t-shirt yarn

T-Shirt/Fabric Yarn: What Is It And How To Make It

Rag rugs, placemats, and wall hangings, oh my! With homemade T-shirt yarn, you can transform your shirts in so many ways.

This method of upcycling is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly. Instead of tossing your old shirts into the trash, you can give them a new life by turning them into something beautiful.

In this article, you’ll learn how to make T-shirt yarn. You’ll also find plenty of ideas for what to do with your fabric yarn once you make it.

Table Of Contents

What Is T-Shirt Yarn?

t-shirt yarn

As the name suggests, T-shirt yarn is a type of yarn made from T-shirts. It’s soft, chunky, and stretchy.

You may also hear this type of yarn called:

  • Fabric yarn
  • Jersey yarn
  • T-yarn
  • Tarn
  • Cotton ribbon

No matter what you call it, you can use T-shirt yarn for plenty of handicrafts.

Fabric Yarn Vs. T-Shirt Yarn

T-shirt yarn is a type of fabric yarn, but not all fabric yarn is made from T-shirts. You can also make fabric yarn from:

  • Jeans
  • Bedding
  • Tablecloths
  • Towels
  • Old clothes

Any type of material you can cut into strips can be turned into fabric yarn.

Note: Many people use the terms T-shirt yarn and fabric yarn interchangeably, so if you’re purchasing this type of product, check to see what material it’s made from so you have a better idea of what it’ll feel like.

Materials Needed For T-Shirt Yarn

a rack of clothes

It only takes a few supplies to create T-shirt yarn.

You’ll need at least one T-shirt you don’t mind cutting up. If you don’t have any old ones lying around, consider picking one up at a yard sale or thrift store.

You’ll also need a way to cut the fabric. A rotary cutter with a cutting mat works best, but you can use fabric scissors if you don’t have that. Just make sure they’re sharp enough to cut through your material easily.

How To Make Fabric Yarn With T-Shirts

Once you gather your supplies, it’s time to make the T-shirt yarn! Simply follow the easy steps below.

1) Prepare Your T-Shirt

Start the process with a clean, dry T-shirt so your yarn will be ready to use right away. Lay your shirt out on a table or cutting mat, and smooth out any wrinkles.

Using your rotary cutter or scissors, cut off the bottom hem of the shirt. This part of the shirt is slightly thicker, making it harder to cut into strips. By removing it, you’ll have cleaner cuts throughout this project.

Next, cut off the sleeves and neckline, leaving a rectangular “tube” of fabric. You can save the removed pieces for another project or discard them.

2) Cut Strips

cutting t-shirt yarn

If you’ve ever made a paper lantern, you have a headstart on this step. The cutting pattern is very similar.

Check to make sure your fabric tube is still flat and wrinkle-free. Then, position your scissors or rotary cutter about an inch from the left side.

Working from the bottom, cut through both layers of the fabric in a straight line toward the top. But don’t cut the strip off completely. Instead, stop an inch or two from the top.

Then, move your scissors or rotary cutter back to the bottom. Move over an inch, and cut another strip toward the top. Once again, stop about an inch from the top.

Repeat this process until you make it across your shirt. Try to keep the strips about the same width, but don’t stress if they’re a little off. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

When you’re done, you’ll have a fringe-like material with an uncut area at the top holding it all together.

3) Place The Shirt On Your Arm

Carefully pick up your cut shirt and put your non-dominant arm through it. If you’re right-handed, slide your left hand through the tube and position the uncut area on the top. If you’re left-handed, do the opposite.

When you look down at the shirt on your arm, you’ll see three different areas:

  • Strips running down to the left side of your arm (top strips)
  • Strips running down to the right side of your arm (bottom strips)
  • The uncut area between them

Try not to tangle up the strips as you position the shirt. Go slow and be gentle with the fabric.

4) Make Diagonal Cuts

Now, it’s time to use diagonal cuts to turn your connected strips into a continuous strand of fabric yarn. This step sounds tricky, but it goes fast once you get the hang of the process.

Position your scissors on the edge of the uncut area closest to your hand. Make a single diagonal cut, angling toward the bottom of the second top strip.

Next, move down to the top of the first bottom strip. Cut diagonally to the bottom of the second top strip.

Continue making a series of diagonally cuts through the uncut area. Each one should go from the top of a bottom strip to the bottom of the following top strip.

When you reach the far edge of the shirt, make one final diagonal cut to create the other end. Then, unravel the yarn. You can either use it like this or stretch it out.

5) Stretch The Yarn (Optional)

This optional step makes your T-shirt yarn rounder and more like what you buy at the store.

Stretch the entire length of yarn slowly through your hands. As you pull, the ends will curl in and the material will thin out.

6) Wind It Up

Winding your yarn into a ball makes it easier to use and store. Start at one end and carefully wrap it up into a ball.

Once it’s wound, your fabric yarn is ready to go.

Crafting With T-Shirt Yarn

Crafting With T-Shirt Yarn

Now that your yarn is done, it’s time for the fun part — turning it into something special!

Types Of Handiwork

Fabric yarn works for a variety of handicrafts. You can use it for:

  • Crocheting
  • Knitting
  • Macrame
  • Weaving

What To Make

Here are some of our favorite projects to get you started. Simply use your homemade yarn instead of the fibers recommended in these tutorials.


These cute coasters won’t take long to craft.


What will you store inside your basket?


This bag is perfect for summer.


Rag rugs are a blast from the past.

Source: The DIY Mommy

Wall Hangings

This simple project comes together quickly and will look great on your wall.

Source: ehow

Ready-Made Recycled Yarn From GANXXET

Ready-Made Recycled Yarn From GANXXET

Now you know how to make your own T-shirt yarn. But not everyone wants to spend the time cutting up old tees and winding yarn.

If you prefer to let someone else prepare the recycled fabric, GANXXET is here for you with a variety of fabric yarn to choose from.

Whether you decide to make yarn or buy it from GANXXET, we hope you have fun crafting with this versatile material!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.