Quick & Easy DIY T-Shirt Yarn for Crochet & Knitting Using the Whole Shirt

May 22, 2018
     What is t-shirt yarn? T-shirt yarn, also known as tarn or t-yarn, it's a chunky yarn made mostly out of cotton. It creates bulky knits, fast and sturdy, reason why it's suitable for making poufs, rugs, bowls, lampshades, pet beds and other home furnishings.

Today I will show you an easy and quick way of turning any t-shirt or polo shirt into yarn you can knit or crochet with, no matter if it has seams or not. 

In fact, you can use this method to turn any item of clothing into yarn, it's quite simple.

I will also show you a way of joining strips of t-shirt yarn without sewing so you can turn it into continuous yarn.

While most tutorials only use the the torso part, my method uses the entire shirt, including the shoulders and sleeves, with no waste.

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Before we start, please note that this post contains affiliate links, I will earn a small percentage should you choose to purchase something, but it will be at no cost to you. 

You can read the disclosure policy here.

I had about 7 red polo shirts that I'm not using anymore so I used them to make this tutorial, but if you have a t-shirt that you want to turn into yarn, you can do so following the same steps.

Each strip is more or less 1inch (2.5cm) wide, but being accurate isn't necessary, the t-shirt yarn is quite forgiving. 

Things you will need:

- T-shirts or polo shirts

- a really good pair of scissors or rotary cutter

- you will also need a cutting mat if you are using the rotary cutter

Cutting the strips

Start by laying down the polo shirt and cut it in 3 main sections: torso, shoulder area and sleeves. 

     Start with the torso section and use the seam reaper to undo the bottom seam on the shirt. 

Cut it in strips 1 inch wide, but don't cut all the way to the other side, leave about 2 inches to the seam.

Unfold it and cut the strips diagonally, as shown in the picture below.

And your done with this section. Roll the yarn into a ball and put it aside.

Continue with the sleeves. When you cut them off the shoulder section, make sure you cut the fabric along the seam, do not include the seam. 

Use the seam ripper to undo the seam at the other end.

Cut it in strips just like you did with the torso section.

Unfold it and cut it diagonally as in the picture.

Don't roll these strips into balls, just put it aside, I will show you at the end how to join them to the other yarn and make a continuous strip.

Last section is the shoulder area. Lay it on the floor (or cutting mat if you are using a rotary cutter) and cut the collar off. 

Use the same technique of cutting the fabric along the seam like you did with the sleeves.

Cut out the seams from the sleeves then unfold it flat on the floor.

As you can see in the pictures, my polo shirt had a white section that I did not want so I cut that section out too.

Follow the white lines pattern in the picture to cut the strips. 

It's quite easy and you can apply this to any shape of fabric.

Cut all the way through at one end, while leaving 2 inches on the other end.

On the next cut, do the opposite, and leave 2 inches on the end where you previously cut all the way through, and on the end where you left 2 inches, cut all the way. 

Continue until you cut all the fabric.#

Joining the strips

This is an easy way to join your strips of cotton without having to sew them together. 

There are many ways of joining, but this one is one of my favourite because it's easy and doesn't require any materials.

Start by cutting a slit in each.

Slide the shorter strip through the hole of the longer strip.

Then pull the end of the shorter strip through its own slit.

Tighten it to form a continuous strip of yarn. Easy, right?

Use the above method to connect the sleeve and shoulder strips to the torso strips. 

Now use your brand new yarn to make something creative.

This is the yarn I made out of 2 polo shirts and this is now it looks when crocheted with. 

Now all I have to do is decide on a project.

Happy crafting!

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