Ready to make T-shirt yarn? Making T-Shirt yarn is easier than it sounds, and can be super economical, too! Let me teach you how!
In order to make t-shirt yarn you need t-shirt material. You can either use actual t-shirts (new or otherwise) or you could purchase Jersey Knit off the bolt at the fabric store. I personally like to use the Gildan brand of T-shirts found at craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Joann. Try to find t-shirts that do not have side seams, they make a prettier yarn than having seams every so often.
Here are my patterns featuring t-shirt yarn:
Are you using an actual t-shirt or jersey knit off the bolt at the fabric counter? I’ve got instructions for both!
How to Make T-Shirt Yarn
In a recent live video on the Heart Hook Home Facebook page, we discussed the value of making your own vs purchasing pre-made t-shirt yarn. So, I decided to break it down to see just how much we’re spending/getting both ways!
If you’re purchasing new t-shirts, try to get them when they go on sale for $2 or so. This happens at Michaels every once in a while, and also at Joann. T-shirts are always on sale at Hobby Lobby and should be around $2.79 for up to adult XL size. (The larger sizes are priced higher meaning that the relative value drops considerably.)
Each XL adult T-shirt should net about 30 – 33 yards of t-shirt yarn depending on how thickly or thinly it is cut. This means that you would need about five of the XL T-shirts to make 150-ish yards of t-shirt material, slightly more than you get from one skein of my favorite pre-made T-shirt yarn: Fox Yarn Co.
If you price compare, you’ll see that you’re really not saving all that much by making your own. The advantages of making your own are that you have more control over the colors, you can ensure that the size of the yarn remains as consistent as possible, and you don’t have to wait for shipping.
Now that we’ve discussed the pros and cons and the value, let’s make some t-shirt yarn, mmmkay?!
With an actual T-shirt…
1. Lay out your t-shirt and remove the bottom hem.
2. Working from the bottom edge up, cut the t-shirt into 1″ strips, leaving about 1″ uncut on one side like so.
3. When you run out of fabric, and starting at the bottom of the t-shirt, cut the uncut 1″ diagonally as pictured, all the way to the top of the torso.
4. Stretch the fabric so that the sides roll in.
5. Roll into a ball.
Off the bolt fabric…
1. Using your serger or sewing machine set to a sturdy stitch, sew up the raw edge of the material.
2. Lay out the fabric with the seamed edge away from you. The rest of the process is the same as using a t-shirt as above.
That’s it! I must admit that I was always afraid of making my own t-shirt yarn, but it is just TOO easy not to! Will you be making your own, or purchasing it pre-made? I think I’ll continue to do both!