Monday, June 9, 2008

Recycling Old T-Shirts for "Yarn"

I liked the idea of recycling old T-shirts but I didn't like the way it was done. Too many loose ends. So with a little experimentation I came up with this. You need old T-shirts that don't have a side seam. I went to my local thrift shop. They sell bags of old ratty T-shirts for a whole dollar for rags etc.. About half of the bag I bought were seamless. I put the rest away for future projects. The first step is to cut off the bottom hem and right under the arms so you have a tube of fabric.
Going from one side with your rotary cutter, cut about 1 inch strips leaving the last inch or so uncut.
The result will look somewhat like a hula skirt! (Without the cat of course, her name is Smokey if anyone cares)
I found that slipping the T-shirt over something like an ironing board and straightening and smoothing the uncut section makes it easier to see what your doing. Starting at the bottom cut one end off the first section at the uncut part. Then angle upward from the end of one cut section to the beginning of the next section, keep doing this all the way to the top. This gives you one continuous strip. Starting at one end hold sections of the strip and pull on them. This makes most T-shirt fabric curl. Some heavier material may not but that's OK too. Now wind it into a ball! There you have your brand new recycled T-shirt "yarn".
For scrubbie pattern click here


Tina said...

I have a whole pile of t-shirts just sitting there waiting to be made into something. I wanted to make rugs with them. Thanks so much for the 'tutorial'. So do you cut the last inch or so up to the next line, I'm confused. Well maybe when I get it all out to do it one day I will figure it out. :P

Anonymous said...

I have to say TY for the great idea, nothing going to waste at my house anymore. I do have the same question as to how to cut the Tshirt in the one inch area so it is one long strip.

Thank you again for the great idea, you can use this yarn for many things.


Deb said...

Yes, you cut up to the next line, I've changed the wording a bit, hope it's more understandable.


Kathie said...

Hi Deb,
Love your blog! I have been making TY for years. We use it to make crocheted and braided rugs with here. I teach women crafts here in Costa Rica as a part of our ministry.

Tammy C said...

Oh what a great idea. DH is in the Army - I can use those old brown T-shirts that are now piled up because they've changed the PT uniform! THANK YOU!!!

Tami said...

Genius! I love this idea.

I've crocheted with "plarn" (plastic grocery bag yarn) a lot, and the cutting technique is pretty much the same.

Doing it with tee-shirts is a really awesome idea. I have a bunch!