T-shirt Yarn

I recently came across a post on Pinterest (I spend more time browsing than I like to admit) where someone made their own t-shirt yarn and started to look into uses for it. I found beautiful carpets and shopping bags. It reminded me of the rag carpets my grandma used to hàve  in her home. 

I've been donating or throwing old t-shirts for years so I was delighted when I found and alternate solution.

So heres how to make your own tshirt yarn from recycled t-shirts.


  • Old t-shirts 
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Stiff board or cutting board
  • Crayon or fabric pencil (optional)

T-shirt cutting board scissors

Cut the bottom of the t-shirt just above the seam and the top just below the sleeves. You will end up with just the middle of the t-shirt as shown in the image below. 

  Cut bottom of shirt  Cut top of shirt

  Full t-shirt   T-shirt after cutting

Fold the so approximately 5 cm or 1 - 2 inches. You don't need to be exact. 

Fold the t-shirt

Cut the t-shirt in increments of approximately 1 inch apart but not all the way through. So just past the upper edge. 

  Measure the spacing  Cut the fold   

  Continue cutting the t-shirt   Final results after cutting

Slide the cut t-shirt over your cardboard or cutting board.  This is where you will start to cut the t-shirt so it's one long string.  I drew on mine so I could see where I needed to make the cuts but you don't have to.  It's basically cutting at an angle as shown below.

t-shirt on board  cutting the shirt into yarn

Once you've finished cutting you should be left with a continuous piece of fabric.

At this point you are going to want to start pulling the yarn.  The t-shirt should curl.  Take the yarn between your fingers and pull the yarn in opposite directions.  Continue until you've completed the whole strand.  You should end up with yarn as shown in the last photo.

 result of cutting the shirt into yarn  start pulling the yarn

pulling the yarn  Result of pulling the yarn

At this point I like to wind mine into a ball to use later.  My kids ended up playing catch with them.

Finished yarn

 t-shirt yarn bowl

You can now use the yarn for knitting, crocheting or weaving.  I plan to make a crocheted carpet out of mine.  I will post photos in a future blog post.

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