My t-shirts were worn out, so I removed them from my wardrobe. I usually bring them to the textile recycling stall at my local farmers market, but I decided to make t-shirt yarn. I could then use the t-shirt yarn in future knitting and braiding projects.

balls of t-shirt yarn
balls of t-shirt yarn

There are plenty of websites listing instructions for making t-shirt yarn. Some people only use seamless t-shirts. However, you can also make the yarn from t-shirts with seams. The seams will create bumps in the yarn which may stick out in a knitting project, so you’ll have to decide if this is important to you.

Here are the instructions.

T-Shirt Yarn


old t-shirts



Remove the sleeves and band

Take an old t-shirt and flip it to the wrong side. Place the t-shirt on a flat surface and flatten all creases and folds.

t-shirt flattened - Edited

Cut the bottom band of the t-shirt.

cutbottomband - Edited

Cut across the chest of the t-shirt just under the armpit or the bottom of a v-neck collar.

cuttoptshirt - Edited

Flatten t-shirt, then fold the t-shirt from bottom to approximately 1″ from the top edge.

foldends - Edited

Make the yarn

Cut 1” strips across folded t-shirt.

Open the t-shirt and slide your arm through the loops. If your t-shirt has seams, the seam should be in the middle.

openstrips - Edited

Go to the middle (where the seam is) and cut diagonally to the top left edge of the far right loop.

firststripcut - Edited

Next, go to the bottom right edge of the next loop. Cut diagonally to the top left edge of the following loop.

cutcontinuously - Edited

Continue cutting diagonally from right to left until you see one loop left.

lastloop - Edited

Cut diagonally from the bottom right edge to the top left edge of the loop. You should now have one long, continuous strand of t-shirt yarn.

Roll into a ball

Gently stretch each section of yarn from one end of the strand to the other. The strand should spring into a curl if you used a seamless t-shirt.

If you used a t-shirt with seams, the strand will not curl. In this case, just stretch the strand as best as you can.

Now, stretch the strand again in reverse.

Roll up the strand into a ball.

You now have a ball of t-shirt yarn. Feel free to knit, crochet, macrame or braid your yarn.

Wondering what to do with the scrap pieces from this project? Here are a couple of ideas:

A braided bracelet

Stuffing for a sleep mask or a cat toy

How would you use your new t-shirt yarn? Please let me know in the comments section below. I may use some of your suggestions for one of my future projects.

Check out my other DIY projects.

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Until next week, keep crafting and sharing.

Thanks for visiting!

Spinster Simone 🙂

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