T-Shirt Yarn

This is what I have been up to lately. Rather than toss out old t-shirts or convert them to rags, I decided to give t-shirt yarn a try.

The white, blue and gray ones are my husband’s old t-shirts.


This colorful yarn came from a tie-dye t-shirt my son made in summer camp and never wore. He thought it was pretty cool that I made yarn from it.


The plan is to crochet a round cotton throw rug. I don’t have quite enough yarn but I’m getting there.


There are many how-to videos on the web for making yarn out of t-shirts. I liked these step-by-step instructions the best from Let Birds Fly. This video tutorial from Knit Picks shows you how to join the ends of t-shirt yarn.

44 thoughts on “T-Shirt Yarn

  1. Good for you. I make everyone I know pass on their old tea shirts to me – they’re excellent for making rag rugs and what I don’t need I use for rags.

    Cotton is a high maintenance fibre and shouldn’t be wasted.

    1. I had seen it all over the web and took the opportunity when my husband added a couple to the “what am I going to do with this” pile. It went quickly after following the instructions once or twice.

    1. Well I copied it from others. It is interesting to see the yarn form as you pull on the strip of t-shirt. It will make a great throw rug, like for the bathroom. And I can just toss it in the washer-dryer!

      1. You could dye them to whatever colors you want! All it takes is a cheap tie-dye kit or a package of fiber-reactive dyes. I’ve tie-dyed t-shirt yarn in blue indigo and it makes a really fun knitted fabric.

  2. Cutting up the t-shirts that way is exactly what I did with plastic bags to recycle them into “plarn” and knitted them into a big loose bag to hold, you guessed it, more plastic bags for recycling.

  3. Oh this is such a great idea – a rug! A rug you can throw in the washing machine, too. Would be good in a bathroom or a kids’ room. Very cool! Post more pics as it progresses – it’s gonna be cool.

    1. It was so easy. It was the first time I tried it. Once you cut the long continuous strips of the t-shirt, you just lightly yank the strips and it magically curls into itself making yarn!

  4. Had no idea this was how you did it! I use most of mine for painting rags, but now I will sort them more carefully. I buy this sort of yarn to tie up the tomatoes or lots of little household things, but I have seen beautiful balls of it for sale in specialty craft markets. Thanks for the info! Philippa

  5. I did this in the spring, it was good fun. It will be many many years before I can do another, but if you get overly anxious, goodwill is always an option.

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