Making Yarn From Old T-Shirts

Brooke Bock
by Brooke Bock
10 Minutes
I think everyone has a few old t-shirts that are headed for the rag bin. By simply cutting them up and stretching the strips, you can produce your own jersey yarn which has countless uses.
This yarn is thick and stretchy. I love how heavy it is. Once you make some, you will become addicted to it so proceed with caution.
Gather your t-shirts. T-shirts that have no graphics work best.
The key for a nice long continuous yarn with no seams is to look at the sides of the t-shirt under the armpits. You want to use a shirt that has no seam on the sides.
I cut the shirt under the armpits straight across.
Cut off the bottom seam.
I folded mine in half almost. The second fold is about an inch down from the first fold.
Make cuts every inch or so. Go through the bottom fold but do not go completely to the top.
Gather the uncut area and straighten it out as best you can. For the first cut, start near the middle of the uncut area and make a diagonal cut up to the first cut strip.
Continue to cut across each uncut area. It is a cut from the bottom of the strip on the bottom diagonally to the strip on the top. If you go straight across, it will be the end of the strip.
Continue cutting across the uncut area to make one continuous strip.
After your shirt is cut to make one continuous strip comes the best part. Start at one end and gently stretch and pull the strip. It will curl and turn into a rope instead of a strip. Continue until you have stretched the entire thing. I loved this part. You can then wrap your yarn on a piece of cardboard, into a ball, or onto a spool to store it until you are ready to use it.
There you have it...A fast, easy way to make free t-shirt yarn. What will you make with yours? I have plans for a rug, scarves, potholders, bags, gift wrapping, and more.
Brooke Bock
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 10 questions
  • Kris Kris on Aug 11, 2016
    When making the T-Shirt yarn, what did you do with the fabric from the sleeves and around the collar? It seems like an awful waste if that didn't get included.

  • Lois Ashcraft Lois Ashcraft on Apr 17, 2017
    Hi, what do think about using an unthreaded serger?
    I cut my bias tape that way.....of course if you have a serger.

  • Vicf Vicf on Feb 16, 2019

    Is there a video?

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