest too. I love the drape and bounce of this vest. Great for any summer occasion or a day at the beach as a cover up.

boho beach vest in best yarn for summer clothes

COTTON YARN

Cotton yarn is cool and absorbent and wicks away moisture really well. Very desirable if you sweat a lot or live in a very very hot climate.

It also dries quickly and provides a great stitch definition. It is one of the best yarns for summer clothes and other projects which require durability.

Although not a massive fan as you may know, there are a few cotton yarns I have worked with before and actually enjoyed it.

Firstly, King Cole Cottonsoft as the name suggests is one of the softest 100% cotton yarns I have worked with. It glides nicely over your hook and the resulting fabric is bouncy and full of drape.

I used it for my Meadowside Baby Blanket design. It is a lovely blanket which ,although too small now, my son enjoyed very much.

woven crochet baby blanket draped over side bar of bed

King Cole Giza 4-ply is a mercerised cotton yarn. Although not the easiest to work with, it does produce a light fabric with a stunning sheen to it.

This is the yarn I have used for my Ellie Lace Sweater. Great summer garment for every day wear or dressing up over dress for a special occasion.

Ellie lace sweater for summer

Rowan Summerlite 4-ply is a great cotton yarn to work with. It is made using 100% of the finest cotton resulting in a beautifully soft, matt yarn.

You can see the example of the fabric in my Felidae Summer Shawl. Wonderfully large wrap that will keep your shoulders wrapped in summer.

summer shawl using cotton yarn

Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Cotton is a great summer yarn choice. It has astonishing colour range and consists of 100% Pima cotton produced in South America.

It was the perfect yarn choice for my Gap Year Cardigan that gets a lot of wear during the cooler summer evenings.

hanger with open front crochet cardigan
Gap Year Cardigan

LINEN YARN

Linen yarns are durable and extra strong. They have the ability to absorb 20% of their own weight in moisture which is a great choice of yarn for summer clothes!

It does feel a little bit stiff when you work with it. However, a quick soak and wash will soften this yarn beautifully.

I have previously worked with Lindy Chain yarn from WeCrochet. It is a chainette yarn perfect for summer and warm weather makes.

Selene Cardigan was a design that worked just perfectly with this yarn. It has a light feel full of drape and is so light to wear.

linen - the best yarn for summer clothes

HEMP YARN

Crafters often refer to it as the “beach yarn”. Why? Because natural hemp fibre is actually resistant to salt water damage.

So with hemp yarn you can think beach blankets, bags and cover ups!

It is cool to touch, durable and it dries very quickly too!

One of the best hemp yarns is The Wool and The Gang Buddy Hemp. It’s spun from 45% organic cotton, 55% hemp (and 100% all-natural goodness), so the result is light, airy and soft as you like.

SILK YARN

Just like Merino yarn, silk yarn is cool to wear in summer and warm in winter. It is really an all year round type of fibre to use.

It produces a strong fibre that has a high absorbency properties. Which is a great yarn for summer clothes.

Silk summer garments will not stretch or shrink over time, however they might be a subject to some pilling with wear.

And because of the labor-intensive process of collecting the fibers from silkworms, it is one of the most expensive yarns for summer clothes.

Luminance Lace from WeCrochet is a fabulous example of shiny silky soft yarn. It has amazing depth of color, superior sheen, and excellent drape, making it the best yarn for summer clothes.

TENCEL YARN

It’s made using wood pulp plant fibres from the eucalyptus or beech tree. The strength of tencel fibre is higher than that of cotton fibre.

It is a delicate and soft yarn, with a silky sheen. In addition, the yarn is strong and holds its shape.

The smooth structure makes the yarn softer than silk and smoother for the skin than wool and cotton, and is also super absorbent.

Tencel Bamboo Fine from Hobbii is a delicate and soft yarn, with a silky sheen.

MERINO YARN

Merino yarn is brilliant at regulating body temperature. Which means when your body warms up, the Merino will cool you down. And vice versa in cooler months.

However, keep in mind that you should opt for Superwash Merino as I mentioned above.

Gloss Fingering from WeCrochet is 70% super wash Merino blend with the sheen and velvety texture of 30% silk. It makes any crocheted garment an indulgent luxury. 

SUPERWASH WOOL

Superwash wool is smooth and the fibres are coated so they cannot stick together. It is treated to make it machine washable and usually safe to use in the dryer too.

Superwash wool is often softer than natural wool, and it tends to be shinier, more silky and smooth, too.

However, finished items may stretch or sag over time. This is due to the superwash wool process, which makes them less elastic.

