What is blocking in crochet

What Is Blocking In Crochet – Unlocking the Art By Expert

The art of creating thick textiles and fabrics by weaving interlocked loops of yarn, thread ad other materials has been around for thousands of years. During this time the art of crotchet has evolved beyond making simple pieces of fabric to complex pieces of garments that we see and wear today.

Whether you’re new or old to the art of crotchet making, you’ve definitely heard the term ‘blocking’ thrown around a lot in crotchet circles and the internet. The term ‘blocking’ in crocheting is a lot like poker; easy to learn but hard to master. If the term seems vague, confusing, or even difficult to you, today you will learn everything you need to know about blocking in crotchet and how to do it most effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Blocking in crochet projects is the art of manipulating fibers in a crotchet piece that’s already completed to add the final touches and remove any imperfections.
  • While it might not be necessary to implement it, it does make a crochet project easier.
  • Know the materials required for blocking crochet and the types of blocking in crochet to see which one fits your project best.
  • It is best to make swatches of crochet with blocking first to see how it turns out.
  • Learn the tips and benefits that blocking in crochet brings to your project.

What is Blocking in Crotchet Projects?

What is blocking in crotchet projects
What is blocking in crotchet projects

In layman’s terms, blocking in crochet projects is the art of manipulating fibers in a crotchet piece that’s already completed to add the final touches and remove any imperfections in appearance and fit. The process can be carried out in 3 different ways- wet blocking, steam blocking, and spray blocking.

Each of these blocking techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages, and should be used according to the project you’re currently working on. No matter what technique you use to block your crotchet, the one constant material required for all three techniques is water. Essentially, blocking is used to add extra moisture to the fabric to give it a certain shape.

Blocking loosens the tension between the knit which translates to a better form of the fabric as well as the design becoming more noticeable. It’s very useful to smooth out curls and uneven areas in the finished product, so its importance in crocheting cannot be understated.    

Is Blocking in Crochet Necessary?

Technically no, but anyone who’s experienced in crocheting or does it professionally will tell you that doing so enhances the quality and aesthetic of the final product greatly. Just take a look at a pair of crotchet sweaters, one blocked and the other unblocked, and the differences can be noticed easily by an average person who doesn’t know the basics of crocheting.

The necessity of blocking a crochet fabric or clothing largely depends on the project and purpose. If you’re making something like a crotchet baby blanket, then blocking is not a necessary step. On the other hand, if you’re making a crotchet sweater or cardigan, then blocking it would be a wise choice, especially if you’re making it to sell. Usually, crochet projects that benefit from blocking include open work, lace work, mesh, and filet projects.

Materials Required for Crotchet Blocking

If you’re intent on learning how to block crochet, then your first step should be gathering the required materials for the project.

The must-have equipment for crochet blocking in all three blocking techniques includes the following:

Materials required for crotchet blocking
Materials required for crotchet blocking
  • Blocking mats/Crochet blocking boards: These mats/boards will be required in the final stage of all three blocking techniques to dry the project and give it shape. If you can’t find blocking mats or crochet blocking boards, you can easily make one at home or use an alternative like a yoga mat.
  • T-Pins: These pins are specially designed to pin down thick fabrics to blocking mats or other alternatives.
  • Lace-blocking Wires: Lace-blocking wires are not necessary for blocking small crochet projects, but larger ones like sweaters, shawls, and cardigans do require them to hold them in place.
  • A bucket/blocking basin: A basic bucket or blocking basin to submerge your crochet project into water.
  • An iron: You won’t be using the iron directly on the crochet project, but it’ll be important to produce the steam required in the final stages.
  • Fluffy towels: Towels with high absorption properties are required to soak the moisturizer off your crotchet project.

Aside from these common blocking materials, there are also a few other materials that will differ from technique to technique. These materials will be mentioned and discussed further in the article when we will start discussing the 3 blocking techniques and the step-by-step ways to them right at home.

