There is more to recycled yarns than T-shirt yarn and not all T-shirt yarn is recycled! There are lots of recycled yarns in all kinds of materials, textures, sizes and prices. Unfortunately they take quite a bit of finding! Search terms don’t seem to bring up much and throw up all sorts of non recycled yarns. But as it’s a passion of mine to rethink waste I’ve been using recycled yarns for years and now I’ve created a list with links here so you don’t have to search for hours like I did.
This isn’t a review of the yarns, just a list and short description, along with some links where to get them.
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I’ll start with the bulky yarns and get right down to 4ply! It is by no means complete, new yarns are always being developed and I may have missed some, please tell me if there’s any you know of that aren’t here.
If you are in need of hooks for the yarn weight, one of my favourite makes Knit Pro Waves, it comes in a huge range of sizes with nice chunky handles. I use these a lot with plarn and chunkier recycled yarns. My fav for thinner yarns is Clover Soft Touch, I have these in 2.5mm through to 6mm and couldn’t be without them!
Super chunky Bulky weight
T-shirt yarn is a great choice for chunky projects. Hoooked Zpagetti was the original brand but there are now lots of brands. However t-shirt yarns can still be difficult to get hold of, with expensive postage. A lot of the popular yarn shops don’t stock them. Online I found lots of small sellers and a big worldwide online shop Love Crochet, who stock a limited range of colours for Hoooked and Wool and The Gang too.
If it’s Hoooked you especially love (and there’s so many reasons to love them). You can find their full range on their website with worldwide delivery here. Postage costs are high but free on orders over £50. There is also a smaller range of most of their yarns at Love Crafts.
Paintbox yarns at LoveCrafts have now brought out a new Recycled T-shirt yarn, offering great value and a lovely range of choices.
I recently discovered Retwisst, who have a massive range of recycled yarns. They have a huge range of colours in Tshirt yarn and are a bit cheaper than other brands if you buy direct, postage is free for orders over £35, otherwise it’s pretty steep. There are also resellers on Amazon and ebay for the UK and worldwide too.
I am super impressed with UK based Woolly Whatknot who stock several brands of recycled T-shirt yarn and Barbante offering outstanding choice of colours across brands. A further gold star goes to her for low cost postage, making small orders affordable. She’s now also on Amazon with some products with free postage. Woolly Whatknot Amazon Shop.
An alternative to t-shirt yarn is Ribbon tape, which is lighter in texture but still a super chunky yarn and is also used to make bags, rugs and chunky makes, but can be used for clothing too.
Retwisst XXLace (80% cotton and 20% polyester) 250g rolls (8-10 mm hook) and comes in a great range of colours.
Wool and the Gang Mixtape (80% Cotton 20% Polyester) 250g roll (8-15mm hook) comes in a small, but lovely, range of colours.
A brand new offering has just arrived on the recycled scene by Paintbox yarns. They have just launched their recycled tape yarns. With a gorgeous range of colours in both solid colour ribbon and metalic ribbon they offer more choice in this very popular type of recycled yarn.
If you like the ribbon tape there are more options from Tek Tek Tape and Welcome Yarn Lace that you’ll find in a great range of beautiful colours at Woolly Whatknot.
A brand new super chunky yarn (not tape) has just been launched by Paintbox, in a gorgeous burst of bright colours, Recycled Big Cotton, a super chunky weight 60% cotton 40% polyester yarn that knits/crochets on 12mm needles/hooks. This offers a much sturdier alternative to tape and t-shirt yarn.
If you’re looking for a tougher, strong yarn, then another super chunky offering can be found at Woolly Whatknot, it’s Bobbiny Rope (90% recycled cotton, 7% polyester, 3% Polyamide) a versatile cord yarn in 3 thicknesses: They have the super thick Jumbo 9mm (16 – 18mm crochet hook) and slimmer Premium 5mm (8-10mm hook) both in this weight range. Check out this pic of the Jumbo, how amazing is this!
Bobbiny Rope also have a smaller offering too, the Junior 3mm (6-8mm hook)
Bergere de France Recyclaine (58% Acrylic 30% Synthetic 12% Wool) 100g Super Chunky weight (9mm hook) Small range of earthy neutral colours.
Bergere de France 100% Recyclé 8, 51% Acrylic 38% Wool 8% Polyamide 3% Other, 100g (3.5oz), Super Chunky, knit or crochet using 8mm for quick chunky rustic makes.
Wool and the Gang New Wave, a slimmer tape style in worsted/chunky weight. Hook size 5-8mm Made from plastic bottles! 53% Cotton 47% Polyester.
You will see a type of yarn called ‘Barbante’ come up in this weight range. This is a typical plyed type of recycled yarn but thicknesses vary by brand. Some brands call this Macrame yarn others have a separate product described as Macrame Cord. As far as I can tell they’re the same thing. I’ve found a bit of everything here to cover them all.
Hoooked offer 2 types of Barbante, Chunky and Aran/Worsted.
