The ultimate in earth-friendly.
When looking to recycle yarn from thrift store/charity shop items (if you live in Atlantic Canada, Guy’s Frenchy’s is THE greatest!) look for LARGE – the bigger the better – or, if you’re lucky, two of the same garment/item, since when you frog (unravel) an object, the law of conservation doesn’t seem to apply – you never get a sweater from a sweater! However, you’ll probably get socks, a hat, a scarf, a tank or a vest as well as many multi-coloured items.
Look to see how garments are constructed. Check the side seams. Worst Case: If they are serged, in all likelihood they were made from knit fabric, cut and sewn together. That means you will get hundreds of pieces of yarn all one row long! Not a happy place at all 😦 Best Case: If the pieces were knit and then sewn together…**happy dance here**… usually you can find one end of the seam that will allow you to unravel the entire seam in one brrrrrppppp!
Be sure to save the tags – so you have content and washing info for your new garments.
I usually wash the garment before I frog…easier than washing the yarn.
For us sewists and quilters bigger is better too. The thrift/charity/recycling clothing shops are a wonderful source for fabrics; again while you often won’t be able to re-fashion a skirt from a skirt, etc. these buys allow you to be thrifty and creative as you combine fabrics into new garments. Look for garments in natural fibres and the LARGER the better.
Always check the care instructions: “dry clean only” to me means the garment doesn’t get to come home with me.
Create your own unique fabric: try strip or block sewing new fabric from you finds. Creating your own fabric also allows you to embellish smaller portions of the fabric before creating the whole e.g. machine / hand embroidery, beading, painting.