Hawthorne Fingering Kettle Dye from WeCrochet has a high twist which gives this yarn a bounce and resiliency perfect for summer makes.

I used this yarn for Evelyn Sweater – super comfortable and lightweight women’s crochet pullover. The pattern comes in 9 different sizes that go above and beyond standard sizing.

Superwash Merino - the best yarn for summer clothes

A second choice is Hawthorne Speckle Hand Painted from WeCrochet. Every Speckle skein is painted by hand with eccentric drops of color against the softest of backgrounds.

The Hawberry Sweater design uses this easy to work with yarn. Hawberry Sweater is a beautifully soft women’s crochet sweater with amazing drape. The fingering weight yarn brings so much to this design.

Hawberry Women's Crochet Sweater Pattern by Blue Star Crochet

9. What type of yarn is easiest to wash?

As to which is the best yarn for summer clothes when it comes to washing, plant fibres such as linen and hemp are the best choice.

They both actually become softer the more you wash them. This is because both of these yarns are made predominantly from cellulose of their respective plants.

Cellulose is what holds the plants up and makes them stand firmly, so as you can imagine it is pretty tough. It is also what makes these yarns slightly stiff and scratchy.

However, washing and manipulating of these fibres breaks down the cellulose fibres.

That means the yarn strands relax and become softer and more pliable without loosing the strength and durability.

It is very advisable to block projects made from hemp or linen yarn after washing. This is mainly because these fibres tend to wrinkle badly when wet and left to dry naturally.

However, when it comes to washing your garments, you need to take great care no matter which yarn you used.

Gentle hand washing is the best method you can use. Do not wring or excessively squeeze the water out of your finished makes.

Instead roll them in a towel and gently step onto the towel roll to squeeze the moisture out. The towel absorbs the water.

Then lay your finished and washed garment flat and if you are being really good, pin it to the shape so it stays in a nice shape or open up the lace stitches.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my take on best yarn for summer clothes post. I have more free crochet tutorials that you might enjoy right here on the blog. 

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The Best Yarn For Summer Clothes – 9 Things To Consider When Choosing

About Veronika Cromwell

Hi, I’m Veronika! I design modern and wearable crochet garments, accessories and homewares. Grab your hook and find your next project!

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22 thoughts on “The Best Yarn For Summer Clothes – 9 Things To Consider When Choosing

  1. You are Amazing! Thank you for your research and generosity in sharing this knowledge as well as your designs.

  2. Hello from SE Kansas, USA!! Very informative and helpful. Thank you! And thanks for sharing the gorgeous sweater patterns. Keep up the good work! 😊🌻🌵

    1. Your instructions are just perfect and make it easier to find a good yarn to use. Thank you for sharing your post.

  3. This article was very helpful. However, as much as I would love to crochet summer garments, my arthritis rarely permits me to work with thinner yarns. Besides, it seems like these garments take much longer to crochet and I rarely ever have time anymore. I will, however, continue trying because these patterns you have are just beautiful.

  4. Thank you SO MUCH for all the time, energy, thought and detail you put into this very useful and APPRECIATIVE article on the subject of yarn and summer. When I go to my LYS I will get questions from young crocheter’s and knitters on this very topic and will use your information when needed. I will also happily refer them to your site! I have book marked your page for future reference. Again, THANK YOU for the time and consideration you put into this very informative article that ALL Fiber Artist can use.

  5. Awesome article. Great info and perfect timing, I had a couple of tops that I thought about making but could not decide what yarn would be best to use for hot weather. I have not used linen or hemp but I think I may give them a try!! Thank you for all you do and share!

  6. Thank you for this thorough, helpful guide! I love seeing Hobbii represented– Rainbow Bamboo is my favorite yarn, with Butterfly being my second!

  7. I appreciate your knowledge and advice, as I live in Texas and we have already had 90 degree days with Heat Advisories. I want to try the Hemp, Bamboo and linen yarns. I am just getting into crocheting for the second time. Many years have passed since I put down my hooks for business activities, so I do not yet feel confident enough to make a garment. I do like making hats and beanies.
    Cotton yarns are my favorite yarns. I like Dishie (I won’t write the maker as it might be a competitor) because it is soft and crochets well. You’ll laugh when I tell you that I am making a Doggie Dish Placemat out of it.
    Thanks for your emails.

  8. Thank you, Veronika for this most helpful information! And of course your beautiful patterns

  9. Wow, never realized there was so many yarns to choose from. Thank you for the information.

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