Use Your Scraps: Make Fabric Twine!

Use Your Scraps: Make Fabric Twine!

Do you have too many fabric scraps? Clean up your scrap box and put all those scraps to use by making your own fabric twine!

This is a really fun and relaxing (YES!) project, and it’s even a bit addictive.
I’m someone that doesn’t easily throw away things. I always think, ‘I might need that later’. So my box of scraps just keeps on growing.
I came across this technique to make fabric twine a while ago and saved it to my pinterest page. With last month's MadamSew LetsSewIt Challenge “Sew something with scraps”, I got back to that pin and checked out a couple of YouTube videos.


Here is what I’ve learned:
You can make cord out of scraps.
You can sew the twine together with a zigzag stitch on your home sewing machine and make baskets, placemats, bathroom mats,...
All out of old worn out clothes and fabric scraps!

This is my work in progress. In a few weeks I will let you know how to make a nice basket.. But for now, I’m still practicing :-)

Zero waste, baby!

It doesn’t matter what material the scraps are made of, but the fabric cannot be too thick or rigid. You’ll need some length though, as the shorter the strips, the more joins you will have in your twine. Take a 10” minimum length. Make your strips 1” to 1.5” wide. The thicker the material, the narrower the strips.

Use a different mix of colors and prints to make your twine interesting.

I’m warning you, this is a time consuming occupation. However, you can do it in front of the television while watching your favorite show. So when the sofa calls, curl up in a corner, take some fabric strips and start twining :-) And the best thing is, your scrap box gets emptier.

Materials

Fabric scraps (in assorted colors) cut in 1 inch wide strips
Fabric scissors
Optional: large spools to wind your twine on or just make a large ball

How To Make Twine

To start, tie 2 strips of different lengths together and make a knot. Make sure when you tie the knot that you leave a little tail so that you have something to hang on to as you work.

Twist the strips separately away from you, to the right. Then twist each strip around the other towards you - cross it over - and hold it with your thumbs. Repeat this motion - wind away from you & move a strip over towards you. Make sure you wind your fabric tight. This way it will stay together and become quite strong.

When you are at the end of one of the strips, you have to make a join. Take a new strip. Leave a tail of 1” and wrap the first 1” of the new strip around the tail of the previous strip. Don’t pull the new strip but wrap it tightly around the other strip and continue winding both strips around each other.

Make sure both of your strips don’t end at the same spot or the join will be weakened; that’s why it is best to start with one short and one long strip and always check the length of each new strip you add.
Just continue adding strips until you think your thread is long enough.
Trim the little ends or threads that stick out of your twine if necessary.
When done, end with another knot.
Tip: It helps to have moist fingers. You will work faster and the twine will become a bit tighter.
And.. I’m still left with the smaller scraps. If somebody knows a fun project for the tiny scraps, please let me know!

Any questions or suggestions? Don’t hesitate to send me an email: an@madamsew.com
And I’m still curious about what you are making. Share it in our Facebook group or on Instagram and use #madamsew!

An
Sewing aficionado and keen sewing blogger/vlogger.

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12 comments

  • Smaller scraps can be used to make a postage stamp quilt where all pieces are size of a postage stamp. Our ancestors didn’t waste anything.

    Louise Poulter
  • EXCELLENT!!! A BRILLIANT IDEA!!! Thank you for sharing this one!!! I have 51 years of pile-up scraps!! Fabric scraps that is!!
    Gotta downsize one day and throw away fabric “left-over” scraps or give to the op-shop. Now I can do this while watching television during the ad breaks at nights. I LOVE making baskets and bowls, but I do it the hard way with ROPE!!! No need for that now!! THANK YOU AGAIN.

    Hilda ABELL
  • What a fantastic idea. I’ve just this and if I’d seen this article on Sunday I wouldn’t have thrown a bag of scraps out, the rubbish man took them away yesterday.

    Natalie Young
  • This is a great idea for those little pieces. I always save them to use as bias or what ever I might need small pieces for. Now I have another use for them. Thanks for the new one.

    Robin McCracken
  • This is Genius! I had been trying to figure a way to not use rope too.
    Now I have an idea on the joins. If you make a small slit in the ending piece, you can insert the next piece through the slit and back on itself a couple inches (2) and keep twisting! Just a thought!

    Dianne Cass

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12 comments

  • Smaller scraps can be used to make a postage stamp quilt where all pieces are size of a postage stamp. Our ancestors didn’t waste anything.

    Louise Poulter
  • EXCELLENT!!! A BRILLIANT IDEA!!! Thank you for sharing this one!!! I have 51 years of pile-up scraps!! Fabric scraps that is!!
    Gotta downsize one day and throw away fabric “left-over” scraps or give to the op-shop. Now I can do this while watching television during the ad breaks at nights. I LOVE making baskets and bowls, but I do it the hard way with ROPE!!! No need for that now!! THANK YOU AGAIN.

    Hilda ABELL
  • What a fantastic idea. I’ve just this and if I’d seen this article on Sunday I wouldn’t have thrown a bag of scraps out, the rubbish man took them away yesterday.

    Natalie Young
  • This is a great idea for those little pieces. I always save them to use as bias or what ever I might need small pieces for. Now I have another use for them. Thanks for the new one.

    Robin McCracken
  • This is Genius! I had been trying to figure a way to not use rope too.
    Now I have an idea on the joins. If you make a small slit in the ending piece, you can insert the next piece through the slit and back on itself a couple inches (2) and keep twisting! Just a thought!

    Dianne Cass
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