How to make T-shirt yarn Tutorial (T-Yarn)

Update: 04/06/2020  T-Shirt yarn is a suitable substitute for elastic when making cloth face masks.

Do you have old t-shirts! Don't throw them away! Repurpose them into t-shirt yarn! Our video tutorials show how to transform old t-shirts into yarn that can be used to crochet, knit, weave, or braid.  T-shirt yarn can be used as an elastic substitute when making face masks.

After making the yarn, do you need project ideas on what to make with the t-shirt yarn? The yarn can be used for many home decor and other projects, including rugs, placemats, coasters, necklaces, baskets and more. T-shirt yarn is suitable also for macrame.  Our T-shirt Yarn Crafts page has a list of many free craft projects.Learn how to make T-Shirt yarn for crochet - Ad 2

Watch this video and read on for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to make t-shirt yarn which is also known as T-yarn.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch How to make T-shirt yarn Tutorial (T-Yarn) in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

What is T-Yarn?

Basically it is a yarn that is made out of an old t-shirt.  However, many stores sell t-yarn which is simply yarn made out of jersey fabric.

t-shirt yarn ball

DIY t-shirt yarn tutorial

HELPFUL TIPS when making t-shirt yarn

  • The tee shirt should not have any side seams.
  • If the tee shirt has printing, only use the unprinted portion.
  • To cut the t-shirt yarn, use sharp fabric scissors.
  • If you want to make t-yarn but have no old t-shirt, t-shirts can be purchased from craft stores and dollar stores.

STEP 1: Cut Off Top and Bottom

Cutting the t-shirt for t-shirt yarn- Preparing T-shirt Start by placing the tee-shirt out flat on a work surface. Cut off the sleeves by cutting a horizontal line directly under the armhole.  If the t-shirt has a printed logo, cut horizontally below the printing. Then, cut off the hem at the bottom of the shirt. Place the sleeves and hem aside to use for another purpose.

After removing the sleeves and hem you are left with the middle section which is a rectangular tube. Fold the t-shirt from fold side up toward fold side, leaving the top fold sticking out about 1".

STEP 2: Cutting Strips

Cutting the t-shirt strips for t-shirt yarn - Cutting Strips Start cutting strips but do not cut through the top fold. You can mark the strip width with a chalk pencil or eye-ball it. The width of the strips will determine the thickness of the yarn. The strip widths are normally one to two inches. The minimum width should be about ½”.
After all the strips are cut, it should look like the following picture.
T-shirt yarn - Strips Cut

STEP 3: Making One Continuous Strip of Yarn

Cutting the t-shirt continuous strip for t-shirt yarn
To make one continuous t-shirt yarn strip, referring to the above photo, unfold the t-shirt.  With a scissors cut diagonally from the top of the first slit to the left side of the fabric. Then cut from the top of the second slit to the bottom of the first slit. Continue cutting diagonally across the entire t-shirt.  

Now you will have a single long strip of continuous t-shirt yarn.

STEP 4: Stretch It

Next is to turn the strip into a tubular yarn.  Beginning at one end of the strip and stretch it between your hands. The fabric will magically curl on itself.  Keep stretching the entire length of yarn.

STEP 5: Wrap Yarn Into a Ball

After the t-shirt yarn is stretched, roll the t-yarn into a ball.T-Shirt Yarn Ball

The t-shirt yarn is ready to use. This yarn can be used as you would any other yarn in crochet and knitting projects.  Have fun making a project with your t-shirt yarn!

Interested in more things to do with t-shirts?  Check out our T-shirt recycling page.


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

How to Join T-Shirt Yarn 

You may have to join two pieces of t-shirt yarn together. The following videos will show two methods for joining the yarn together.

METHOD #1No-Sew Method - This video shows how to join two pieces of t-yarn together without sewing.

METHOD #2 Stitched Method - Watch this video showing how to join two pieces of t-yarn together with a few small hand stitches.

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

  Jersey Yarn Creations

Jersey Yarn Creations #ad

This book has 20 projects to crochet or knit using jersey yarn, also known as T-shirt, fabric and textile yarn, is a chunky, stretchy yarn made from strips of jersey fabric. by Alexandre Callier-Taylor - Paperback - Published 2015 Affiliate Link to Amazon

  Making Jewelry with T-Shirt Yarn

Making Jewelry with T-Shirt Yarn #ad

How to Create Fabulous Fabric Accessories by Lorine Mason - Paperback - Published 2013 Affiliate Link to Amazon

  T-Shirt Yarn

T-Shirt Yarn #ad

This book gives 24 great projects to crochet and knit using t-shirt yarn. by Sandra Dr Lebrun - Paperback - Published 2014 Affiliate Link to Amazon

T-Shirt Yarn Home Decor

T-Shirt Yarn Home Decor #ad

Fill your home with comforting accessories that are as soft as your favorite t-shirt! It’s easy and quick with the 11 crochet projects in T-Shirt Yarn Home Décor from Leisure Arts. Affiliate Link to Leisure Arts

Learn how to make T-Shirt yarn for crochet - Pin

T-Shirt Yarn is a elastic substitute for mask making.

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