Old Socks – again, and Fabric Yarn, especially from T-Shirts

Sep 26, 2014 | 4 comments


I have been reading the posts that Jen Gale has been making this week with extra interest. I always enjoy Jen’s writing and this week she has been writing about wasting less and living more and it has been even more interesting.

As a result, I have been musing this week on the different topics raised each day. Consequently, I had another Google around on repurposing things and went back to old socks.

old socks

I found this post about recycling socks on a blog all about said items. How can you have a blog just on socks, what on earth can be found to talk about!


What about other items of underwear I thought? Can you do anything with those other than the ubiquitous duster? This popped up on making a handbag from a bra. It made me smile when I saw it, and it looks pretty, but I can’t decide if I actually like it or not. What do you think?

This post sums up most things I found on what to do with old underwear. I didn’t find anything that I found particularly inspiring, but there are a few good ideas.

Making a quilt seems to come up as a suggestion for absolutely any fabric that you want to repurpose. As all the socks in our house are black, all the pants/knickers have a tendency to be either black/grey and ribbed, or white/with little flowers on cotton. I suppose it would make a quilt with quite a contrast! Don’t know about you, but if I have fancy underwear with silk, lace or furbelows, I wear them until they are well and truly worn out.

A post here has some interesting suggestions on using old fabric items that you may not have thought of.

One interesting suggestion I found was to create fabric with the items you want to repurpose by sewing pieces together. Then treat it as virgin fabric and cut out your pattern pieces from it. I have seen a great many silky scarves at boot sales and jumble sales that would work well used together. Get some silky scarves in colours that go together and you could make an interesting top or swishy skirt, cushion covers of course. An entire little girls top could be made from one scarf. Get one in a fabric that’s suitable and you could make t-shirts for small boys.

I bought a shirt for the fabric for the quilt I am making for my daughter. I took it all apart, washed and ironed it and was pleasantly surprised at just how much fabric was in it. It would be easy to use as fabric when making another garment, a little girls dress say, or a ladies blouse, or a t-shirt shaped top for a boy.

Something I have been thinking about is making yarn from old clothing. T-shirts especially would make soft yarn, you just have to cut it into strips, then stretch it to make it curl in on itself. It thought it would probably be rather tedious sewing the ends together, but then found these instructions on joining.

There is a better way to join the strips for making one long continuous yarn without making a knot. Instead, make a small (quarter inch or so, depending on width of strip) vertical slice in the fabric near the end of each strip, so that it leaves a hole that looks something like the eye of a needle. Take the slit end of strip 2, and poke it through the slit of strip one. Then take the other end of strip 2 and poke it through the slit on strip 2. Pull tight. This makes a loop in the end of strip 2 that circles through the slit on strip 1 holding the two fabric strips together in a way that won’t come undone. You can make it as long as you like by making a slit on the loose end of strip 2 and repeating the process.



Then, your imagination is the only limit as to what you could make with it. These dishcloths made with t-shirt yarn look just like I imagined an item knitted from it would look. Other fabric can also be cut into strips and used as knitting yarn. There is also an instructable here, on how to do it.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to use cotton fabric as the loose threads would drive me nuts, and I don’t like the look. But I know a lot of people do, and if you do like the look, some unique and very interesting projects could be made using it. Not just garments either. It could be used to make rag rugs, bath mats or woven into new fabric, chunky admittedly, but a bit of imagination and who knows what you could come up with. If, like me, you don’t like the threads, jersey would be good too, that doesn’t fray, or any other non fraying fabric.

I have several t-shirt fabric tops from my son-in-law to be, that had logos on that he wants me to incorporate into the quilt. This leaves me with all those shirts with a logo shaped lump cut out of it. I could try making yarn from those couldn’t I!




  1. Saraband

    What’s your email address?

  2. Lesley

    ah, yes, and I thought it sounded so easy too!

    any chance of a picture of your bathmat?

  3. Saraband

    I made a colourful bathmat by cutting old T-shirts into strips and knitting with huge needles. The only snag with this method of joining the strips is that the new piece (i.e. not already part of the knitting) has to be short enough to pull through the hole – you can’t do it with a whole ball of yarn.

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