Recycling Old Clothes for Crafts

A friend of mine gave me a whole tub, like a 50 gallon barrel, full of old clothes. They are not good enough to wear, but sure good enough to use in crafts. Instead of using my newer fabrics first I go to that tub then to my stash. Almost always the backs of trivets, frames, linings for doll clothes and outer clothes for country dolls come from this tub.


Some of the clothes were hers when she went to school and we are now in our 60s. In return I am saving the better pieces for a quilt for her bed, from the tub, a surprise for her. One she will love for the fabrics were also ones from her mother, aunt, and grandmothers' stashes.

Ann from Loup City, NE

April 6, 20100 found this helpful

Also remember that if you donate old, "non-wearable" clothes to major thrift shops like the Salvation Army, they put them in lots and sell them off for rags.

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March 4, 20160 found this helpful

i recently went to goodwill and ask if they would sell me bags of old clothes to use to make quilts and the lady said no we send all old clothes we dont sell to china !!!! i was so mad i will never donate to goodwill or buy from there what happen to taking care of america !

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March 7, 20160 found this helpful

Hello ! I understand your anger but maybe the lady you talked to did not explain everything. Maybe they do not "send" what they do not sell to China, maybe they sell it to China and use this money to help people and even if they don't sell it to China they are still doing a good thing and not only for America but for the Earth. Take a look on this page : ... extile-recycling-challenges-industry

I hope it will change your opinion. Most countries fabricate to sell worlwide and make benefits because they sell worlwide but they are not concerned about where and how their products will end and we customers are not better. "... in the US alone, almost 11 million tonnes of textiles ends up in landfill." Thank you China for your recycling industry but wouldn't it be better not to produce so much and not to waste so much and to plan recycling before production. Try to think of problems on a worlwide scale because pollution is worlwide. 26th of April 1986, 20 years ago this year, nothing stopped the wind, nothing stopped the clouds that came from Chernobyl.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

I cut out old t-shirts into strips and crochet rag rugs. There are many patterns available if you google.

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March 4, 20160 found this helpful

i make quilts out of old clothes ! it is a great hobby and using old clothes is a win win , !

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March 7, 20160 found this helpful

I go to the nearby Goodwill sorting station to find interesting fabrics. They bring out large bins of clothing, linens, sometimes books or toys are mixed in. You pay for most things by the pound and there a substantial discount as you go up in weight, so it becomes cost effective to get more items.

I grab anything that looks like it might fit me or any eye catching fabrics. Sometimes I buy a item for the rhinestone buttons or fancy trim. You often see price tags on the clothing from being displayed at a Goodwill store. Other times, the clothes seem to be directly from a donation bag and are none too clean.

I wash or air out everything when I get home. I even gently wash most dry clean only items. I've usually managed to get an outfit or two in addition to all sorts of fabrics and craft supplies.

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