In the 1890s, viscose, as known as rayon, was created as a cheap, artificial silk substitute that anyone could purchase. While true silk has features that rayon does not, it still has that gorgeously glamorous satin sheen. To an untrained eye, viscous is just another version of silk.
Lion Brand Truboo is ideal for those who want to create silky projects without having to pay for true silk. A light worsted / DK (3) yarn at 241 yards per skein that is almost always on sale, this bamboo yarn is great for soft spring and summer wearables, lightweight blankets, and more!
Because it is sourced from bamboo, Truboo has an innate cooling factor. Bamboo fiber has a natural tendency to wick away, or draw out, moisture which keeps the surrounding air (or your body) cool and dry. This makes Truboo great for lightweight wearables for warm days and year-round blankets.
Lion Brand Truboo Breakdown
|Number of Colorways||27 (solids)|
|Weight||Light Worsted / DK (3)|
|Fiber Content||100% rayon from bamboo|
|Care||Machine wash, lay flat to dry|
|How does it feel?||Cool-to-the-touch, silky, soft, and smooth|
I have found with this yarn that it is often on sale in most online or in-person stores. The drop in price isn’t because it’s a low quality yarn; in fact, Truboo is the opposite of low quality. In my opinion, Truboo has a superior feel when compared to polyester yarns.
If you happen across it at full price, just wait a few days or check another store. It goes on sale anywhere between a few cents or a couple dollars off.
Truboo has a flowy drape and is breathable yet strong. It’s perfect for people who have sensitive skin or live in hot climates and want that cardigan look. However, due to its breathability and how it easily sops up moisture, high heat or too much moisture can have negative effects on it.
Nowadays, many people are looking for more sustainable options to do their craft. Because of this, many corporations have started creating more eco-friendly fabrics and yarns.
“100% rayon from bamboo” may be misleading for some people who expect it to be completely made up of raw bamboo. It means that it is sourced from bamboo. While bamboo yarn isn’t exactly the greenest of fiber choices, it still is better than all-synthetic fabrics like polyester.
More yarn reviews like this:
- My honest review of Caron Simply Soft
- My honest review of Sweet Snuggles Yarn
- My honest review of Bernat Blanket Yarn
- My honest review of Bernat Velvet Yarn
Is bamboo yarn sustainable?
The short answer is yes and no. The longer answer is complex and depends on different factors.
Bamboo yarn, at least in Truboo’s case, is made up of bamboo-sourced viscose, more commonly known as rayon from bamboo. The simplest description for rayon would be artificial silk.
As a general rule, while the source of bamboo rayon is natural and sustainable (bamboo can grow three feet per day!), the chemical process to transform it into rayon fibers is extremely harmful to the environment.
While its process of plant to workable fiber is quite toxic, rayon is completely biodegradable as long as it’s not threaded with extra synthetic fabrics. Unlike synthetic fabrics like polyester, viscose is not made with petrochemicals.
The final product does not have any raw bamboo in it and is considered a semi-synthetic fabric due to the chemical process it must endure to become yarn. That does not make it half synthetic, however.
If a yarn label has “100% bamboo” on it, then that company is falsely advertising their fiber content. If it has “100% rayon from bamboo” or something similar, then they are being truthful.
Truboo’s fiber content is not false advertising. It is completely sourced from bamboo, but the chemical process has stripped away all of the raw plant fibers from the yarn.
If you would like to read more in depth articles about bamboo fibers and their sustainability, The Filtery, Treehugger, and Sustainable Jungle have articles about bamboo-sourced rayon fabric, and Sustainable Stitching has a quick article about bamboo yarn specifically.
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly yarn, natural materials such as organic cotton and organic wool are good choices. Upcycled yarns made from leftover fabrics are another sustainable option as well.
My experience using this yarn!
Truboo is one of my favorite yarns. I’m typically not a fan of DK or lightweight yarns because I am a rather tight crocheter, so thinner yarns tend to make me feel like I’m crocheting with string.
However, Truboo is just thick enough that I don’t need to worry too much about how thin the yarn is compared to the ones I typically use. It also allows me to practice with DK weight yarns in case I ever come across one that looks enticing.
Truboo is definitely a contender in that arena. It has such a beautiful satin sheen to it that it almost appears like silk. Not only that, but it has a certain smoothness in both feel and look not many yarns have.
The feel of Truboo is one of my favorite things about it. Thanks to its bamboo source, the innate coolness of it makes it great to play with and handle. It does heat up via body heat by conduction like anything else when you’re handling it for long periods of time, but it still has a pleasant feel that other yarns don’t have.
It really does feel like silk. I’m sure people who have access to true silk will be able to tell the difference between the two, but Truboo is truly silky smooth and just lovely to work with.
I crochet with aluminum hooks, and I find that Truboo glides over them easily without any of that squeaking that some acrylic yarns have a tendency to do. It’s such a light and feathery yarn yet has the sturdiness of acrylic.
A frustrating thing about Truboo is how easily it splits. Because how of it’s piled and how smooth it is, the threads don’t stick together as they do with acrylic yarn. If you’re not careful, you may end up losing one or more of the strands as you crochet.
