No yarn? No Problem - Crochet with Recycled Fabric Strips

Fabric Balls

Crocheting using recycled fabric

For many in recent years, crocheting has become more than a well-loved pass-time. It has become a practical means of dealing with these tough economic times. Recycled fabric strips are an important innovation as we seek to conserve creatively. With these we can make rag rugs and much, much more.

A Touch of Planning

First, you will need to decide on a project. The most common recycled yarn projects are rugs, place mats and table covers, but with a touch of imagination and innovation, you can go well beyond these perimeters.

Strip it Up!

Once you have decided on a project, you will want to make sure you have enough strips for your project. If you do not have enough of one color, it works very nicely to use three or four complimentary shades and patterns. Feel free to use any new or used fabrics (sheets, shirts, curtains, you name it).

Next, simply strip the fabric into evenly sized strips (you will need to do some experimenting to find the right width - one example is if you plan to make a rug, you would want to use thin cotton fabric at 1/2" strips and an 'N' hook) and attach these strips together. It seems that the best way to attach these strips is to make holes near the end of each strip, place the hole of one strip on top of the other, take the other end of the top stip and pull it through the bottom of the two holes.

Once you are done with this, simply roll this great strip of fabric into a ball.

Table Cloth

It's Simple, Just Crochet

Making the balls of recycled fabric is the most foreign part to the average Crocheteer. From here on out, your horizons are just about as broad (if not broader) any other form of crocheting. You will likely end us using a much larger than average hook ('M' - 'P') - especially when making a rag rug, but this is not always the case. If you chose to make very thin strips, you could still use an 'H' or a 'J' and venture to crochet a fabric scarf or beanie.

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Comments 36 comments

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

neat and simple, Welcome to HP, Maita


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I've always wanted to make a fabric rug, but have never taken the time to do so. Yours is a lovely example.


TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio

What a great hub--thank you for telling us about this idea, I love it!

I've been wanting to make some rugs, but hadn't decided the best way to do it...thanks to you, now I do! :)


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thank you Prettydarkhorse! I appreciate it.

Thanks Ivorwen, the one that you see in the picture was actually done by my mom. I owe all that I know about crafting to her.

TamCor: I am glad you enjoy the idea. I hope it works well for you!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Wow, what a great idea. Really beautiful artwork that you've made there, I am going to send this to my daughter to see if she will be inspired to make me one!


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Ben!

Awesome, I hope she enjoys it.


Elven  Hottie profile image

Elven Hottie 6 years ago from USA

That is a beautiful idea! Congrats on your nomination!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

I love this. It's so pretty and functional and green! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

Wow. . this is amazing. So creative and smart at the same time. Great Hub and congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination!


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thanks Elven Hottie for the congatulations - without you and wavegirl22 I wouldn't have even known I was nominated.

You are welcome Dolores - I am glad you enjoyed the idea!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

apstumbo, congratulations for your Hubnugget Nomination. The Hubnuggets Team send our very best wishes to you to start your new year wonderfully! Woohoo!

This is a fascinating subject. And maybe just maybe someday I will learn to to crochet. My hands should really start cooperating. LOL

To vote for the Hubnuggets, click away: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/Presenting-Pr...


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thanks so much Ripplemaker! That was a very pleasant surprise.

I bet you will start crocheting and I am sure you'll love it. My hands were a bit rebellious while I was making my first scarf, but they learn to cooperate :)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Wow, what a great recycling idea with such a pretty end results. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being nominated as a HubNuggets Wannabe, good luck!


mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

I really like this - rag rugs we used to call them and some people weave them, but crocheting them is great and no need for a loom - thanks for this - do you know how to make those crocheted baskets, too?


mpurcell10 profile image

mpurcell10 6 years ago from Arkansas

Great hub! My mom makes the best rag rugs. I always use them in the bathroom.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 6 years ago from United States

Rag rugs are still popular in the North East, down here in the south we don't see them as much. Good reminder!


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 6 years ago from Dartmoor

I love this Hub. I've made rag rugs and plaited (braided) rugs from fabric scraps before, but never thought of crocheting them. This is so pretty. Thank you.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Inspirational hub thanks for sharing. Your rug is delightful.


Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green 6 years ago from West Kootenays

What a great idea. Can you join the srips as you crochet? I would think you could. I recently saw an article about using fabric strips to make bowls and thought that was a neat idea, as well.

Your rug picture is fantastic. Well done. Bookamarked.


RiaMorrison profile image

RiaMorrison 6 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

I love the look of ragrugs, but am hopeless at crochet. Shame they don't look nearly as good when knit.


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thanks so much Georgina!

I have always loved rag rugs as well.

I hope this idea works for you.


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thank you Gypsy Willow! My mom actually made the rug in the picture. She is so stinkin' crafty.


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Athlyn Green:

I bet you can add strips while you crochet. I have actually never done it, but that seems like a great idea.

I saw that you added this hub to the dig page. Thanks for the bookmark!


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

Wonderful. In australia, they have knitting clubs where people meet at a cafe or pub and knit together. Its very retro and alternative and this is part of that culture or subculture. Thankyou.


dashingclaire profile image

dashingclaire 6 years ago from United States

Interesting idea. I'm going to pass it on to my crafter friends.


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Salt: That is awesome! You don't see much of that in America.

Dashingclaire: Thanks. I hope they enjoy it!


PWalker281 6 years ago

Great hub on my favorite hobbie! Love your table runner - the colors are perfect! What stitch works best for this kind of "yarn" - single crochet or half double?? Congrats on your nomination!


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Thanks PWalker281! The single crochet seems to work best.


Dawna T 6 years ago

Drew, this is awesome to know about you. Is this the rug on the family kitchen table? Beautiful work, but guess what, yep, I want one.I could never do something like that. Thank you for sharing one more talent with us, actually I mean gift.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

I have friends that have done this, but what you did is beautiful, your rug look perfect. Great Job:)


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago Author

Dawna! It is good to hear from you! I am surprised you found me.

Thank you heart4the word. My mom will love to hear that - the picture is actually hers.


carpet cleaning 6 years ago

I love this idea ! it sounds really really neat. Thanks for sharing with us all this tricks.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

What a wonderful idea for recycling!


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 5 years ago Author

Thanks 2Patricias, I learned that one from my mom.


Ose 5 years ago

Thanks very much. This is a good way of making money. and a good way to start designing articles.


20 months ago

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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