Front Loop VS Back Loop Crochet: What's the Difference

Front Loop VS Back Loop Crochet: What's the Difference

The crocheting technique with only front and back loops deserves to be learned by every crochet artist. All you need is your favorite crochet hooks. The crochet stitches are helpful for decoration purposes, such as textured effects and visual appeal, and for patterns needing elasticity and stretch. Previously, we have explained how to crochet in the back loop, in this blog, we'll walk you through the crocheting method through front  loop and the difference between both.

Before getting started, gather your materials- a single ended crochet hook or an interchangeable Tunisian hook without attaching the cord, yarn and accessories.

What is Front Loop (FLO) and Back Loop (BLO) Crochet?

As a beginner, you learn to insert your single ended crochet hook through the entire loop. But, front loop only (FLO) and back loop only (BLO) are two crochet techniques used for decorative and functional purposes.

Each stitch is nothing but a loop interconnecting another. From above or horizontally, every stitch looks like a 'V, be it the foundation chain, the single crochet (SC) stitch, or the treble crochet (TR) stitch. Now, think V has two legs, the closer to you is generally the front loop while the one away is the back loop. Whether working on the pattern's right side (RS) or the wrong side(WS), you must consider the leg on the stitch closer to you as the front loop and the one behind the back loop unless a pattern designer mentions different instructions.

Generally, you insert your crochet hook through both legs to make stitches, but when it comes to the technique of FLO or BLO, you work into only one portion of the stitch—the front loop for FLO and the back loop for BLO. Working on one loop, or what we mentioned as a leg of the V, connects only one loop while the other stays in the air. This appearance has different effects on the pattern.

Experimenting with crocheting in different loops allows you to customize your designs, adding depth and interest to your creations.

FLO and BLO: What's the Difference?

The difference between front loop (FLO) and back loop (BLO) crochet is through the specific loop you insert the crochet hook and make the stitch.

Crocheting in the front and back loop refers to working stitches through specific parts of the stitch, offering varied textures and effects in your crochet work.

When you crochet in the front loop (abbreviated as FL), you insert your hook under only the front loop of the stitch, leaving the back loop untouched, creating a ridged effect on the fabric's surface and adding dimension and texture.

Conversely, crocheting in the back loop (abbreviated as BL) involves inserting your hook under only the back loop of the stitch, leaving the front loop untouched. This technique also produces a textured surface but has a different appearance compared to crocheting in the front loop.

Crocheting in both loops (abbreviated as BLO for back loop only and FLO for front loop only) is the standard method and creates a smooth fabric. However, working through the front or back loop only allows you to create unique textures and visual effects in your crochet projects.

Single ended crochet hook set from Lantern Moon

Why Crochet in Specific Loops?

Crocheting is specific loops depends on the effect you want to create whether its appearance or its characteristic. When you are following a particular pattern, the designer will instruct which side to perform on and which loop to crochet into. When planning your designs, it is helpful to know the effect both create so that you can choose one that suits your project’s requirements.

Textured Effect: Crocheting into the front loop (FLO) create a taller and more pronounced texture than regular stitches. Working into the back loop (BLO) adds ribbing or ridges. It works beautifully for scarves, cowls and leg warmers.

Elasticity: Crocheting in the front loop only (FLO) adds stretchiness. It is recommended for sweaters, the brim of a hat, cardigan, or other garments.

Visual Appeal: FLO or BLO can create visual wonders even without doing much. FLO is densely textured even when working with double crochet (DC) or Treble Crochet (TR). Alternating both these techniques in a pattern like a scarf gives it the perfect textured effect.

Work Fair Isle Colorwork Crochet Technique: In colorwork crochet techniques, especially such as Fair Isle, there are points where the color transitions could be smoother. Here, you can work with BLO or FLO to create neatly aligned stitches that do not look out of place in patterns. To know more, our guide on crochet colorwork methods and how to do it will walk you through.

Join Stitches in Amigurumi: For some particular patterns in Amigurumi, you cannot work regular stitches; here, too, you can apply FLO or BLO to join the stitches. Both the techniques are ideal for the job of joining stitches as neatly as possible without showing on the pattern.

With this guide, get ready to work with FLO and BLO techniques for your crochet patterns. Start with a swatch, and then proceed with a coaster, dishcloth, or scarf.

As crocheters, we know that high-quality tools translate to beautiful projects. The Lantern Moon crochet hooks offer a luxury crafting experience for crochet artists—beginners as well as seasoned makers. Handcrafted by skilled artisans, each of the ebony wood crochet hooks is a prized beauty that guides your yarn to create masterpieces. Explore the crochet hook sets that offer single-ended as well as Tunisian crochet hooks. 

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