Misc Recycling plastic bags into Plarn

Weft and Warp

Contributing Member
There's a thread on the main page about being "green" which caused many of us to reminisce about the days when we used to return bottles for their deposit and also what we used to do with the paper bags--- and even about recycling in general.
-- http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showthread.php?558328-OH-HELL-NO-cashier-telling-older-lady-she-should-bring-her-own-bags-to-be-greener-and-not-use-plastic

I know that more and more, people are using those reusable bags--I know I do-- but even so, I still accumulate too many of those plastic grocery bags and I hate to just throw them out. I've found different ways to reuse them in the past, but since I enjoy crafting, I'm always on the look out for some way to use them in my crafting projects.

I wove a few plastic (Plarn) rugs on my Union loom once--just to see what the results would look like. I didn't want the rug to look tacky the way my grandmother's crocheted bread bag rugs looked. What she made was practical and frugal, but they still looked like bread bags. Suprisingly, my rugs turned out looking nice!

One of them I used as a door mat as a test case to see how many years it would last outdoors (in all weather) and it lasted at least 4 years (the cotton warp thread was the first to wear out). I used mainly strips cut from grey bags, with an occasional strip from a white bag thrown in, creating a random pattern in the finished rug.

I recently watched a few videos about making plarn and spinning plarn on Youtube and I might try doing that sometime too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sYI-WPuyD0&t=133s
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms4KiFdKyj0

I also watched another video I thought was interesting---it's not so much a craft, but a possible way to recycle bags as a sheath for an ax and that made me wonder what else we could do with these bags.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms4KiFdKyj0
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Even better is the commercial yarn made from plastics - personally I don't use it much because I react to plastics on my skin for too long the way many folks react to wool but as an over-all idea especially for weaving or knitting shopping bags, rugs or even wall hangings it is a great idea (homemade or commercial versions).

I've got some lovely "sari silk" I haven't used yet that someone gave me which is produced in India from recycled silk clothing and it looks really nice - multicolored but not in the 1970s "oh my eyes hurt" way but in a nice way.
 

Weft and Warp

Contributing Member
I love skirts made out of sari silk! A friend of mine lived in Bangladesh for a few years. And she would send me pictures of her wearing beautiful saris. I remember at that time, wishing that saris would become fashionable here in the States.

It would be a nice fabric/fiber to weave with too!
 

Faroe

Veteran Member
Never heard of such a thing. I remember tiny ads in the New Yorker Magazine, back when I was a kid, selling kimono silk scraps by the bag, and always wanted some. It seems somehow sacrilegious to me that that happens, however. Anyway, I love silk, and always buy it when I find a silk shirt in thriftstores. Having raised the worms for a few seasons, I feel a bit guilty about buying new, since the worms are boiled alive for the cocoons (just me, but I'd sooner wear fur).

Anyway, a quick search located pretty silk yarns on e-bay from the recycled sari silk, and fat quarters from a sari factory (?) on Etsy. I am more interested in the actual fabric, than the bulky inelastic yarn. If I could find some used intact saris, I'm assuming that would be enough un-cut yardage to sew full and half slips and knickers. Not picky about the prints, and none of it has to match. Will have to do more searching.
 

kyrsyan

Veteran Member
Anybody that wants to try is welcome to several sleeves of pink newspaper bags. Each sleeve holds a hundred bags. I sure don't need them anymore. Or at least not in this quantity.
 

Deena in GA

Administrator
_______________
I've been making plarn bags for years. They take a LOT of plastic bags. Just finished a beach bag sized one a few weeks ago. They're great and seem to last forever. Another great use for plarn is to make sleeping mats for the homeless. Churches and groups around the country have been doing this because they offer a bit of softness to the ground and protect from dampness.
 

Weft and Warp

Contributing Member
I've been making plarn bags for years. They take a LOT of plastic bags. Just finished a beach bag sized one a few weeks ago. They're great and seem to last forever. Another great use for plarn is to make sleeping mats for the homeless. Churches and groups around the country have been doing this because they offer a bit of softness to the ground and protect from dampness.
You know, not only would they make nice sleeping mats for the homeless, but they would probably make good sleeping mats for camping too. They are very light and wouldn't add too much weight to a backpack.
 
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