How to Make Twine with Yarn - Darn Good Yarn

How to Make Twine with Yarn

Twining is essentially twisting two or more strands in a way that locks them together and creates strength. This technique is thousands of years old and has been used with many types of natural fibers for making ropes, clothing, and so much more. We’ll be using this technique to make a 2-ply yarn out of scraps without the need for any additional equipment.

Designed by: Erika LeMay - @wanderingwoven

Don't have time to read? We've got a tutorial video for you!


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Materials and Supplies

Materials and Supplies

You’ll need longer material– these strands are your base that brings the whole thing together, and some scraps. It can be yarn, fabric, something more or less in strands or strips at a minimum of 1.5” long. This project can be done with all scraps, though you’ll need varying lengths.

Two skeins of white yarn, a wooden clothes pin, a few piles of reclaimed chiffon ribbon pieces, and a pair of scissors are laid out on a wooden surface

Let's Get Started!

Step 1:   Take two longer strands, tie a knot at the end and secure it in place. You’ll want to use different lengths for two reasons: they are less likely to get tangled as you twist, and you don’t want them to end at the same time because it will leave a weak point in your twine.
A pair of hands is knotting together two strands of chunky white yarn
Step 2: Start by twisting each strand in the same direction. Go with any twist that is already present in your yarn, so I’m twisting both to the right. You’ll notice that with enough twist the strands will actually tend to crossover each other, which is exactly what we want
With the white yarn clipped with the wooden bobby pin, the pair of hands is now holding the two strands of white yarn apart in an upside-down 'V' shape
Step 3: Once you have some twist in your strands, cross them over each other in the opposite direction as what you twisted–so I’m crossing over to the left now. This is the ply and how it locks them together, so you’ll continue twisting and crossing in these same directions the entire time
The pair of hands is now crossing the two strands of yarn over each other in the opposite direction.

Step 4: Place one scrap end between the base strands and twist it with one of them. You can wrap it fully around or leave some to hang out–you can really play with texture here. If you decide to leave any loose ends, be sure to give them a tug to check that enough has been locked in

The pair of hands is placing a strand of the red chiffon ribbon between the two base strands of the white yarn

Tips- Throughout the process you’ll want to be sure not to pull too tight or over-twist. You can check this by giving slack every so often and making sure that your twine doesn’t coil up on itself. If you find this happening, simply let out a little of the twist and keep going!When you need to add another length of base strands, overlap the ends by at least 2” so that your twine stays strong

A hand is holding a strand of white yarn that has been over-twisted
A hand showing a strand of yarn that was pulled too tight and tore.
Step 5: Once you have created a length of scrap twine that you’re satisfied with, tie a knot at the end to keep it from untwisting
A pair of hands holding the finished braided strand.

Step 6: How you use it will depend on the materials you have made it with and the strength of your finished product. I consider this to be more of an art yarn for decorative purposes, and as a weaver I decided to incorporate mine into this woven wall hanging!

A person is now taking the yarn that they have braided and are weaving it on a loom. They are holding a loom brush and pushing the working yarn down.
White braided yarn being woven into the loom.