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How to Make a Crocheted Dishcloth With Pretty Scalloped Edging

Athlyn Green is an avid crocheter and knitter. She designs and sells handcrafted goods.

Crochet dishcloth border

Crochet dishcloth border

Homemade Dishcloths Are Often Better Than Store-Bought

Whether you choose to knit or crochet them, homemade dishcloths do a great job of clean-up in kitchen areas. Because of the type of cotton used, they are very absorbent and stand up well to wear.

Once someone has used either, they often choose to never go back to store-bought cloths. They find a difference in absorbency relative to store-bought cloths and prefer the homemade variety.

Homemade dishcloths are made either through knitting or crocheting. It might take slightly longer to produce knitted dishcloths, while crocheting them may be faster. Either method produces dishcloths suited for the task, with slightly different-textured fabric. Much depends on someone's preference and what crafting method they choose to produce cloths.

While either method is suitable, generally speaking, a knitted cloth will take longer to make. It will be smoother and somewhat softer, and you will use less cotton in making it, while a crocheted dishcloth will be slightly stiffer (good for scrubbing) and will use up a bit more cotton in its construction. Either method will be up to the task.

For those who don't know how to knit but who prefer homemade dishcloths, crocheting offers a workable alternative. This article details how to make a crocheted dishcloth with scalloped edging.

A Looser Fabric for This Dishcloth

The dishcloth seen here has a looser feel to the fabric. It does a good job of scrubbing and cleaning because the hdc adds a bit of bulk by dint of the type of stitch it is.

A durable cloth, up to kitchen cleaning tasks.

A durable cloth, up to kitchen cleaning tasks.

Fabric Tip

If you want denser cloths, work your crocheted dishcloths with a smaller hook and use sc instead of hdc.

Crotched Dishcloths Are Easy to Make

If you've come to this page and have never made your own dishcloths, rest assured that crocheting them is relatively easy. They can be created in record time, using just a few simple crochet stitches.

Because crocheted dishcloths do not take much cotton yarn, this is a great way to use up scraps of left-over crochet cotton.

If you have never made anything with cotton and are planning on making a stack of dishcloths, you might opt to purchase a large skein of kitchen cotton before you start.

Fiber Alert

It is essential to use Kitchen Cotton or Handicrafter Cotton.

What Is the Right Yarn for Making Crocheted Dishcloths?

Cotton is different from acrylic yarn; it's tough and, more importantly, highly absorbent. When you wipe it across a counter or a dish, it doesn't just slide off the surface, smearing any water. Instead, it holds to the surface and thus creates a bit of friction, which is perfect for cleaning. Surprisingly, texture does play a role in cleaning and a fabric that is slippery and non-absorbent just doesn't make the grade.

Do not use regular yarn! Acrylic yarn is not absorbent and will merely smear water across your counters. Because of its smooth texture when wet, it does a poor job of counter clean-up and washing dishes. You truly cannot substitute, so make sure you use the right material for the job.

Has This Happened to You?

Many crafters have related that when they first got started with crocheting, they tried to make dishcloths using regular yarn, and found to their chagrin and disappointment that something was very wrong. They weren't sure what they had done wrong, but the dishcloths were all but useless.

How to Tell Them Apart

Kitchen cotton is less fuzzy and resembles a thick thread. Usually, skeins of kitchen cotton will have pictures of dishcloths on the label, which helps when looking for them in the craft section. If uncertain, ask a salesperson who can guide you to the right section.

Pattern for a Crocheted Dishcloth With Scalloped Edging

These pretty-looking dishcloths can be made in about one hour. For the dishcloth pictured in this article, a variegated cotton has been used in a neutral shade.


