Skip to content Skip to footer

3 Simple Fabric Scrap Recycling Methods at Home

Simple Fabric Scrap Recycling Methods at Home

Fabric scrap recycling plays a crucial role in environmental protection and resource conservation. Unused or damaged fabric scraps generated during production and usage become fabric waste, resulting in waste management challenges and negative impacts on the environment.

The accumulation of fabric scraps that we often cut and discard at home leads to a significant amount of waste. Without proper disposal methods, it can cause significant damage to our lives. Therefore, fabric scrap recycling becomes incredibly important and necessary.

In this article, WELL FABRIC will help you understand the fabric scrap recycling process, the benefits it brings, and effective ways to recycle fabric scraps right at home.

>>> Read more:

7+ Tips On How To Recycle Clothes

Recycled polyester fabric

1. Why do we need to recycle fabric scraps?

1.1. What are fabric scraps?

Why do we need to recycle fabric scraps

Fabric scraps, also known as fabric remnants, are pieces of fabric that are discarded or unused during the production, sewing, or household use. They are usually formed from small or damaged fabric pieces that cannot be reused in the conventional way.

1.2. Pollution issues with improper fabric scrap disposal

Currently, improper handling of fabric scraps leads to various environmental pollution issues. Typically, fabric scraps are either buried in landfills or incinerated.

However, the landfilling of fabric scraps contributes to soil and water pollution due to the decomposition of additives in the fabric, which seep into the environment.

Simultaneously, incinerating fabric scraps generates emissions containing pollutants such as sulfur, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons, which have detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

To safely handle and prevent harmful emissions, specialized furnaces capable of reaching temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius are required.

1.3. Benefits of fabric scrap recycling


Fabric scrap recycling offers significant benefits:

+ Firstly, recycling helps reduce fabric waste and saves costs and resources for producing new fabric.

Instead of consuming natural resources to create new fabric, we can reuse and recycle existing fabric scraps. This reduces the negative impact on the environment, preserves natural resources, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

+ Additionally, fabric scrap recycling creates business opportunities and fosters innovation.

Businesses and designers can use fabric scraps to create new and unique products such as rugs, bags, clothing, or decorative items. This not only reduces waste but also encourages the use of recycled fabric in the fashion and interior design industries.

Fabric scrap recycling is an important method to reduce environmental pollution, conserve resources, and create new business opportunities. Encouraging and supporting fabric scrap recycling contributes to building a sustainable society and environment.

2. Fabric scrap recycling process

2.1. Fabric scrap sorting

Fabric scrap sorting

Before sending fabric scraps to recycling facilities, you can sort them yourself to help save time for the factory workers.

Fabric scraps can be classified into two main groups: natural fiber fabrics and synthetic or blended fabrics.

Under natural fiber fabrics, we have Bamboo fabric and Cotton fabric.

+ Bamboo fabric offers softness and excellent moisture absorption.

+ Cotton fabric provides efficient sweat absorption and quick drying.

In contrast, under synthetic or blended fabrics, we have PC fabric, TC fabric, and PE fabric.

+ PC fabric combines cotton and nylon fibers, offering comfort and affordability.

+ TC fabric also offers comfort but has lower moisture absorption compared to cotton fabric.

+ PE fabric is 100% nylon fabric, inexpensive but lacks sweat absorption and may feel hot when worn.

2.2. Recycling fabric scraps using machines

Recycling fabric scraps using machines

Fabric scrap recycling processes have been developed and implemented in numerous recycling facilities worldwide. Here is a general description of the fabric scrap recycling process using machinery:

+ Fabric scrap collection: Initially, fabric scraps are collected from garment companies, manufacturing factories, and other sources. Collecting fabric scraps is done to concentrate the raw materials and ensure their quality.

+ Fabric scrap sorting: After collection, fabric scraps are sorted according to fabric type, size, and characteristics. This process helps separate different fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, linen, polyester, or nylon for efficient recycling.

+ Processing and cleaning: Fabric scraps are processed and cleaned to remove any impurities like dirt, paint, or residual additives on the fabric’s surface. This process ensures that the fabric scraps are clean and ready for the subsequent recycling process.

+ Shredding and compressing: After processing, fabric scraps are shredded into small fibers or pieces. This process is usually carried out using shredding or cutting machines to achieve the desired size and shape for recycling.

+ Recycling and processing: Shredded fabric scraps are further processed into new products. Specialized machines recycle and process fabric scraps into fiberfill, yarn, woven fabric, or carpet fabric, depending on specific requirements and applications.

+ Quality control: During the recycling process, quality control measures are implemented to ensure that the recycled products meet the standards of quality and safety.

+ Raw material distribution: Upon completing the recycling process, the recycled fabric products are distributed and used in various industries such as garment manufacturing, interior design, or construction.

The fabric scrap recycling process using machinery plays a crucial role in utilizing resources and reducing fabric waste. The use of modern machines and automated processes enhances efficiency and ensures the quality of the recycling process.

3. Creative Ways to Recycle Fabric Scraps at Home

In addition to purchasing fabric scraps from factories, we can also recycle fabric scraps at home to create simple and easy household items. Here are some creative recycling ideas you can consider:

3.1. Making a doormat

Making a doormat

Recycling fabric scraps into a doormat is a creative way to utilize discarded fabric and create a useful item for your home. Here are the steps to make a fabric scrap doormat:


+ Fabric scraps

+ Scissors, measuring tape, multi-colored thread


+ Prepare the fabric: Start by processing the amount of fabric scraps you need. Since they don’t have a standard shape, use scissors and a measuring tape to cut them into long strips, approximately 5cm in width.

