T-Shirt Yarn!

T-shirts seem to have a way of reproducing in the backs of closets everywhere.  Whether from 5k races, blood donations, intramural sports, or that old high school club, it’s amazing how extra t-shirts creep into our lives and closets and manage to settle there indefinitely.  It’s easy to be overrun by this wardrobe staple since they can always be used as pajamas or utility shirts- but how many pajamas or painting shirts are really needed?

Thanks to the internet, there are endless suggestions for repurposing t-shirts nowadays but t-shirt rags aren’t all they cracked up to be and not all t-shirts are worthy of being included in a t-shirt quilt.  But, if you’re the crafty type, you might have use for t-shirt yarn!

T-shirt Yarn


  • seamless t-shirts
  • scissors or rotary fabric cutter
  • ruler or straight-edge

The Process:

First, find an old t-shirt that doesn’t have side seams and lay it flat, working out any folds.  If you are limited on space, you can fold the t-shirt in half as shown below.  Then, cut the largest square possible on your t-shirt while avoiding logos or prints.  Cut off the bottom hem as well:

T-shirt Yarn Step 1

Adjust the folded t-shirt so one folded side is offset by approximately 2 inches (in the photo below, the cut sides are on the right and left, and the folded sides are at the top and bottom- the offset is shown at the top).    Using your scissors or rotary cutter, cut the t-shirt into strips ranging from 3/8″ – 1″ depending on the desired yarn thickness, but don’t cut all the way from fold to fold- only cut from the fold up to the first fold of the offset:

T-shirt Yarn Step 2

Once all the strips are cut, unfold the t-shirt to reveal the uncut offset.  Cut on an angle between strips to achieve one long continuous spiral t-shirt strip:

T-shirt Yarn Step 3

Pull the t-shirt gently in the long direction and the material will curl up on itself:

T-shirt Yarn Step 4

Work your way through the whole t-shirt strip and Voila!  You now have t-shirt yarn. 

T-shirt Yarn