Why Tunisian Crochet Curls and How to Get Rid of It

By Rachel Choi – 8 Comments

Tunisian crochet (also know as afghan stitch) curls, it’s natural. If you’re curious, here is the easy answer to why Tunisian crochet curls:

Tunisian crochet curls because of physics! Unlike ordinary crochet where the stitches are located on the top of the work, Tunisian stitches are located on the front of the work. Every time you make new stitches, they are slightly forward and not exactly on the top of your previous row. This is why your work will end up curling forward.

To uncurl Tunisian Crochet, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Blocking. In my opinion this the best thing to do. Blocking crochet is the one simple step to “mold” your work into the way you want it. Whether you choose to steam it with an iron or wet it and let it dry, blocking can be fast and easy to do. Learn more about Blocking Crochet.
  2. Use a bigger hook. Larger hooks reduce the amount of tension in your work. The less tension, the less curl there will be.
  3. Alter foundation chain. Try turning your foundation chain upside down and pull up your loops into the back ridge of each chain instead. The back ridge is located behind the two loops of the chain that makes the “V” shape.
  4. Use different stitches. Purl stitches are know to create less curl than other Tunisian stitch. By varying the types of stitches that you use, it can reduce the curl.

In my experience, blocking works the best! Do you have a tip to share?
If you want to learn Tunisian crochet, get started by learning How to Crochet Tunisian Simple Stitch.

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  1. Sheila in UK says:

    Hi Rachel – yes the curl on Tunisian crochet is a bit of a problem. My solution is to do as you suggest and work into the foundation chain with it turned upside down. This also gives a much neater finish to the edge of your work anyway, whether or not you are concerned about the curl. Also, I always now do the first row, or even first two rows in Tunisian purl before starting on whatever stitch I am going to use in later rows. This seems to eliminate the curl pretty well! Of course, there is always blocking to add to the solutions!

    Cheers to all, Sheila in UK

  2. Melissa says:

    Block block block block block. Blocking is the difference between a piece of work that looks handmade and one that looks hand crafted. Yes, there is a difference between those two statements. Blocking gives the shape and finishes the piece. I even block with acrylic yarn, even though I’ve been told time and again that it doesn’t need to be blocked. I find that because very few projects can be finished in one sitting, your tension is slightly different each time you pick up a piece to work on it. Blocking eliminates this, smoothes out the bumps and bulges, and straightens out the curl. Blocking with a hot steam iron (don’t touch the item directly with the iron, just steam!!) will set it in place forever.

    • Claire says:

      Of course acrylic needs blocking, anything that hasn’t turned out quite how you prefer it does. Acrylic is easier to pull into shape without laying it down, though

  3. Judy says:

    Would using wires for blocking acrylics be a better idea instead of pins?Do really enjoy this site.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Judy, I haven’t tried using the wire, but I would think it’ll have the same result. Feel free to try it let me know how it goes!

  4. Emily says:

    I’ve just sen a youtube video showing Tunisian double crochet/stitch, and it doesn;t curl! So maybe do a row of double tunisian at the start. I will try this next time.

  5. Tracie says:

    Do you have any before & after photos of, say, some TSS work that was steam blocked? I’d like to see the difference….

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Tracie! Sorry, I don’t have any photos at the moment. If you would like to try it really quick to see what it looks like, you can make a small swatch only a few inches big and see how well it works for you 🙂

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