How To Make T-Shirt Yarn from Jersey Sheets

Save some money by making your own t-shirt yarn!

Browsing Pinterest, I saw an awesome pattern for a rug made of T-Shirt Yarn. Now, I had to make the rug (of course!), but didn’t want to buy the yarn. So, off to the thrift store for some T-Shirts, right!? That’s what I thought anyhow, but once at the thrift store, my friend checked out the used bed sheets section and found twin size jersey sheets. Brilliant!

I bought five sheets which went very nicely together and spent less than $10! These five sheets made more than enough yarn for the rug that I made – check it out here.

Now, I had 5 sheets to turn into yarn. Making the yarn turned out to be a fairly long project, but also a pretty simple one. Here is the how to:

STEP ONE

First, you need to buy some jersey sheets. I would recommend checking in thrift stores. I was fortunate to find three bright colors that went together well. I used five sheets in total to make a croched rug – it was about 3 feet in diameter.



STEP TWO

Cut off any seams or elastic. For a fitted sheet, cut the elastic from the bottom edge, it is not critical that this be done perfectly. I happen to think that this elastic would make very cute headbands, but that is for another post! Update: I made a headband! Check it out. Once you have removed the elastic, cut the corner seams off, and you will have what looks like a rectangle with squares cut into the corners. The key here is that it should now lay flat. 

STEP THREE

Now, you are ready to cut the sheet into one long continuous strip. First look at the grain of the sheet. You want to be sure to cut ACROSS THE GRAIN so that the yarn will curl on itself correctly. Starting at the top, cut across the sheet – you want strips that are at least 1.5 inches wide. You can cut thicker strips if you want a thicker yarn, just be consistent.

 

Continue to cut across the sheet, but DON’T cut all the the way to the end. Stop cutting about 2 inches from the end and turn the sheet around. Start a new cut about an inch and a half down from the last cut and again cut almost all the way to the other side.  I tried to make a diagram of what it looks like. It ends up zig zagging through the sheet, and can be a bit tricky where the sheet goes from smaller to bigger width (where you removed the corner seams from if it was a fitted sheet). I marked in purple a bit you may want to cut off, but if you don’t make the widths of your strips quite even, you should be able to use the whole sheet.

You will get corners on the ends, you can round these out if you like, just be careful not to let the cut get too close to the edge ( I goofed a couple of times and had to rejoin the yarn). Continue cutting in this way. Around the top, it won’t be quite perfect due to the seams you cut out, but it won’t matter too much in the finished yarn. 



STEP FOUR

 

 

After you have a number of strips cut, you can start to ball your yarn. Take the start of your continuous strip and gently pull it. It should curl in on itself and stretch out a bit. I found this part REALLY FUN (don’t know why…)! After pulling it, you can start to wind the ball. 


Keep cutting, pulling and winding until your sheet is gone! Then, you have a fabulous ball of T-shirt yarn. Each sheet I had made a ball approximately 9-10 inches in diameter. That is a lot of yarn!

Have fun making awesome crafts from your T-shirt yarn!

EDIT: Several people have asked me what size hook I used. I used a hook very similar to this Aluminum 10 mm Crochet Hook
and it worked well for me.

 

 

12 thoughts on “How To Make T-Shirt Yarn from Jersey Sheets

  1. thank you! i had an enormous amount of jersey left over from a failed home-made Moby attempt. i just made 3 balls of yarn from it. once my order of large hooks arrive i am good to go! ( i ordered them 2 days ago before I even knew i'd need them. i'd been wanting to get some of those balls of DMC xxl ribbon yarn but its so pricey, considering how much i need to make large projects. SO thanks again for solving my urgent crochet problem 🙂

    1. I cut my strips at about 1.5 inches wide, but I did have some variance (I'm not perfect!). I used a US N / 10.00 mm hook to make a rug. The pattern actually called for a 15.00 mm hook, but that was the biggest I could find at the time and it still came out fine. Good luck on your project!

  2. thank you for the great tutorial! One question: would you mind please specifying what you mean when you say "cut across the grain"? thanks!

    1. Jersey fabric is a machine knit fabric, so if you look really closely you should see what most people describe as "rows of 'v's". These line up in columns on the fabric which you should be able to see as lines. This is the grain of the fabric. You want to cut the opposite direction. If you cut it correctly, the strips should curl on themselves when stretched. I found this link that may help give you a few visuals of the grain:

      http://seamsterpatterns.com/tips-getting-sweatshirt-fleece-grain/

      Let me know if that helps!

  3. sometimes the shirts have a right & wrong side, and the strips curl with the wrong side out. Is there a secret to get the strips to curl a certain way?

    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by and sorry for the very delayed response – we have a new baby in the house and I haven't had a chance until now.

      In regards to your question, there is unfortunately no way to choose which way the strips curl. They will naturally curl with what is usually the wrong side out. If you have ever knit a hat without a ribbed edge, you can see the same effect when the bottom curls out – the "purl side" will always be on the outside.

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