Loopgram: Hooking with tee-shirts

When I was in CVS a couple of days ago, I grabbed a bunch of tee-shirts, 4 for $10. Happily I carried them home and immediately went to work hooking them into my next area on my alternative fabrics mat, Got Wool?. Here is my assessment of tees as hooking fabric.

Cutting ease: on a scale from 1 to 5 with "1" being "Cuts like butter; easy as wool" and five being "So terrible don't bother," tee-shirt material gets a "5". Tee-shirt material will tear along the selvage but not across the selvage. When it is torn, it does not always tear straight. I was not successful tearing it thinner than 3/4" to 1". Once torn, the long edges curl so that you end up with something akin to inflexible cording rather than a strip of fabric. When I tried cutting it on my Bliss, it was too thin to keep a straight line and still curled. So I tried cutting it by hand across the selvage. It didn't curl, but the edges looked very raw, especially if there was any unevenness in the cut (which with this material and hand scissors was impossible to avoid).

Hooking ease: on a scale from 1 to 5 with one being "Hooks like a dream; easy as wool" and five being "Why am I trying this?", tee-shirt material gets a "5". I tried hooking the tee-shirt cords and they were so bulky they were difficult to work with and looked terrible. When I tried to open up the curled tube and cut along the center line to create a less bulky cord, it was easier to pull loops, but still looked terrible. When I tried to pull the strips I had cut by hand across the selvage, it was so thin that it looked miserable hooked and those raw uneven edges didn't help anything.

Overall look: on a scale from 1 to 5 where one is "gorgeous like hand-dyed wool" to "bad look even for a bad hair day", tee-shirt material gets a "5". In fact, it was so bad that I pulled out what I had hooked and abandoned the idea of using tee-shirts in my alternative fabric rug.

Average evalutation: 5 out of 5 or "Go and get some wool."

The moral of this story? Be smarter than I was. If you are going to try to hook with tee-shirts, make sure to buy sizes that will fit you and your family in case you decide to abandon the project too!