28 August, 2011

T-Shirt Yarn: A Tutorial

T-Shirt yarn! 

Some of you are probably saying to yourselves, "what??" But let me tell you - T-Shirt yarn is useful crafting material. You can use it to knit, crochet, and all sorts of fun stuff! 
This tutorial will teach you how to make one long piece of t-shirt yarn.

We start with a t-shirt. Preferably, one that is not printed on, or has the printing high up on the shirt. This one has a little bit of printing, which was done with airbrush, so I didn't worry too much about it. Fold your shirt in half lengthwise, leaving two inches or so from edge to edge, like the photo above. Do try to disregard all the Bilbo fur in these photos. Black fabric is a magnet for cat hair.

With your fabric scissors (or, if you're brave - a rotary cutter), cut the body of the shirt out by cutting a straight line under the arms, and cutting off the hem of the shirt. Then cut the shirt in strips. You decide how wide you want them, but try to make sure they're all about the same. Cut all the way up to the first edge of the shirt (and slightly over), but not all the way to the end, as shown above.

Once you've cut out all your strips, open up the shirt widthwise (above left) then open it again, along the top, uncut edge (above middle). Lay your open, uncut edge as flat as possible so you can see the edges of your strips. Cut the shirt diagonally from strip to strip, as the dotted lines show. Do this for all your strips until the end. My strips are about an inch and a half wide.

Once you're finished cutting, you'll have one long piece of t-shirt! The next step is to turn it into yarn. Take your strip of t-shirt in sections (above left), and pull it tight (above middle). The edges of the fabric stretch and roll inward, making what's known as t-shirt yarn. I like to pull it as I wind it into a ball, just to save a step. That's it! Easy!

Now, instead of giving your old t-shirts to the second-hand shop, save them up for your next crafting project! In fact, not only t-shirts can be made into "yarn". Previously, I've used old duvet covers and pillow cases to make yarn for my crocheted rag rugs which you can see here and here.

Happy crafting!


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