The 3 Common Types of Blocking in Crochet

As mentioned earlier, there are three types of blocking techniques in crocheting- wet, steam, and spray blocking. Here’s a short rundown of each of them before moving on to more in-depth details:

  • Wet Blocking: In this crotchet blocking technique, the crotchet fabric is first submerged in water, squeezed properly, and then dried for the final result.
  • Steam Blocking: In this crocheting technique instead of submerging the crochet fabric in water to give it shape, steam is applied instead.
  • Spray Blocking: As the name implies, a spray can is used on the crocheted fabric to get the desired results.

Wet blocking

Wet Blocking
Wet Blocking

Let’s start with the most basic and easiest crotchet blocking method on this list- wet blocking. Almost anyone, including kids, can do it as the process is very simple; all you have to do is follow these easy steps:

  1. First submerge the crotchet fabric in the bucket/blocking basin filled with lukewarm water. Submerge it properly so that the water soaks in thoroughly through the heavy fabric. If you want, you can also add a small amount of detergent to make the next couple of steps easier.
  2. Once submerged, let the crotchet fabric soak in the bucket/basin for at least half an hour before taking it out of the bucket/basin.
  3. First let the surface level water drip before tightly squeezing the fabric and wringing it hard enough that not a single drop of excess water is on the fabric. However, don’t wring it so hard that you end up ruining or tearing the fabric.
  4. Remember the fluffy towels you gathered for the blocking project? Take one of them out and lay down the crocheted fabric on it. Roll the towel with the fabric on top so it can soak out the remaining moisture lingering on the fabric.
  5. Once the moisture has been soaked through the towels, put the fabric on a blocking mat, placing it in such a way that it takes the form of the final product.
  6. You’ll notice that due to the washing and squeezing, your crochet project will be all crumpled and wrinkly. Use the T-pins you gathered earlier and pin your crotchet project in such a way that it’s stretched tight across the board.
  7. Leave the project pinned on the board to dry

And that’s it folks, wet blocking covered in seven simple steps. Next, we’ll be learning how to do steam blocking.

Steam blocking

Steam blocking
Steam blocking

The second crotchet blocking technique steam blocking is almost as easy as the first technique but requires a lot more finesse and mindfulness to complete successfully.

Here’s everything you need to do to steam block your crochet project:

  1. In this technique, set your iron or electric steamer at the lowest temperature setting and wait for it to heat up.
  2. While your iron/steamer heats up, lay down a boarding mat on the floor or a hard surface like a table and put your crochet project on it, stretching it out to its intended form. You might be tempted to put the T-pins on at this point, but don’t. That step comes in later.
  3. Now take the heated iron and slowly hover it over the crochet project 3-4 inches above the fabric. The steam from the iron/steamer will immediately blow down on the fabric, slowly straightening. At this point maintaining an even distance above the fabric is crucial.
  4. Slowly move the iron all over the crochet project until all of it has been properly steamed. This will result in the fibers of the yarn gently shaping up into the desired dimensions.
  5. Follow the lines of the blocking mat to straighten the edges of the crochet project.
  6. Once the steam has been applied, use the T-pins to stretch your project across the boarding mat and leave it to dry.

Voila! That’s all you need to do to steam-blocking your crochet project. Do note that while the step-by-step instruction might sound easy, maintaining a steady grip on your iron/steamer and maintaining a proper distance will take some practice.

I highly suggest you do a couple of dry runs on a few pieces of normal fabric before attempting to steam block your crochet projects.

Spray blocking

Spray blocking
Spray blocking

The last and final crochet blocking technique, spray blocking can really come in handy for smaller crochet projects. Unlike the previous two blocking techniques this one will require a spray bottle A core disadvantage of this blocking technique is that it doesn’t work well with synthetic fibers, favoring natural ones like cotton and wool.

