A couple weeks ago, I shared how to make yarn from an old t-shirt, and based on the number of times I’ve seen it pinned, you guys were into it. The thing with t-shirt yarn is that one t-shirt doesn’t yield all that much yarn. I mean, the cross-body phone case pattern I shared took most of one t-shirt’s worth of yarn to make. But what about when you’re thinking about projects on a larger scale? That’s when I recommend you try your hands at making fabric (a.k.a. jersey) yarn. It’s super easy, and if you get your hands on a set of jersey sheets at the thrift store, you can upcycle that into yarn using the same technique I’m about to share. It’s so easy and the effect fabric yarn has on knit and crochet projects is something I’m LOVING right now!
a few yards of knit jersey fabric (I prefer using something that’s 50% cotton/50% polyester.)
Start by cutting the selvage off of your fabric’s edges. Most fabrics you buy come with an edging woven specially so that it won’t fray or ravel. That’s great for the fabric as it sits on its bolt at the store, but for yarn creation purposes, you want that stuff gone.
The selvage will stretch a little differently than the body of the fabric. Pictured below, you can see how it immediately rolled up like a scared bug when I cut it away from the fabric’s body. The rest of the fabric didn’t do that when cut, which means it will result in weird patches of your knitting or crochet project that could have a different gauge when you work with your DIY yarn.
In this picture, the selvage fabric is pictured on top and the yarn is on the bottom. See the difference?
When your selvage is severed, set it aside. Start cutting your fabric into one, continuous inch-wide strip.
Work around your fabric in a jointed spiral, like this, to make the strip of continuous fabric.
I recommend balling your yarn as you go – the whole point here is to make enough yarn to make more than a tiny project, which means you’ll be cutting and winding for awhile. If your hands start to hurt, take a break! I bruised my knuckle and made my tendons achier than necessary before I realized this was more than a single sitting project! (Oops.)
That’s really it! You just need to make sure to buy the right fabric and cut it into a single, long, yarn-like piece of fabric. Between the t-shirt yarn and this fabric yarn, I might be skipping the yarn store more often in the summer to experiment with this fun fiber alternative.