Making Plarn

Check out these instructions for making plarn (plastic yarn) from plastic grocery bags.

Thea Nortness Nov 30, 2020 - 2 min read

Making Plarn Primary Image

Thea Nortness’s Bags on a Budget in Handwoven January/February 2021 are woven with plarn weft. Photo by Matt Graves

Thea Nortness uses plarn weft in her Bags On a Budget featured in Handwoven, January/February 2021. This clever technique of creating a long strip of plastic from a tube could also be applied to other items, such as T-shirts, thereby making tarn. What other tubes might there be that you could make into long strips to weave with?Susan

Step 1. Lay the bag on a flat surface. Cut off the handles and bottom seam leaving a tube.

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Step 2. With the tube flat, roll one of the folded edges toward the other folded edge but do not complete the roll; let the second folded edge extend beyond the roll by a couple of inches.

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Step 3. With scissors, cut across the roll but not all the way to the second fold. Cut the strips about 1" wide.

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Step 4. Unfurl the roll letting the strips dangle. Place your nondominant arm through the tube with the uncut fold at the top.

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Step 5. Starting at the edge closest to your hand, cut at a diagonal from the edge across the top fold to the first cut. That first strip will drop, then cut across the fold at a diagonal to the second cut.

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Step 6. Continue to cut until you have a long strip of plarn.

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Illustrations by Ann Swanson

Thea Nortness is a retired operating-room nurse who lives and weaves in Port Orford, Oregon. She enjoys thinking outside the box and making constructive use of materials at hand.

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