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How to Make T-shirt Yarn From Worn Out Clothing

Making yarn out of old t-shirts or clothes is a great way to repurpose and give a new life to what would otherwise end up in landfill.

I collect way too much old, worn out clothing in case I can use it for a sewing project one day.

This yarn ball takes about 10 minutes to complete from start to finish, and the best part is you don't need any special skills.

DIY T-Shirt Yarn

The yarn I made (above) is actually from a kids T-shirt dress we bought years ago from an op shop.

It's really worn out and has several stains that just wont come out, despite repeated stain treatment. (pretty sure it's chocolate ice-cream)

old clothing perfect for t-shirt yarn

How To make T-shirt Yarn

Step 1 >

Take any old t-shirt, fabric or clothing (cotton based fabrics work best)

Step 2 >

Place fabric right way up and start at the bottom by making a cut about 2cms directly in vertically.

Step 3 >

Now, cut horizontally across the width of the T-shirt. The idea is to

make a long continuous strip of the entire shirt as you go.

cut fabric into a long continous strip

As kids, we often had competitions to see who could tear a minty wrapper, or an orange peel, into the longest continuous piece. This is the same principle!

You want to keep cutting horizontally to gradually work your way through the fabric so it looks as though it is being unravelled.

Depending on the shape of what you are using, you may be able to use the entire garment like I did by snipping the sleeves at one seam to create a flatter area to work with.

Success! I ended up with only the tag of the garment remaining!

Step 4 >

Now Start to Roll it into a ball

Initially, just fold a little section and begin to wind in a crisscross fashion around it. Keep the ball in one hand and wind the fabric with the other so as not to get tangled.

As we have cheeky kids and animals in the house I also used a rubber band halfway through so that if it unravels, only half will need to be redone.

Now you have a ball of t-shirt yarn .....

and saved an item of clothing from heading to landfill!

Making a t-shirt yarn ball

This is a huge ball of yarn considering it was a child's dress, so a large adults T-shirt will obviously make a much larger ball.

I chose to cut mine about 2cm wide, however just cut whatever width serves your purpose.

This yarn can be used for knitting, weaving, braiding, tying cut flowers or gifts, and probably loads of other stuff.

Initially, I planned on using this in the garden to secure tomatoes to a stake, and for anything requiring string..... But I really love the colour and can think of quite a few uses for my finished ball of yarn!

Here's a coaster I made for a mason jar by braiding and coiling the yarn.

Braided coaster made from t-shirt yarn

Making t-shirt yarn is a fabulous way to repurpose old fabric that is no longer useful for clothing.

A tatty, stained ugly garment can turn into a gorgeous ball of yarn and used for so many things.

and don't forget, it's easy to make a No-Sew T-shirt Bag too.



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