We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Soy Yarn?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jan 29, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Soy yarn is yarn produced with fibers derived from soy. Companies that make this yarn usually use byproducts of food manufacturing that would normally be discarded, putting the waste through an extrusion and wet spinning process to create fibers that can be spun into yarn. Many knitting stores sell soy yarn and it is also possible to buy raw soy fiber to spin at home, for people who are interested in making their own versions of this yarn.

Industrial manufacturing of soy fiber dates to the 1930s, and experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s as crafters became more interested in using natural fibers for their projects. Soy fiber can be used to make fabric, as well as yarn, and in addition to being used as a standalone, it can be integrated into fiber blends. Soy/wool and soy/cotton blends are both readily available, bringing out the best traits of both fibers.

Pure soy yarn is very strong and soft. It is also highly stretchy and can feel slippery or slick, much like silk yarns. It can be spun in a variety of weights and is also available in the form of novelty yarns, such as yarn tubes or ribbons. Like many other yarns made from plant fibers, soy yarn takes dyes very well. Knitters should be aware that it is not always colorfast through the first few washings and may bleed slightly, although the color of the yarn usually remains crisp and clear.

Raw soy fiber for spinning is sometimes available at yarn and knitting stores. It can also be ordered directly from companies that make soy yarns. These companies also sell undyed yarns for people who would like to dye their own yarns. Dyes can be purchased from dye companies or made at home. Some dyes can cause the texture of the yarn to roughen slightly, an important consideration for yarn that will be used in knitted garments worn directly against the skin.

Working with soy yarn requires no special tools or skills. Knitters may find it helpful to make several test swatches first to get familiar with the yarn and the gauge. These swatches can also be washed to assess colorfastness. Unless the care directions say otherwise, products made with soy yarn can usually be washed in cool to warm water with gentle soaps. Handwashing may be recommended for hand knitted projects, and the piece should be blocked by laying it out flat after washing to help it retain shape.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By widget2010 — On Oct 12, 2011

@sapphire12- There are also lots of recycling options for yarn. If you want something new, either to avoid wool or just try something new, there are lots of guides online for making t shirt yarn, out of strips of t shirt fabric, and lots of other ways to turn things like cotton, soy, and linen fabrics into yarn.

By sapphire12 — On Oct 12, 2011

For people with a wool allergy, a lot of brands make other types, even if you dislike soy or acrylic. Berroco yarn has a lot of different fibers now, like linen, bamboo, and mixes of different non-animal fibers. That's just one company too, a lot of others have everything from basic to really fancy yarn.

By BambooForest — On Oct 11, 2011

@Monika- I have had that problem with some other alternative blends too. I have to admit, since I don't have a wool allergy, I prefer wool, or wool and acrylic, blends for sweaters. They hold together well and don't stretch a lot. There can be a problem of pilling if you buy a lot quality yarn, but that can be avoided if you're willing to spend a little more.

By Azuza — On Oct 11, 2011

I know a lot of people like soy yarn because it is supposedly eco-friendly. However, I must admit that I am not a fan of soy yarn.

It is just so slippery to work with. Whenever I knit with it, I feel like my project is going to slide right off my needles at any second. And in fact, this actually happened to me once with a soy yarn project! Never again.

By Monika — On Oct 10, 2011

@JaneAir - Sorry to hear about your wool allergy. Very unfortunate!

I'm a knitter too, and I just wanted to say that 100% soy yarn is better suited to scarves or shawls. After you knit it, it tends to stretch, a lot. This is extremely undesirable in a garment such as a sweater. Imagine knitting your sweater to fit you, and then having it stretch out. What a waste of effort.

However, soy yarn holds laces patterns well and has excellent "drape." This makes it perfect for a lace scarf!

By JaneAir — On Oct 10, 2011

I actually knitted a shawl out of a soy/wool blend before I discovered my wool allergy. Actually, knitting that shawl was how I discovered my wool allergy.

Anyway, I had worked with wool once before. To me, the soy/wool blend was no different than working with 100% wool. The only difference was the novelty factor: "Hey, my yarn is made from soy!" I was a beginning knitter at the time though, so I'm not sure if I would feel differently now.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.