The Chunky weight Spesso Eco Barbante Chunky Cotton (85% Cotton 15% Synthetic). Hook size 8-10mm Comes in a small range of lovely colours. Ideal for Macrame and chunky makes, like baskets.
Welcome Yarn Barbante (80% Cotton, 20% other fibers) comes in 2 thicknesses 2mm (3-6mm hook) and XL in 4mm (8-12mm hook) thicknesses in a great range of colours and 2 sizes of balls too.
Tek Tek Barbante (98% recycled cotton and 1% polyester, 1% poliamide) 2mm (3-6mm hook) 3mm (5-8mm hook)
Bobbiny in 100% recycled cotton 3mm and XL 5mm This is marketed as a macrame cord rather than a Barbante yarn. But being 100% Cotton this may be a firmer yarn.
Welcome Yarn, Tek Tek and Bobbiny can all be found at Woolly Whatknot .
Retwisst Barbante (80% recycled cotton 20% Other recycled fibres) is in between the 2 Hoooked choices with a thinner chunky weight with a suggested hook size of 6-8mm and comes in a great range of 30 colours.
Borderline between chunky and worsted/aran weight is the new yarn from Hoooked (launched March 2020), the gorgeous Wavy Blends. It’s gradient cake yarn in 80% recycled cotton yarn and 20% other recycled fibres (Hook size 4-6) and comes in several beautiful colourways.
Brand new to the market (March 2020) is Paintbox Cotton. A great new addition to the new Paintbox recycled range. Currently in a limited range of colours, but I hope to see this expand.
Sadly NOW DISCONTINUED! King Cole Big Value Recycled Aran Cotton (85% Cotton 15% Other fibres) – a really great aran weight yarn. Soft and strong and in a range of 18 colours, it’s exceptionally good value too. I loved this yarn and used it a lot.
Hoooked have their second offering in this type of yarn the Eco Barbante Milano (85% Cotton 15% Other) a super practical thickness in aran/worsted with a 4-6mm suggested hook size. Has a good range of colour choices including multi coloured mixes and 2 choices of ball sizes (full range at Hoooked, resellers may have a smaller range).
Drops Paris Denim, 100% recycled cotton from jeans. Just 4 colours of Jean wash available. But offers superb value.
Premier Yarns Rodeo is a 85% cotton 15% polyester blend in super popular aran weight, making a great choice for a more eco friendly alternative to ordinary cotton.
Schachenmayr Cotton4Future, 50% Cotton 50% Polyester blend, made from waste cotton fibres and recycled plastic bottles.
Cascade Yarns Rebound is a 70% Polyester 30% Cotton mix yarn, all recycled fibres. Classic neutral tones.
Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time is a 75% Cotton 25% acrylic blend, in aran weight, this blend is a great combination for garments.
Bergere de France Recycline (50% Other 30% Acrylic 20% Wool) just a few nice Earthy colours, great rustic texture. DISCONTINUED Replaced by the new one below.
Bergere de France 100% Recyclé 4 51% Acrylic 38% Wool 8% Polyamide 3% Other, 50g (1.8oz), Aran weight. Has replaced the Recycline shown above.
Bergere de France Fileco (60% Acrylic 18% Acrylic 12% Wool 6% Polyamide 4% Other) Size 5 hook suggested.
Lang Yarns Cashsoft (50% Cashmere 50% Merino Wool) in 15 colours, largely dark shades with some pretty brights. Luxury yarn, very pricey.
Berroco Remix (30% Nylon 27% Cotton 24% Acrylic 10% Silk 9% Linen) 5mm hook recommended. A versatile wool-free mix of recycled fibres great for gorgeous textures. Pretty range of lightly flecked colours.
Fabulous big brand Lion Brand, has joined the recycled market with their new recycled cotton blend Re-Up in Aran/light worsted weight 85% recycled cotton with 15% polyester. It’s a super practical thickness and a highly affordable eco friendly switch for ordinary cotton and it comes in a really lovely range of colours too! Not widely available in the UK yet though, but Hobbycraft have made a start in stocking some colours, albeit, very pricey.
Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran discontinued but still available in smaller online shops.
Silk Roving Worsted Weight Yarn by Darn Good Yarns, made from recycled sari silk, comes in a truly gorgeous array of hand dyed colours and they’re ethically sourced from artisans in India too.
A similar type of yarn is offered by UK based Yarn Yarn. Their Sari silk yarn is handspun from silk waste by talented craftspeople and women in India. Unique inspirational yarns with fabulous textures and colours.
Please note my experience of recycled silk and banana yarns is that the dyes run so you need to rinse them many times before use. Worth checking the yarn if you want to mix colours on a project.
Brand new to the market (March 2020) is the super budget friendly Hoooked Soft Cotton in a fantastic range of colours to boot. Delighted to see this very much needed new addition. Well done Hoooked.
Another from Hoooked is their beautiful Somen a 60% recycled cotton 40% Linen mix. Perfect for lighter garments.
Re-use by Rosarios 4, 100% recycled cotton DK weight in a small lovely range of colours. Suggested hook size is 4.5 – 5mm so it may be closer to Aran/worsted weight.