  • Size 4 or 5 hook
  • Variegated kitchen cotton

Stitch Key

  • Ch = chain stitch
  • Ss = slip stitch
  • Sc = single crochet (used for scalloped edge)
  • Hdc = half double crochet (used for working rows)


  • Row 1: Ch 22 + 2 ch (forms first hdc).
  • Row 2: Hdc in third chain from hook. Continue working hdc stitches in each chain loop until end of row. (23 stitches) Ch 2 and turn.
  • Rows 3-17: Start each row by working first hdc in stitch next to ch 2 which makes first stitch. Work each successive row by working hdc in each stitch underneath. Ch 2 at ends, then turn dishcloth before working successive rows.

As can be seen, this is an easy dishcloth to crochet.

It is a good idea to create either a dense or slightly bulky fabric for dishcloths, as this serves better for cleaning. Knit fabric is ideal for creating a dense fabric because of its smooth texture and close stitches but for those who do not know how to knit, if a dense type of texture is desired, work with a smaller crochet hook to make your fabric tighter.

Perfect Way to Use Up Scraps

Never throw out your kitchen cotton scraps because these are perfect for adding edging around your dishcloths. Using a different color for the edging can add definition and helps to finish your cloth.

How to Add a Scalloped Edge

  1. Near end of last row, do not work hdc in last stitch; instead, crochet 5 sc in corner loop, then continue along side, working 4 sc in every other rib (see photo), leaving a space (rib) between scallops. Work in these same openings when reaching the opposite side of cloth.
  2. Along the next side, once past corner, skip two spaces and work each set of 4 sc in every third opening. (Do the same when you reach the opposite side.)
  3. When edging has been worked all the way around dishcloth, finish by skipping two spaces and joining with a ss.
Working 4 single crochet in every other rib

Working 4 single crochet in every other rib

Work each set of 4 single crochet in every 3rd opening

Work each set of 4 single crochet in every 3rd opening

Scalloped Edging Turns Practical to Pretty

This is an easy-to-execute pattern using hdc stitches to make a textured square crocheted dishcloth and sc stitches to finish it with a pretty-looking scalloped edging. The texture serves well for scrubbing, while the edging adds eye appeal.

Alternate Edging

If you aren't overly concerned about your scallops being "perfect," you can also just work 4 sc along edges, visually spacing them out.

Finishing Tip

While you can use your crochet hook to pull your tail or end along the backside of your cloth, I do not recommend this because the tail will work its way loose later. If you have a large-eyed needle, it is better to sew your end in and thus prevent unraveling later.

No Frills

As touched on in this article, an edging can help to finish the look of your dishcloth. Scallops can also be worked in a different color if you want greater definition. Variegated cotton lends a very pretty look.

If you just want a good basic dishcloth and do not wish to create a fancy edging, please see my article, "How to Make a Crocheted Dishcloth: Easy Pattern Using Half Double Crochet" for a plain-Jane dishcloth you can make with no fuss and no muss.

© 2013 Athlyn Green


Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 18, 2013:

So lovely and what a different pattern too. I have to go ahead and try my own

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 17, 2013:

I know a number of people who only use crocheted dishcloths. I'm also a big fan of crocheted pot holders. They hold up like nothing else! Thanks for another great tutorial.

Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on March 17, 2013:

I love the job they do of cleaning.

Jo from Isle of Wight UK on March 17, 2013:

Another lovely pattern. They actually make really nice gifts, especially when presented in a bale.

Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on March 16, 2013:

Hi wonder, I have a pattern for a plain dishcloth that I included in the links section. These are more serviceable and might be easier to use.

Priyanka Estambale from United States on March 16, 2013:

I should really try once! Maybe I can finally have the heart of cleaning with it :)

Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on March 16, 2013:

Hi Wonder, they do a great job of cleaning but you have to use the kitchen cotton and not yarn. Yarn does not have the absorbency that kitchen cotton does.

Priyanka Estambale from United States on March 16, 2013:

This is pretty and looks simple. I would love to make dishcloths but then it makes me wonder would I really use them to clean dishes and kitchen counters! I am planning to use this pattern as a scarf! Will surely upload if I make one :) Thanks for sharing!