To spray block your crochet project, here’s what you need to do:

  1. For this blocking technique you can use either a board mat or a fluffy towel to lay down your crochet project on, either will work. Choose the surface of your choice and lay down the crochet project on it.
  2. Spread out the fabric as evenly as possible and fill the spray bottle with water.
  3. Hold the spray bottle a couple of inches above the crochet fabric and spray all over it evenly.
  4. As the fabric gets moisturized, even out the sprayed parts as smoothly as possible with your hands.
  5. Once that is done, use the T-pins to stretch it out in the correct dimensions on the board/towel and let it dry.

Being the simplest and easiest of the blocking techniques, this crotchet blocking technique is most suitable for simple and small projects. For larger and heavier crochet projects, it’s best to stick with the first two blocking techniques.

Making a Swatch: Testing the Waters

Making a swatch Testing the Waters
Making a swatch Testing the Waters

Before committing fully to a crochet blocking project, it always pays off to make a swatch, which is like a sample of the final product. You take a bit of yarn you’ll be using for making the crochet piece and first make a small sample piece.

Once made, you can test this piece with your intended blocking technique and see how the results turn out. If you can block this small sample piece effectively then chances are the blocking of your final piece will be smooth as well.             

Tips and Tricks to Make Blocking Easier

As you may have already realized, blocking crochet projects can get a bit complicated at times. Whether you’re new to the world of crocheting or a seasoned veteran, a couple of simple tips and tricks can make a world of difference when blocking crotchets.

  • Never skimp on T-pins, you can never have enough for your projects. Not having enough pins will ruin the stretching process when blocking.
  • When doing crochet blocking projects make sure there’s enough space to move around and there are no pets and kids around.
  • On the topic of pets and kids, pack all your sharp blocking materials in a box and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • When doing crochet projects, try to stick to natural yarn over artificial ones as they’re easier to work with when blocking.
  • There is no unbreakable rule that you can only block a crochet piece once. For the best and most long-lasting longevity of your crochet piece, you should block it every once in a while after a wash. Though it may seem tedious, it’s well worth the effort.
  • If you’ve bought a crochet piece from the store or online, make sure to read the warning instructions on the label. This will ensure you choose the right blocking technique for it.
  • If you purchase a crochet piece and there are no blocking instructions on the label, try to get in touch with the manufacturer through their website.
  • If you’re making your crochet piece from scratch, then it’s usually a good idea to do the blocking before you sew the ends of the fabric. This will ensure maximum evenness of the finished piece.

The Benefits of Blocking in Crochet

When making crochet products for commercial sales, the stitch and design of the product in question matter a lot, especially in the case of sweaters and cardigans. Blocking is a finishing touch that is primarily added for crochet projects that turn out uneven, puckered, or ill-fitting. The first two blemishes can be easily rectified with blocking, but in the case of the third one, you can only elongate the fabric, not shrink it. Along with that, there are many benefits of blocking in crochet to help make your sewing project even easier.

Here are some of the benefits that you might get from blocking:

  • Help adjust size and shape
  • Get flat corners
  • No unwanted curling
  • Eases and relaxes the intricate patterns and stitches,
  • Making them more pronounced and visible.


Where do I buy blocking materials for crochet?

You can easily find them at your local general store or supermart. If you want, you can also order them online.

How long should I dry a blocked crochet piece?

As long as it takes depending on your geographical location. If you’ve done the blocking at night, then you have to wait well until the next day.

Are the effects of blocking on a crochet piece permanent?

No, they’re not. The fine effects of blocking wear off with each wash, so it’s advisable to block your crochet piece every couple of washes.

Final Thoughts

For many beginners, blocking a crochet project might seem overwhelming at first, but once you know the proper methodology and techniques of crochet blocking you’ll have a fun time. Just make sure to have the right tools and the right environment to work and you’ll be an expert in crochet blocking with enough time and practice.

So good luck on your crochet blocking journey and we hope you’ll have a wonderful time finishing your projects


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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