Wool and The Gang Billy Jean Yarn, 100% cotton DK yarn made from denim remnants. Only in 3 denim colours
Retwisst Slim Cotton (80% Cotton 20% Polyester) – a recycled DK cotton (hook 3-4mm) in a great range of bright pretty colours offering exceptionally good value.
Bergere de France Ecoton DK (48% Cotton 48% Acrylic 4% Other) 50g 3.5-4mm hook. Small range of pretty pastel colours.
Berroco Remix Light (30% Nylon 27% Cotton 24% Acrylic 10% Silk 9% Linen) 3.75mm hook recommended. A versatile wool-free mix of recycled fibres great for gorgeous textures. Pretty range of lightly flecked colours. Luxury yarn.
Phildar Phil Eco Jean (48% Cotton 47% Polyester 5% Other) 50g Made from recycled jeans. Only in a small range of denim colours. Needle/hook 4mm.
Erika Knight Studio Linen (85% recycled linen 15% linen) 50g Range of grey/pastel tones for classic elegant styling. DK 3.75mm hook
Lana Grossa Solo Lino (80% recycled Viscose 20% Linen) DK (Hook 3.5mm) Pretty range of colours.
Lana Grossa Solo Lino Melange (80% recycled Viscose 20% Linen) Tube yarn that has an airy tape appearance but lighter weight than the chunkier tape yarn (Hook size 5mm). Pretty range of colours. Ideal for garments with drape.
Rico Essentials Recycled Cashmere (95% Cashmere 5% Wool) 25g Perfect for eco conscious luxurious makes in a small range mainly pinks and grey tones.
Rowan Denim Revive (95% Cotton 5% Other) 50g Small range of lovely colours.
Sirdar Simply Recycled DK discontinued but some stocks are still around. Very limited pastel shades.
Bergere de France Initial (48% Cotton 47% Polyester 5% Synthetic) Sport weight. Made from recycled jeans and water bottles! and comes in just dark colours. Great for classic styled garments.
We are Knitters have a small range of pretty colours in their recycled DK yarn. It’s composed of 95% cotton, 5 % other fibres, gives a rustic appearance and comes in a 100g skein.
4ply/Sport weight (#2)
The choice in 4 ply is considerably less but I hope with the current trend in upcycling and resuse that yarn companies will make more in this thickness.
Drops Love You 6 (discontinued) and 9 recycled cotton come in a pretty range of colours. This is a fantastic strong yarn that I use a lot for flowers. But stocks go very quickly in the UK. Check with Garnstudio for stock and suppliers, there are quite a few.
Cascade Yarns Reverb (70% Recycled Polyester 30% Recycled Alpaca), 100g ball. A wonderful ecofriendly option for wool blend yarns in this thickness.
I recently discovered a very pretty one, through another crocheter, Banana Moon Studio. Trend Setter Recycled Linen Hand Dyed (84% Recycled Linen, 16% Linen) Sport weight and it looks beautiful. Check out the review of it by Banana Moon Studio.
Darn Good Twist Sport Weight Silk Yarn, This 100% silk yarn is hand-spun from recycled silk waste by women’s co-operatives in India. Comes in a small range of pretty, eye-catching colours.
Lang Yarns Cashsoft Baby ( 50% recycled Cashmere 50% Virgin Wool, 25g (0.9oz), 4-Ply 10 pretty shades. Luxury yarn, very pricey.
Lace Weight Silk Yarn at Darn Good Yarn, made from recycled, ethically sourced, hand-dyed by artisans in India. It comes in a stunning range of colours that you’re sure to fall in love with!
A range of recycled undyed and bleached recycled cotton yarn and macrame cords in various thicknesses are available at UK based Airdale yarns. Perfect for dyeing your own.
Recycled Fabric Ribbon
If you’re looking for texture and incredibly beautiful colours then Recycled sari ribbon could be just what you’re looking for. Check out Yarn Yarn for great choice. Their sari ribbon is made from left over fabric from sari manufacturing, produced by women’s co-operatives and craftspeople in rural deprived areas of Northern India. So not only is the beautiful sari ribbon highly versatile for knitting, crochet, weaving, textile art and even jewellery making, it is handmade, hand dyed, it’s is about as Ethical as it gets.
Another fabric yarn from Yarn Yarn is a Recycled Eyelash Cotton fabric yarn, that is brimming with beautiful texture and has the same impressive ethical credentials as their sari ribbon.
You will also find a huge array of choice in recycled Sari ribbon of varying thicknesses and beautiful colours at Darn Good Yarn. All made from ethically sourced recycled fabrics made by women’s co-operatives in India.
Yarn Yarn have other incredible recycled plant fibre based yarns, all made from left overs from manufacturing procresses of other industries. If you’re looking for something really ethical and really different, you’ll definitely find it on this site.
So there we are, quite a few different yarns in all shapes and sizes! Hope this helps you source the perfect recycled yarns for your projects and encourages you to try recycled yarns. Let me know what you think and please PIN it (you can pin any photo) and SHARE it to help others find it. Together we can make a difference 💚
x Thank you x