While it’s fairly easy to work around, these snags may cause issues down the line. If you do see you’ve lost a strand or the yarn begins to unravel more than it should, I would recommend frogging your rows to fix the mistake.
Because I don’t use wooden crochet hooks, I don’t know how Truboo would glide over them because of how easily the threads split. You don’t want your threads getting snagged on a random loose splinter and unraveling your whole project!
Because of how easily it splits, I would recommend using it with projects that have more rounds. While mini amigurumi is quite cute and does look stunning in this yarn, I personally don’t like using Truboo for them.
Larger amigurumi with more rounds work just fine with it. If you’re practiced in the art of micro amigurumi, then you’ll have no problem using Truboo. In fact, it might be a thicker yarn than you’re used to!
While all yarns have their positives and negatives, I personally think Truboo has more positives. Not only does it have an amazing drape, but it’s comfortable and breathable. I’m not a fan of acrylic wearables because they tend to be itchy, but Truboo isn’t itchy in the slightest.
It’s an incredibly soft, light yarn that behaves almost like silk and is at a decent price at all times. It may not have the biggest skein yardage out there, but those small skeins pack a lot of goodness in their little handfuls.
What should you use this yarn for?
Because of its sturdy yet lightweight properties and lovely drape, Truboo is great for filet crochet wearables. It gives items a delicate, lacey look while still holding up like acrylic yarn. Shawls and ponchos especially work well in Truboo.
I personally have found Truboo great for amigurumi as well. I personally would recommend using it for larger patterns as sometimes the splitting of the threads can be frustrating to work with in small rounds.
What yarns can I substitute for Truboo?
Truboo has two yarns in its family: Coboo and Truboo Sparkle. You may see Nuboo around, but as of this review, it is discontinued and not widely available.
Coboo is composed of 51% cotton and 49% rayon from bamboo fibers. It is priced the same as Truboo at $5.99 and comes in cakes of 232 yards. It has a smaller range of only 18 colors as of this review.
Unlike Truboo, Coboo is machine washable and dryable. It does not have the same satin sheen as Truboo, but it is still quite soft and light. It has the same recommended hook of 4mm (G-6).
Truboo Sparkle is the same as Truboo but threaded with thin, shiny polyester threads to give it a special shimmer. It is priced at $6.49 and comes in 195 yard skeins. It has 9 different colors available and is machine washable but should be laid flat to dry.
If you’re in Europe, Bommix Bamboo from Hjertegarn is a 70% bamboo viscose, 30% cotton Danish yarn that is another close substitute for Truboo. While it has smaller recommended hooks of 4.5mm and has skeins of 114 yarns, it still is a close match. As of this review, it is 28 DKK (about $4 USD).
3 Truboo Patterns!
Theodosia Truboo Beanie
This advanced beginner pattern is great for creating a beanie for the transition between summer and fall or winter and spring. It’s great for places where the weather doesn’t know how to make up its mind half the time.
Due to a few complex stitches that might be difficult for beginners, this pattern would be better attempted if you have some experience under your belt. That said, if you wish to test yourself and learn new techniques, this pattern is great for that as well!
Rainbow Baby Blanket
This advanced beginner blanket pattern is great for showing off Truboo’s array of different colors. While the pattern has detailed photos and extra tips to help you through each step, it is considered an advanced beginner pattern due to the use of mixed cluster stitches.
If you’re looking to widen your stitch dictionary, this pattern is great for that! Cluster stitches are lovely and get easier as you practice them.
Bellevue Beautiful Crochet Scarf
While this pattern uses Nuboo (a discontinued yarn that was part of the Truboo family), Truboo is a perfect substitute for it. It’s an easy pattern that’s perfect for beginners who are looking to work on their single, half double, and foundation crochets.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the recommended hook for Truboo?
The recommended hook for Truboo is a 4mm, or in US sizes, a G-6. If you plan to work on an amigurumi with Truboo, I recommend going down two or more sizes. Generally, if you go down only one size for amigurumi, it’s possible to see the stuffing.
Is Truboo yarn good for baby blankets?
Truboo is soft and gentle on skin which makes it perfect for young children. Since it is a lightweight / DK (double knit) yarn, it will take more skeins to create a blanket than thicker yarns. It takes about 5 skeins, or 1200 yards, of Truboo if the baby blanket is 36 x 36in (91.5 x 91.5cm).
Does bamboo yarn hold water?
As a general rule, bamboo yarn is naturally absorbent, which makes it great for washcloths and dish towels. Due to this, it holds moisture for longer, and that can lead to mildew if not properly dried. It does lose strength when wet, so it is best to lay any bamboo creation out to dry.
Can bamboo yarn go in the dryer?
Generally speaking, bamboo yarn should not be placed in the dryer. The care instructions for Truboo recommend laying the item flat to dry. However, as long as the dryer is on a cooler setting and gentle cycle, machine drying it should be fine. If it’s on a high heat, the item may shrink or become damaged.
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