Riches To Rags…Thoughts On Reusing and Recycling Old Clothing

Recycling - My Big Basket of Rags
Recycling – My Big Basket of Rags

Ok…so I’m not, “rich,” at least not in the monetary sense.  But, I am certainly blessed to live on Gawd’s green earth, so I try to take care in how I use it’s precious resources.  Recycling is always on my mind. Using paper towels is simply a big fat waste, not to mention a downright, silly use of perfectly good trees.  So is throwing out old towels and clothes that still have some useful fabric in them.  Why clog up the landfills when you don’t have to?

“Waste not, want not,” my grandmother used to say.  So when our towels and clothes get to be past their prime, I get out the scissors and start cutting.  I don’t even need the shears for the towels…they’re easy to rip.  Most of our clothing is in the form of T-shirts and sweats, both which make for great rags.  Recycling them only takes a minute to lop off the sleeves and slice down the seams and voila, a couple of new rags.

I keep all of my rags in a big basket on the table, so that it’s easy to grab one when needed.  I may use several of them during the day and then they’re tossed into the washing machine that evening.  (Wet, dirty rags can breed bad germs and I don’t want those.)  I have a huge pile of them, so there’s plenty of rags waiting for the next day.  They’re so colorful and pretty in their basket!  Just seeing them there makes me feel richer already!

Of course, I’m not going to stop at rags.  I always have quilting projects going on, but not all fabrics are suitable for quilting.  My next endeavor is to make a couple of rag rugs for the house out of jersey knits, such as T-shirt fabrics.  Decorative pillows and fabric baskets are already in the works.  I’d gladly welcome more ideas.

Please revisit this post for updates about other simple, textile, recycling projects, coming soon. Also, stop by RecyclingFacts.org for some encouraging information on how far we’ve come in our recycling efforts.

~ C