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Give T-Shirts a Try

You might be surprised!

By: Project by Judy Taylor/Little House Rugs
Updated August 19, 2019

Old Books, 32" x 17", T-shirts on linen. Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor, Aubum, Washington, 2019.

What I love most about rug hooking is how versatile it is. This craft has flourished over the generations because of its practicality; you hook with what you’ve got. In a world where 2 billion T-shirts are produced every year, many of them end up in thrift stores or landfills. But did you know T-shirts make beautiful, durable, even machine-washable rugs?

There is nothing wrong with wool, of course. We will never throw over our gorgeous wool yarns and fabric, but there’s something to be said for adding another tool to our creative tool boxes.

The advantages of hooking rugs with T-shirts are cost, convenience, and creativity.

Cost: A large T-shirt (5 or 6 oz.) will hook about one square foot of rug. I usually pay around $3.00 for a T-shirt at my local thrift store. If you’re hooking with recycled wool, your costs may be similar to that, but if you’re buying new yarn or wool fabric, you may be spending $25-$35 per square foot. That’s a significant difference in cost, and if you hook a lot, it adds up!

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