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How to Make T-Shirt Yarn – Transform an Old T-Shirt Into Yarn

How to Make T-Shirt Yarn – Transform an Old T-Shirt Into Yarn


I know we’ve all got some old t-shirts laying around. A great, crafty DIY re-purpose of these worn out, dingy, torn t-shirts is to create some t-shirt yarn! T-shirt yarn is great for crochet, knitting, weaving, braiding and a whole host of other crafts so even if you’re not sure what to do with it yet, its much better to have on hand than some old t-shirt!

So wanna know how to make t-shirt yarn, yourself? Well, I’ve got a video tutorial for you to follow about my t-shirt yarn making process step by step:

What you’ll need is an old t-shirt, of course, and a pair of good scissors.

For the best results, use a t-shirt that has no decals or writing printed on it and one that does not have a seam running up the sides of the body.

Cut Off The Sleeves

Begin by laying your shirt out on a flat surface and cutting a straight line from underarm to underarm.

You can discard the sleeves and neck portion or check out my video tutorial on how to salvage those pieces too! (It’s a little more work). ***2020 coronavirus update*** you can use the sleeves as a makeshift face mask! More on that at the end of this post!

Fold The Body *Almost* In Half

Then, you’re going to fold your piece not in half but a third of the way up so there is about a one inch gap between the edges.

Cut The Shirt Into Little 1/2in Strips

Next, you’ll cut 1/2 inch to 1 inch strips. Cutting from the bottom edge, through the first fold line, but not all the way through the top of your piece.

Cut One Continuous Strip

Then you’re gonna unfurl this whole piece, revealing the “back bone” still connecting all the strips. We’re going to cut the backbone in a very particular way as to make sure our t-shirt yarn is one continuous strip.

To do this, start by laying your t-shirt backbone out on your arm.

Then cut first, diagonally, up from the bottom edge to the first slit on the left. Working from the bottom right, cut diagonally up from the bottom right slit to the next slit on the left.

Continue like this until you’ve cut through the t-shirt backbone and you have one long strand of shirt strips.

How to make t-shirt yarn

Gently Pull On The Strand To Form The Yarn

Finally, to finesse it into yarn, you’ll GENTLY pull on the yarn, coaxing the edges to curl up. You can wind your yarn up into a ball as you stretch bit by bit.

Wanna know what to do with the sleeves?? Well, I’ve got a 2020 coronavirus update for ya.. you can turn the sleeves into a makeshift face mask!

Check out the video tutorial for THAT here. Basically you’ll cut the sleeves off at the seam. Then you can cut off the bottom hem and collar hem (which you can’t use for yarn anyway) and slip each one through the sleeve to use as straps.

You could also theoretically slip a filter inside the sleeve for added protection. But keep in mind, a homemade mask isn’t effective at protecting YOU from the virus, it can help protect others from you if you’re infected.

So yeah! That’s how you make t-shirt yarn and you can use the left over sleeves for a homemade COVID-19 mask! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!