Recycle Tutorial – Making Of T-Shirt Yarn


Recycle Tutorial – Making Of T-Shirt Yarn

Tools & Materials:
1. T-shirts (those without side-seam)
2. A pair of sharp scissors

tshirtyarn_making1Place the T-shirt flat on the floor or working table.

tshirtyarn_making2We only need the bottom-halve portion of the T-shirt. Cut horizontally from sleeve to sleeve as shown above. Cut away the end border of the T-shirt too. This useful” portion must be plain and free from printing, embroidery and any joints or seams. Any motifs will be too hard for the T-shirt to turn into tubular yarn.

tshirtyarn_making3Fold the T-shirt from side to side, leaving an inch allowance as shown.

tshirtyarn_making4Cut into strips as shown, remember not to cut the 1 inch allowance. Leave it there as we are going to use this to form a continuous strip.
The width of the strip will determine the thickness of your yarn, but the minimum is 15mm, anything less than this, the process will fail. The width shown here is 15mm.

tshirtyarn_making5Finish cutting the T-shirt from top to bottom evenly.

TshirtYarn_making7Unfold the 1 inch allowance and it will look as shown below.
The red lines are the cutting lines to be explained below.

tshirtyarn_making8The next process is to make a slant cut from strip 1 to strip 2, strip 2 to strip 3 and so on in order to create a continuous strip for the whole T-shirt. Please refer above picture for the slant cut.

tshirtyarn_making9I purposely leave the first strip uncut until I have finished all. No catch, just my preference to show you better how the slanting looks like.

tshirtyarn_making10Now, I have a loooooooong strip of continuous T-shirt yarn waiting for the next process.

tshirtyarn_making11Next is to turn the strip into a tubular yarn. All you need to do is tug the strip as shown below. Rememeber I told you that the minimum width of the strip is 15mm? The secret is…. if you have anything narrower than this, it will break once you pull.

tshirtyarn_making12See, the strip will curl and form a tubular shape after the tug. This process will lengthen the yarn too, which is good, so you have more yarn to work on your project.

tshirtyarn_making13The strip has now turned into tubular yarn, from Fettuccine to Spaghetti ***wink***. You can roll your yarn into ball and it is ready for your next project.

I have finished making the drawstring bag as shown above. Please click here to have a look and you can download the simple pattern I created.

{More photos and story on Page 1.}

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180 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Pingback:eski t-shirtler itinayla örülür : ssk sgk bağkur ceza borç sorgulama öğrenme

  2. Pingback:A Recycled Rug | Things We Made

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  4. Pingback:T-shirts, Pouffs and Entry ways. | Misadventures in craft

  5. In this video im going to show you how to make a new style of your old unused Shirts.

  6. That looks great! Did you make that bag with only 1 t-shirt?!? How long was the strand/weight? thanks!

  7. Pingback:Crochet/T-shirt Rug Free Tutorial | Crochet Cricket

  8. Loved the tutorial showing how to make t-shirt strips. It was all going well until I reached the diagonal cut bit. I cut across from strip 1 to strip 2, but it didn’t work for me. I suspect I have folded the fabric incorrectly. Please can you help?!

  9. Can you please include photos of how to cut the slant cut? With lines drawn in red as to how you want me to cut it. It is very difficult to understand what you mean by making a slant cut between Strip 1 & 2. Which one is Strip 1 & which one is Strip 2 etc? Sorry if these seem like dumb questions, but I really want to make this as it is cost effective & saves more junk in the landfill.

  10. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the updated photo.

  11. The new picture makes it so much easier to see what you did. Now I understand. Thanks so much for doing this so quickly. You are wonderful.

  12. This is a great tutorial! I was searching for this and stumbled across your wonderful blog. I love it! I was wondering- how would you ménage a T-shirt with side seams? Most of mine are and I still want to recycle them. I tried this technique without the 1 inch part and now have a few 1 yard strings to attach to one another. I saw how you attached two cords in another tutorial, is that what you would do with T shirt strings too? Thank you !!!! I love this recycling and crafty spirit so much:))

    • Thank you, Milena. The T-shirt yarn is best done with no side seams. That joining method is not very strong provided you crochet or sew the Tarn, otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend to have so many joins in a long length of yarn.

  13. Thanks for this wonderful idea! Is there a good way to connect several t-shirts? I utilize crocheting too and can do a color change, but is there a less bulky way to change color or add additional strands of t-shirt? Also do you have a popular crochet pattern that you use?

    • For chunky yarn like T-shirt yarn, it is close to impossible to join ends that can hide away. I think the best way to reduce the “bump” is by sewing the ends together instead of making a big knot. Hope this help.

