How to make a join in fabric strip yarn or tarn

I’ve been working with Tarn (T shirt fabric strip yarn) a lot lately.

I remembered this afternoon that I had been asked how to make a smooth join in fabric strip yarn…. so I thought that I would post a quick tutorial on how to do that.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Everyone has their own system of cutting t shirts into fabric strips (tarn).

My favorite way is to stretch the t shirt over my swift and open it up until it stretches the t shirt taut.

I then cut a narrow strip, starting at the hem of the t shirt, spiralling up to the sleeves.

Then I stop and cut away the neckband, and cut strips around and around until I reach the sleeves.

I cut them off, and cut them into strips.

And then I wind them up into yarncakes on my nostepinnes.

This pic has a touch of oddness, doesn’t it?

The scissors floating in mid air are posing politely while my cutting hand is busily taking the picture.

You can see the loops of Tarn pooling up in my lap.

So, what do you do if you need to join one length of fabric strip to another?

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Cut a small slit into each end of the 2 fabric strips.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the shorter piece through the slit of the longer piece.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Now, take the tail end of the shorter piece through the opening of the shorter piece.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tug on it to pull it up tight, and Voila! the 2 strips of fabric are magically joined!



Filed under eco crafts & green projects, tutorial & how to

10 responses to “How to make a join in fabric strip yarn or tarn

  1. Aleksa

    Such a tidy process,and so well explained. I would not, in a million years, ever have figured out how to do the join without your clear explanation and photos. Thank you!


  2. Hi Aleksa
    You are so welcome! The ‘buttonhole join’ is great, isn’t it?



  3. Pingback: How to weave a square on the bias on the potholder loom « Tottie Talks Crafts Blog

  4. Pingback: Video tutorial on how to make tarn or t shirt yarn « Tottie Talks Crafts Blog

  5. wow thanks — this looks like fun. I think next time the thrift shop as the 25cent sale on the tees i will get busy. maybe die them funky first and see how the pattern turns out knitted.

    again thanks very much — and ps any further tips will always be appreciated.


  6. Excellent! I’ve recently been looking into repurposing t-shirts and your tips are very helpful. and I’ve learned new terminology, I like “tarn” I don’t know what a “swift” is, but think it is some kind of frame? thanks for the tips!


  7. Alice C.

    I am so sorry but is there a you tube video on this … ? I have tried it but I’m doing something wrong …lol…. Thanks A


  8. Hi Alice, sorry… no … I haven’t made a video on this ….


  9. Shirley Martin Winkler

    Love all your instructions…Thank you !


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