Skip to Content
/Upcycled Crafts/How To Make T-Shirt Yarn

How To Make T-Shirt Yarn

T-shirt yarn is getting popular in recent years. Besides the normal yarn that you use for crochet and knitting, now you have another brilliant material for your next project. T-shirt yarn is a bulky weight, which means you can whip up a project quickly. Apart from buying the t-shirt yarn from the shelf, you can DIY the T-shirt yarn at home by using your old unwanted T-shirts. Read further on how to make T Shirt yarn at home.

t-shirt yarn

Another tutorial to help in saving our Mother Earth by turning unwanted items into something useful. This is the T-shirt yarn ball I made out of an old T-shirt which I have been wearing for 10 years day-in day-out, wash-in wash-out. It finally broke down and tore at the collar and sleeves. Waste not, want not, I decided to recycle it.

Making t-shirt yarn not only helps to repurpose the old t-shirt; but it is also so fun to produce something beautiful t-shirt yarn crafts at the end of the day.

How To Make T-Shirt Yarn

scroll ⬇️ to get the how-to-make tutorial

The chunky T-shirt yarn is perfect to crochet and knit into a t-shirt yarn basket, bag, rug, scarf, etc… I have finished making the T-Shirt yarn drawstring bag as shown below. Please click here to have a look and you can download the simple pattern I created.

tshirt yarn

Other than the crochet project, you could use the T-Shirt Yarn to make purses, handbags, rag rug, stripy scarf, knit a rug, braid a rope, etc. Here are the Top 20 t-shirt yarn projects you can make.

Sometimes, people will call T-Shirt Yarn as T-arn or Tarn, which is a short form word of the combination of T-shirt and Yarn.


T-Shirt Yarn

Recycle Tutorial

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

t shirt yarn

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

tshirtyarn making2

We 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.

t shirt yarn

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

tshirtyarn making4

Cut 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.

t shirt yarn

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

TshirtYarn making7

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

make tshirt yarn

The 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.

make t-shirt yarn

I 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 making10

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

tshirtyarn making11

Next is to turn the strip into a tubular yarn. All you need to do is tug the strip as shown below. Remember 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 making12

See, 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.

t shirt yarn

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



Subscribe via email for latest updates:



10 Crochet Patterns for T-Shirt Yarn Floor Poufs • Free Crochet Tutorials

Thursday 25th of November 2021

[…] How to Make T-Shirt Yarn  How to Make TShirt Yarn […]


Sunday 18th of October 2020

Excellent, easy-to-follow instructions! I got 25 meters of t-shirt yarn from one t-shirt, and I made the cuts 20 mm wide.


Sunday 10th of May 2020

Oh boy, I just cut up a tank top for nothing. When it came to the tugging part rather than curl up, the edges just stretched and frayed. I'm guessing the knit of the fabric was too coarse? Or it works only on fabric that has some elastane in it. Ah well, I'll try again with something else. Anyway, the tutorial was really easy to follow, thank you!


Sunday 16th of August 2020

Nope don't use elastine, it falls apart, especially with the overlock stitching and trust me I made sure it was a couple of mm over 15. But it was therapeutic doing it and got some long pieces so not all fail. Thanks for the tutorial. The instructions were really good.

Denise Crosby

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

A mans large Tshirt will make about 30-36 yards cutting at 1" intervals... Thank you for the great tip I'm making mask now for the Corona Virus, as they now! suggest everybody wear one.... this type will work much better than elastic, making it more adjustable.


Thursday 14th of July 2022

@Monette, You must use tubular type t-shirts, the kind that don't have side seams.


Thursday 30th of April 2020

I tried this and the seam of the tshirt makes a big bump in the yarn...I’m thinking after cutting the sleeves of the shirt off I didn’t fold my working t-shirt fabric correctly. Any tip you can offer i welcome!


Tuesday 14th of April 2020

For those of us that are not crafty, I don't understand the slant cutting part. It seems like this will cut the strips off? are you cutting all the way through the slant? I want to do this for use on face masks. Thank you!


Friday 10th of April 2020

Hi Denise. Thanks! I'm doing the same. Do you find the 1" intervals to make the right thickness for the mask cord as opposed to 15mm?


Friday 3rd of April 2020

My Mom born in 1912 showed me as a kid to rip under shirts (t-shirts) and stretch them and then braid together. Once that is done then take one braid and start going around & around tightly and hand stitching each individual round to the previous one until you have a rag rug that fits your needs. She called it the “circle of life” rug as during hard times it came in handy during the winter and for young babies not yet crawling. *A thought about seamed tees-couldn’t you miter the seam at a 45 degree, stitch and it would stretch and roll? Similar to how bias tape is made.

Suzanne Bruer

Monday 6th of April 2020

Sharon, what a wonderful story/memory, an extension of the "circle of life" your mother referred to. My mother did almost the same with rags. She tore strips of cloth about an inch wide. Then folding them like bias tape, she zig-zaged down the middle attaching the strips as she went. I would begin rolling the rags into a ball of "ragarn" from one end as she began crocheting her oval rug from the other end.

Would you mind if I quoted you in some writing projects I am working on?