Thick T-shirt Yarn: Photo Tutorial
T-shirt yarn is fun to work with and makes a project work up super fast, but my Super Thick T-shirt yarn takes it to the next level. Below I will show you how to create this thick t-shirt yarn and provide you with some ideas to put it to use. It is a great way to use up old T-shirts.
This is the yarn used in my Recycle T-shirt Crochet Basket. The thickness of this t-shirt yarn helps make yarn baskets sturdier and rugs cushier. Not to mention you finish your projects faster! I will be coming out with a whole bunch of patterns using this yarn.
Before we get started, I have just a few tips for you.
- When selecting your T-shirts, look for ones that do not have any side seams.
- If you have white shirts and want to dye them, I recommend dying them before you cut them into yarn.
I was lucky to receive a big batch of misprinted white T-shirts. Being the crafter I am, I saved them all. I cut a number of them into yarn and dyed them. It is not fun detangling yards and yards of t-shirt yarn after washing out the dye.
Let’s get started with our tutorial.
T-shirt Yarn Materials:
Old T-shirts with no side seams
Sharp Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Self healing mat (if using Rotary cutter)
Pencil or pen
Fabric Glue (optional)
The shirts I used had the tags cut off a while ago and I do not know what size I started with. I am pretty sure I was working with a XL or XXL shirt and ended up with 20 feet of t-shirt yarn for a single shirt.
T-shirt Yarn Tutorial:
Step 1: Cut shirt across the chest remove the collar and sleeves. Also remove the seam at the bottom of the shirt. Fold the shirt over leaving about 2″ between the side folds.
Step 2: Using a ruler and measure the height of the shirt piece. I like to cut my strips roughly 4 inches wide, but I do not like wasting any material. So measure your shirt and divide that measurement by 4. This will give you how many inches wide you will make your cuts. For the shirt shown I used 3.75 inches just to keep from wasting any material. You want your measurement to be close to 4 inches to get a nice thick yarn. If your shirt height is only 12 inches tall you will want to make 3 strips instead of 4. Once you find your width, use your ruler to mark where you will cut.
Step 3: Cut along the line you created. A rotary cutter makes this really easy, but mine needs a new blade. A sharp pair of scissors get the job done too. Cut where there is 4 layers of material. Do not cut the last 2 inches.
Step 4: Unfold the T -shirt. Lay the shirt out so 2 inch uncut section is flat and does not have anything underneath it. You are going to draw a line from the bottom edge up diagonally to the first. Working parallel to the line you just made, daw a line from the first cut to the second cut and so on. The picture below will show this better.
Step 5: Cut along the diagonal lines you created. You will be left with a very long strip of t-shirt fabric.
Step 6: Your yarn is almost done, but if you look at your strip you will see small points from where you cute the diagonal. Just use your scissors to make this more of a curve, then a point and it will stay hidden while you crochet with this yarn.
Step 7: This is the fun step. Just take your strip of fabric hold one end in one hand and another piece about 18 inches done the strip in the other. Pull your hands apart. I would hold the fabric about shoulder width apart and stretch it to elbows width. Grab the next 18 inch section and do the same thing. Continue this until you reach the end of the piece.
I like to cut a few shirts up, then stretch it while watching a little TV. I ended up with a 20 foot piece of t-shirt yarn once is was stretched out. If you want to connect two shirts together, I would use just a little fabric go on the ends.
Other was to connect the pieces are sewing them together or knotting them together, but I think glue is the quickest and easiest method.
Now you have a big pile of thick T-shirt yarn ready to be used. You can use this yarn to make my Recycle T-shirt Crochet Basket or any other project that requires super bulky yarn. I will be working with this yarn to make up a few patterns to share. Let me know how you like this t-shirt yarn and the tutorial in the comments below.
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