Front Loop vs. Back Loop

One of the first stitch variations a crocheter learns is working in the front or back loops only instead of both loops. Why would you want to do this? And furthermore, is there a difference between working in the front or back loops?

To answer the second question: yes, there is a very definite difference in texture when you crochet in the front loops only versus when you crochet in the front loops only. Crocheting in the front loops creates a line of stitches that are flat against the fabric, while crocheting in the back loops creates a ridged line of stitches that stand out from the fabric.

Front or Back Loop

Now that this difference is pointed out, the first question can be answered quite simply: a designer may chose to crochet in the front or back loop only when they are looking to create a different texture for their finished project. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide which loops to use.

Both Loops: Use both loops when you want a traditional look to your crochet and elasticity isn't an issue.

Front Loops Only: Crochet in the front loops when you want to add some stretch to your crochet fabric (such as when making garments) or to add a decorative touch to what would otherwise be a solid panel of standard stitches.

Back Loops Only: Crochet in back loops only for maximum texture change and elasticity. Crocheting in back loops only of solid single crochet is a popular method for mimicking knitted ribbing.