Video tutorial on how to make tarn or t shirt yarn

I absolutely love working with tarn, which is yarn made by cutting t shirts into a continuous length of  fabric strips. You then use the fabric strips as stretchie, wonderful yarn.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tarn is a terrific way to upcycle, recycle, re-fashion, re-purpose, re-use and reclaim old t shirts that are no longer wearable. Perhaps they are stained or have little holes in them, or the neck has gone all wonky, or they have a logo on them that you just don’t want to wear anymore.

In that case, turning the t shirt into tarn is a fabulous option.

I showed how to make a ‘buttonhole join’ in tarn here:

How to do the buttonhole join link

and in this video, I showed how to weave it on the potholder loom:

Potholder loom weaving with tarn

Normally, I use a swift to hold the t shirt when I cut my tarn. I decided that that wouldn’t be the best choice for making a video, as most people don’t have swifts, so I used a little stepladder to stretch the t shirt.

It’s kind of clunky, so you have to forgive me for the fumbly bits.

Here’s the video on how to cut tarn: LINK




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

14 responses to “Video tutorial on how to make tarn or t shirt yarn

  1. Alice

    I like this idea , you get to use up older tee shirts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bren

    Perfect for recycling little kids shirts after they are hopelessly stained!


  3. Hi Alice
    Yes, indeed…. it’s a great way to re-use them in innovative and fun ways!


  4. Hi Bren
    I agree… it’s a pity when a shirt is so stained that it can’t be worn anymore. Once it’s cut into tarn, the stains are either not an issue or become a design element.

    Same thing with shirts that have logos and writing on them. If the image on the shirt is no longer something you want to be trotting around in the world with, then using the shirt as tarn is a great alternative!


  5. That’s just what I’m planning to do – and just the colour too – greens. I’m going to do an ‘Earth’ weaving and use cut-up green t-shirts for the weft.

    Very timely. Thanks!


  6. Aleksa

    i love everything about this – the great word, the recycling – it’s all fabulous!



    I have so many t-shirts I could do this with. You could crochet with this using a large hook, I think. You could make something like a rug or even bag. So many possibilities.

    Love that your dog started barking in the video, too. I can see mine doing that as soon as I started taping something, too!

    This is a great idea, Noreen! Thanks for sharing this.


  8. Hi Cherie
    Thank you!
    Yes, indeed, Tarn crochets up just great, and if you cut it fine, you don’t even need to go with a super big hook. Of course, if you want to crochet a rug with it, you can easily cut it thicker, and use a large hook. 😀


  9. I had no idea that it was called tarn, but I’ve made and used it before! Thanks for the tips, Noreen…you are the best!


  10. Thank you so much, Cyndi!
    Isn’t tarn great? So many ways of making and using it!!!
    I have been doing this for more than 30 years, but just learned of the new name, ‘Tarn’ in the last year or so….. no matter what it’s called, it’s just plain fun.


  11. Very clever. Do you have a contraption to cut tarn that doesn’t require you to stand and walk round and round?

    If you made a lot of tarn, the step ladder frame would be very tedious. I’m think a frame that spins like on a turnrable. I wonder if anyone makes something like that.


  12. Hi Eileen
    Yes, indeed, I do have a more efficient way of doing this. I use my yarn swift- but they are beastly expensive, and not that many people have them, so I wanted to show an alternative way of making tarn.


  13. Pingback: Artsy Blogger links for June 6 2010 « Tottie Talks Crafts Blog

  14. JoAnn

    I am looking for a tutorial on ladder hooking. Can anyone help me?


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