Tunisian Crochet- Ultimate beginners guide and Free resource to everything you need to know

What is Tunisian crochet?

Tunisian Crochet also known as Afghan crochet is a technique that uses a different type of hook that is long and usually has a stopper at one end like the knitting needle. It is said to a technique that is a hybrid of crochet and knitting because of the way the stitches are formed. The hook works both as a crochet hook to make chains and stitches and as a knitting needle to hold a number of loops together on it. The fabric is worked in 2 parts. A forward pass and a reverse pass. I the forward pass the stitches are picked and places on the hook that resembles a knitting needle and in the reverse pass stitches are formed and loops are closed one by one till only one loop remains. this process is repeated again and again to make the fabric.

It has a lot in common with both crochet and knitting but again it is a lot different from both crochet and knitting.

Tools and materials

Straight single ended crochet hooks
The good news is that you can use the same yarn and threads that you use for knitting and crochet. But the hook varies as I mentioned above.

When it comes to hooks again there is a huge variety available out there. But no need to get overwhelmed. There are a lot of materials in which these hooks are made same as normal crochet hooks and knitting needles.

The materials include

  • Aluminium
  • Wood
  • Bamboo
  • Rasin
  • Plastic etc.
When starting to learn just pick any one that you like and get started. With experiment and practice you can find out which one you like more than the others. To learn more about crochet hooks and Tunisian crochet hooks you can read on of my previous blogs here.

Types of Tunisian hooks

These hooks comes in different types.

Which are:

  • Single ended straight hook: These are the most common ones. They are used for small projects like scarves, mats, runners etc. They are ling and straight with a hook on one end and a stopper on the other.

Single ended straight Tunisian Crochet hooks

  • Double ended straight hook: These are also long and straight. But the difference is that these have hooks on both ends. These are usually used for working in two colours. Small narrow projects can be worked with them.

Double ended straight Tunisian Crochet hooks

  • Single ended cabled hook: This type oh hooks have a short wooden or metal hook that has a cable attached to it with a stopper at the other end. These are very long and uses for large projects like blankets or afghans.

Single ended cabled Tunisian Crochet hook

  • Double ended cabled hook: In this type of Tunisian hooks there is a small wooden to metal hook on both sides of the cable. You can use these hooks for working big projects in two colours.

Double ended cabled Tunisian crochet hooks

Special qualities of fabric produced

As the Tunisian crochet is different from knitting and crochet so is the fabric it produces.

The basic differences are:

  1. It produces thick and squishy fabric. It is thicker and denser than traditional crochet fabric.
  2. It uses more yarn. The yarn used is least in knitting than crochet uses more and the comes Tunisian crochet that need more yarn than knitting and crochet as the stitches are overlapping.
  3. The fabric does not stretch much horizontally but there is plenty of stretch vertically.
  4. This fabric has natural neat borders
  5. The fabric has a lot of tendency to curl up and needs aggressive wet or steam blocking to make it lay flat.

Similarities to traditional crochet

There are a few similarities in Tunisian crochet and traditional crochet.

Both these techniques use a hook of some kind to make the loops and stitches.

In both these crafts the base starts with a simple chain.

Differences from traditional Crochet

Now let’s talk about what make these two crafts different from each other.


The first difference is as I mentioned above in the tool used in both these crafts. Both are types of hooks but are very different in structure. A traditional crochet hook is about 6″ in length and has a thumb grip for holding.

The Tunisian crochet hook is longer without a thumb grip. A single ended straight hook is about 14″ in length.

You can use the same 6″ hook for any crochet project from a coaster to a afghan but in case of Tunisian Crochet you’ll need a longer hook like a cabled afghan hook to make wider projects like a blanket or afghan.


When working a Tunisian crochet fabric you will never turn the work. The right side always faces you.

The rows are worked in two steps a forward pass and a backward pass. I forward pass stitches are picked up and placed on the hook and in the backward pass stitches are worked and dropped form the hook.

When you buy a yarn ball the table usually mentions the hook and knitting needle size for that yarn. It is advisable to go with it for traditional crochet. But is you are doing Tunisian crochet you should go at least two sizes up that is you should use two sizes bigger hook. Is the yarn recommends 4mm crochet hook, use a 6mm Tunisian crochet hook.

Tunisian crochet Fabric

The crochet fabric is very stretchy in all directions but this fabric only stretches in one direction that is vertically.

The fabric is denser and thicker than the traditional crochet fabric.

The edges of a Tunisian crochet fabric have a way higher tendency to curl up than the traditional crochet fabric.

You naturally get neater edges on a Tunisian crochet fabric than you do in a traditional crochet fabric.

Other names for Tunisian Crochet

It has many names including (Source: Wikipedia)

  • Afghan crochet
  • tricot stitch
  • Scotch knitting
  • Princess Frederick William stitch
  • Princess Royal Crochet stitch
  • shepherd’s knitting
There is no evidence as such to show that Tunisian Crochet originated in Tunisia. But still it is called Tunisian crochet. I have no idea why!

I will be posting a blog soon with the absolute beginner tutorial for Tunisian crochet. Stay tuned for it.

Happy crocheting!!!

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