+ Weave the doormat: Use three fabric strips and weave them like braiding hair. Use thread to secure the braids together, preventing them from unraveling. Hand-braiding tightly enhances durability and water absorption.

+ Connect the braids: Finally, connect the smaller braids together to form a doormat. Use matching colored threads to connect the braids, creating a visually appealing doormat.

GREAT JOB! A brand-new doormat has been created from what seemed to be discarded fabric. Try applying this method and explore your creative potential in fabric scrap recycling.

3.2. Making a Tote Bag

Making a Tote Bag from fabric scrap recycling

To repurpose discarded fabric scraps and create a unique handmade tote bag, you can follow these steps:


+ Fabric scraps

+ Scissors, measuring tape, thread, sewing machine (optional)

+ Decorative ribbons

+ Fabric markers


+ Prepare the fabric: Use large-sized fabric scraps and cut them into squares, circles, or rectangles, depending on the type of bag you want to create.

Opt for stiffer fabric scraps like denim or felt to make it easier to shape the bag. Use thread to sew the fabric pieces together.

+ Create bag handles: For the bag handles, you can braid long fabric strips into a long and pretty string to use as the handles.

+ Add accents: Depending on your creativity, use fabric markers to draw shapes like flowers, leaves, or stars on a piece of fabric. Then, cut out the drawings and sew them onto the body of the bag to create accents and aesthetics.

Ribbons can also be used to tie around the bag handles or create bows on the body of the bag, according to personal preference.

WOW! You have created a unique tote bag with your own style. The product is environmentally friendly, made from fabric scraps.

3.3. Hair Ties

Hair Ties

To recycle fabric scraps into hair ties, first, you need to prepare the following materials: fabric scraps, scissors, measuring tape, and thread. You will also need some elastic fabric to provide stretchiness for the hair ties.

Next, cut the fabric scraps into pieces with a length of about 30cm – 40cm and a width of about 8cm – 10cm.

Then, using thread and a needle, sew along the length of the fabric piece to create a round tube with both ends open.

Next, thread the elastic fabric inside the fabric tube and use matching-colored thread to secure the elastic fabric. This helps the hair ties to be stretchy and easily hold the hair in place.

Finally, sew the two ends of the fabric tube together to create a complete hair tie. You can choose different-colored fabric scraps to create hair ties with multiple colors and a cute appearance.

With hair ties recycled from fabric scraps, you not only create unique fashion accessories but also help reduce waste and protect the environment.

3.4. Toy and Accessory Ideas

Toy and Accessory Ideas With fabric scraps

With fabric scraps, we can create interesting toys for children, such as stuffed animals, dolls, or fabric balls.

Additionally, you can watch detailed video tutorials on how to recycle fabric scraps into various items through the Marifetli İşler channel:

4. FAQs

4.1. Can you recycle scraps of fabric?

Yes, you can recycle fabric scraps. Fabric scraps can be collected and processed to be recycled into new products such as doormats, tote bags, clothing, fashion accessories, and more. The fabric scrap recycling process helps reduce waste and protect the environment.

4.2. What fabrics are easy to recycle?

+ Cotton fabric: Cotton fabric is one of the easiest fabrics to recycle. It can be transformed into new products such as T-shirts, towels, or clothing.

+ Polyester fabric: Polyester fabric is also easy to recycle and can be used to create new products like bags, jackets, or home furnishings.

+ Wool fabric: Wool fabric can be recycled into new products such as rugs, hats, or gloves.

+ Denim fabric: Denim fabric, commonly used for making jeans, can also be recycled into other products like wallets, pillows, or bags.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other fabrics that are easy to recycle.

4.3. Where can you donate fabric scraps in the United States?

With hundreds of fabric recycling options available, there are several charitable organizations that accept fabric donations. Here are some organizations you might be interested in:

Days for Girls International (DFGI)

DFGI is an organization that creates washable and reusable menstrual pads and distributes them to developing countries.

They only accept specific fabric types such as 100% woven cotton fabric, 100% flannel cotton fabric, and polyurethane laminate fabric.

They require donations to be new and unwashed fabric and prefer bright and colorful fabrics to hide stains better.


Ragfinery is a secondhand store in Bellingham, Washington. They not only sell fabric and yarn but also provide job training and community education. Ragfinery also has a Fabric Waste Reduction Program, where they sort, recycle, or repurpose various types of fabric. They only accept clean, dry, and usable fabric pieces that are no smaller than 1 ft. x 1 ft.

Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor is an organization that creates handmade quilts for veterans. They only accept new or unused 100% cotton fabric that is suitable for quilting.

The fabric should be free of stains or unpleasant odors. They prefer white, blue, or red fabrics as most veterans like quilts with these colors.


TerraCycle operates internationally to provide various recycling options. By signing up online, they will send you a mail-in box. Fill the box with your old clothes and easily send it back to TerraCycle for recycling.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other organizations and options available for fabric scrap donations in the United States.


Above is all the information about recycling fabric scraps that WELL FABRIC wants to share with everyone. With a focus on a lifestyle close to nature and slow fashion, WELL FABRIC always strives to produce environmentally friendly fabric products. They also share useful knowledge related to “sustainable fashion” to enhance awareness of preserving our green planet.

>>> 4 Popular Recycled Fabrics in the Fashion Industry

Leave a comment