There’s some gorgeous crochet out there made of all-natural materials, and today I’d like to explore how some artists make use of these beautiful natural materials.
We’ll look at crochet in hemp, jute, and twine- but first, what is the difference between these items?
First of all, twine is a term that can refer to either hemp or jute (and may also refer to cotton or nylon). When a crochet pattern refers to twine, without specifying which kind it is, then the choice is up to you.
Hemp and jute, however, are different materials with their own distinct qualities and applications.
Hemp vs Jute
Hemp and jute are both natural fibers and are both recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable.
Jute is made from the fibers of two plants native to the Indian subcontinent, Corchorus olitorius and Corchorus capsularis. This strong, shiny fiber is used to make the fabric that is known as burlap. You’ve probably seen jute, even if you didn’t know it!
Hemp, on the other hand, is made from the Cannabis sativa plant. It has soft fibers that can be used in many ways, including for rope, clothing, and textiles.
Both hemp and jute are similar in strength, though hemp is slightly stronger.
In general, people tend to choose hemp for crafting because it’s softer and more flexible than jute. For some projects when you want more rigidity, durability, and strength jute might be the better option.
A while back we looked at 20 hemp crochet designs for inspiration. Here are some new ones:
Hemp Dish Scrubby
These crochet hemp dish scrubbies are available on Etsy. It’s a great handmade and sustainable alternative to plastic sponges, and it will look a lot nicer sitting beside your sink. I like the colorful borders that the seller has added around the edges, but it would be just as nice and functional without that.
If you’d rather create your own, check out the free hemp crochet dish scrubbie pattern from Darn Good Yarn. The designer suggests using it in your bathroom or your kitchen.
Doris Chan Ping Skirt
Doris Chan’s Ping Skirt, which has a matching Ming Jacket, is recommended to be made using hemp yarn. Both are published in Crochet Lace Innovations: 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian, and Exploded Lace.
Crochet Hemp Bracelets
Hemp crochet bracelets are a popular natural, surfer-esque jewelry style. You can find plenty, like the one above, on Etsy buy why not try making your own?
This free hemp cuff bracelet pattern by For the Love of Scarves will walk you through how to do it.
And here are some examples of jute crochet:
A jute bowl like this one looks upscale, but also natural. It would fit nicely into many kinds of decor, and as we learned above, jute is durable and somewhat rigid, which makes it a good choice for a basket or bowl.
You can purchase them, like the one above from Etsy, but as a crafter you might choose to try the free jute bowl crochet pattern from Crochet In Color.
Jute Twine Flower Pot
This jute crochet flower pot cover looks perfect for hanging in a window. It’s still natural and neutral, but it adds some extra flair to the little flower pot. Make your own with just one ball of twine using the free pattern by @annaboos_house.
Shoes With Jute Crochet Accents
This white crochet toddler shoe by Ralph Lauren has jute crochet trim around the sole.
Jute makes up the bottom of this basket, making it nice and sturdy, but also pretty. The top could be any color, but the white looks really nice and clean here. This basket is by Amanda at Little Birdie Crochet.
Finally, here are some examples of twine crochet where the fiber for the twine hasn’t been specified:
Twine Crochet Star
This twine crochet star by @lyndapc on Instagram is so lovely to look at. The stitches are so clearly defined when they’re done with twine that it’s easy to appreciate the crochet work that went into creating this.
Here’s another photo of these twine stars, this time with a metallic thread border.
Twine Crochet Nesting Baskets
This tutorial shows you how to make nesting baskets from two kinds of twine purchased at the dollar store. The artist warns that crocheting with the jute twine can be uncomfortable for your hands, and recommends wearing gloves or doing the work in small increments with breaks.
This is a great project to create something functional and attractive for your home at an affordable price.
Twine Crochet Art
Some artists create really powerful and beautiful art using twine crochet as an element of the piece or even as the entire structure of the piece.
Nan Nickson is one such artist. She uses twine crochet, beeswax, and found objects to breate sculptures that she hopes will inspire visceral emotions in the viewer. You can see her powerful art here.