Green Crocheting: Making Fabric into Yarn

In an effort to reduce our household waste, I am always looking for ways to reuse and recycle things. So when I finally decided that it was time to retire a sheet set from my linen closet I was left with a few choices. Donate it? No … After years and years of use — starting in my husband’s bachelor pad, then as our guest set, then as camping sheets — these sheets weren’t in any shape to donate. Throw them out? No … I hate wasting fabric. Recycle them … Yes!! And since I always have yarn on my mind, it was an easy decision what to recycle it into …Yarn! In this tutorial I will show you how to turn a flat sheet into one continuous ball of fabric yarn.

 

What you’ll need:

  • flat sheet
  • scissors

 

Making Fabric Yarn

Cut off the sewn edges from around the sheet (Fig. 1). Fold the sheet in half from top to bottom and smooth fabric so that there are no creases or bumps. Cut strips approximately 1-inch wide starting from the folded end of the fabric and stopping about 1-inch from the other end (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

 

To help give you a better visualization, the illustration below shows what the sheet would look like now if you were to open it up.
 

So far, so good?

This next step is a little trickier, but this is what creates one continuous strip of fabric. With the sheet still folded, on the top layer only, complete cutting to the end of the sheet on every other strip. Then on the bottom layer, complete cutting to the end of every other strip working opposite those done on the top layer (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3

Did I lose you? Hopefully this illustration will make it more clear. If the sheet were opened up, the red dashed lines would be the cuts just made.

Now, starting from one of the corners that was just cut, start rolling the strip into a ball. You should have one continuous strip of fabric (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

Now the only thing left to do is decide what to make with our new fabric yarn! But, I have that covered … check out my pattern to make this lovely set of nesting baskets.

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26 Responses to Green Crocheting: Making Fabric into Yarn

  1. Kelly @ Live Laugh Rowe March 20, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    Thanks so much for linking up at Live Laugh Linky! Hope you’ll stop by again this week.

  2. Mimi March 21, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    Very helpful tutorial, thanks so much!!

  3. The Belly Dancer March 21, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Thank you so much for this! I think I got it, I just need to find a sheet to sacrifice lol

  4. Cj March 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Great tutorial.

  5. Anonymous April 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    THanks so much for the tutorial. IT is very easy to understand. Can you tell me where can I find the pattern for the basket?

  6. Anonymous May 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    If you stitch the fabric together exactly one row offset, and clip through all the lines, you’ll end up with a continuous loop and no corners. If you use a rolled-hem seam (say, on a serger) to do the seam it will be a minimal-bulk join.

  7. Thrifty Crafty Girl May 20, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    I love this idea… I have some fabric I’m going to do this with! Thanks for posting this and making it look so easy!

    I’m your newest follower!

  8. Cheryl LaFountain June 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Thank you so much for a great idea to use my sons baby sheets from his first bed.

  9. Louise August 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    what a great idea,thanks for explaining it,making much easier to do. I will be doing this, always looking for storage ideas,this will cost be nothing but my time.

  10. Anonymous September 23, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Thank you SO much for this tutorial! Our fitted sheet from our king size bed recently started tearing. Rather than simply throwing it out, I want to make something useful with it…there’s plenty of fabric there for making yarn.

    I’d read someone else’s description of making an item out of cut up sheets, but she tediously sewed together the strips after cutting them straight. I knew there was a way to do this as one continuous strip…thank you for explaining so clearly, step by step! :)

  11. Anonymous December 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

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  12. Sue April 16, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Thanks! A wonderful idea, and I hate to admit I would never have thought of it or that it would work without a “real” someone saying so.

  13. Luanne April 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Thank you for a great tutorial. The diagram is what made it really make sense for me! How do you estimate who much of the strips you would need for a project? I would like to make a small rug for my kitchen but I I have no idea how much to prepare

    • Kara April 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      I am glad you found it helpful! As far as estimating, that’s a hard one … I kind of just wing it :)

  14. Ana June 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Thanks a lot!

    • Kara June 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      My pleasure, Ana :)

  15. Jess September 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Does not hemming the raw edges matter in this, as I am worried about fraying…be a shame to go to the trouble and not have it last.

    • Kara September 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      I haven’t tried hemming the raw edges. I do have a few fly away threads on the nesting bowls I made with my fabric yarn but they haven’t frayed. I think the stitches kind of lock the fabric from fraying. I’d be interested in hearing others’ experiences though about this.

  16. Natalie April 28, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    OMG! I’ve been searching for a tutorial on this for so long!
    Thanks so much!!!

    • Kara May 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      My pleasure! So glad you found it helpful!!

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