      • Hi Joanne!
        Just wanted to reinforce your comment that the least bulky way to join ends for recycled fabric “yarn” is by sewing the ends together. I’ve been crocheting with recycled fabric “yarn” for the last couple of years and it quickly became apparent to me that sewing the ends together is the absolute best way to keep the bulk down.
        It’s really not that hard and when my sewing machine died last month, I was able to keep going on a rug project for my son by hand sewing the ends together. It didn’t have to be super spiffy and would take me all of 5 minutes to do the joining by hand.
        Btw, thanks awfully for this tutorial because now I have another source of materials to make goodies for my children and their friends.

  14. How do you have a t shirt without any side seams? I’ve never seen one of them before. Also, would it be fine if I did it with a t shirt with side seams, or would it ruin it?
    The tutorial was awesome and I can’t wait to try it!

    • There are T-shirts without side seam in the market but not very common in some country.
      The seaming lines cannot be stretched, if you are making T-shirt yarn with T-shirt that has side seam, you will have bumps along the way (just like you are joining yarn with a knot).

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  16. Bada$$! This is so awesome. I was worried that there would be some kind of sewing involved (I can’t sew but I can cut, knit, and crochet). I absolutely have to try this with my husband’s old t-shirts.

  17. Pingback:15 Ways to Repurpose or Restyle T-Shirts — A Cultivated Nest

  18. This is amazing. Now I have something to do with that bag of old t-shirts. Have you tried making a blanket or anything else?

  19. I went to Goodwill and found many t-shirts in beautiful colors for very little money! Now how is that for recycling!! I’m making the purses for my grand daughters for Christmas.

  20. Pingback:25 Ingenious Recycling Crafts

  21. Pingback:Seven (non crafty) ways to recycle old t-shirts - Down to Earth Mother

  22. I think the video would of helped explain the continuous cut but it isn’t there any longer. Any help would be appreciated. :o)

  23. Have you (or anyone here in the comments) washed a finished t-shirt yarn rug in the washer? Did it work out ok?

  24. Thanks for the tutorial! Very simple to follow :)

  25. It’s such a great idea and I really want to try it. I have so many t-shirts that I no longer wear and would love to use them up in this way. However, every single one is seamed at the sides, so they’re no good for this! Aaagghhh!!!

  26. Hi Craft Passion! Wonderful tutorial for making this t-shirt yarn. It reminds me of making seam binding. I a similar method to cut my fabric. I was wondering if you think this idea would work for the making of fabric strips. 1.take a piece of fabric & fold it in 1/2 side seams together. 2. sew the side seams together to make a tube. 3. cut up to the 1 inch allowance and then do the diagonal cuts.
    How I did this before was square up my fabric & cut it. Then mark off the width I wanted in strips. Next I numbered the strips on one side and then on the other side, but offset the numbers by one. Now I fold the fabric matching the 1’s, 2’s etc. The bad part is that it becomes a twisty tube. So… it works great otherwise. You end up with a REALLY long strip for seam binding etc. Thanks for listening & reply when you can. Thanks! :) Michelle

  27. Pingback:A Jersey Study | wool is all you knit

  28. I just tried this with and old jersey knit flat sheet in a Full size. I did sew the 2 short sides together to make a tube, like the shirt, and did everything else the same as your instructions. With it being a Full size, my seams are only every 3 yards or so. I dont think I will have any problem working with this! Thanks so much for the instructions!

    • Thank you, Brenda, for the alternative instead of cutting the T-shirt. I have a few yards of cotton knit and have been planning to do a bigger roll of T-shirt yarn for a new project.

  29. How do you get rid of all the linty balls? When I did this there was a lot of cotton lint which stick to whatever shirt or sweater you wear the scarf with knitted from the tshirt yarn? Did anyone else have this issue?

  30. Fabulous tutorial! I just cut up one t-shirt and will now do more! The instructions were clear but it probably helps that I have cut many milk bags to crochet into “milk bag mats”. The process of cutting into one long continuous strip is the same. Thanks!

  31. Pingback:T’shirt yarn | WHIMSY LOFT

  32. Love it :) Thank you sooo much!!!

  33. thanks for this information.

  34. Hi, I made yarn with my jogging and I made a new slippers! I love it! I would like to use link on your article in my blog where I show the slippers. Can I have your permission to talk about this page for make a yarn and add a link? Thank you!

  35. Pingback:Comment fabriquer les nouveaux chaussons à partir de vieux jogging | CaMePlait

  36. Hi… this awesome information, i love it easy to try…..

  37. This is great idea – wonderful structure, and useful.

  38. Pingback:Spring Cleaning and Storage Baskets | Our Handknit Life

  39. this is very interesting.

  40. Thanks so much for the tutorial that makes sense! I have read about five tutorials about this but none of them made sense. Yours explains it perfectly!

  41. A rotary cutter and a metal ruler are much easier on your hands than scissors. Lots quicker, also.

  42. It’s a great reycle idea. I always feel sad that I can’t use old T-shirt for any diy prject cuz it’s stretched while the color’s still good.

  43. Thank you! I have so many old Shirts here, now I have something to do 😀

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