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  • Writer's pictureKara Perpelitz

The Boucle is a lie

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

When one thinks of boucle yarn, one thinks of soft, elegant, feminine. Nothing but sugar, spice, and everything nice. "The soft texture of boucle yarn adds a feminine touch to career wear without the need for ruffles or bows." -Appleseed's

This boucle yarn, however is none of those things, despite the characteristic loops.

Handspun Boucle yarn, surrounded by succulents
This handspun Boucle yarn is not what it seems

Look, it's beautiful.  Look, those curves. Look, it looks so soft.

Don't get to close, because it's a lie. It's rough. It's abrasive. It will hurt you.


Boucle is typically created with the softest fibre, and as such is known for it softness and coziness. This boucle is made from the coarsest, most harsh fibres I had access to.  This yarn is meant as a commentary on being female in our society. How we are meant to be soft, curvy and gentle, but with the mistreatments we endure we can become abrasive and callous.  We still put on our soft curvy gentleness as a facade because we have to, but it can bare bitterness in the end.

While dreaming up this yarn, I began to think of everything it meant to be 'woman'. Our expectations are to be soft, elegant, and we are often pressured into being those things. Often we mask ourselves as those things by wearing prettier clothes, doing our hair just right, adding either a little or a lot of makeup. We further this facade through a lot of our behaviours as well. We smile and nod. We take a deep breath when interrupted, and allow the other person to finish their thought, sometimes allowing the conversation to veer and completely loose our place and therefore our voice in the matter. We apologize for taking up space. All of these things to be "perfectly feminine."

Using the coarsest top(likely lincoln long wool) in my fibre stash, I spun the loop singles. Using one of the coarser fibres (a corriedale - yes, that's a coarser one ;) ) I had in my stash I spun both the core and the wrapping yarn. Yes, this yarn is properly constructed as a boucle. This yarn, while it looks perfectly feminine, is harsh, and wiry, and scratchy, and not something you want to cuddle up to.

Speaking for myself (as truly I can only do that) I know more often than not by combination of my stature and soft features, people find it odd when I present in a way that they "just don't see in me." I'm cute, and dainty, and sweet. When I choose heavier makeup, and when I want to wear something a little out of the box for a fine boned, gentle girl. I wanted a sharp faux hawk for my wedding day, but was convinced a "softer look" was more feminine. I wanted a side shave hair cut, and the hair dresser softened it. Because someone like me is soft, and feminine... I've been dress shopping and when I choose something a little more out there, I'm greeted with that "look," the one that says "what the hell are you even trying to prove?" All of this experience has made me a bit rigid, a bit abrasive, a bit harsh. But I hide it behind a facade of soft femininity so the world is more comfortable. If you get really close you will know, but from a far you can't see it.


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