Uses for Fabric Scraps and Rags

By Eva Lewandowski

At one time or another, we’ve all been faced with scraps of fabric that can no longer be used for their original purpose.  Whether it’s a shirt that is too threadbare to be worn or a collection of remnants from a sewing project, there are uses for almost any scrap that you come across.   Finding ways to use scraps can save you from purchasing something new, and that’s always a positive.

If you sew or quilt, consider using your scraps for a project.  If you are dealing with a worn or threadbare piece of material, examine it closely to see if some parts are salvageable for a sewing project.  Most articles of clothing do not wear evenly, so the odds are good that at least some of the fabric can be reused.  Beautiful quilts can be made entirely from scraps and remnants, and many make use of small squares.  Sewing projects like coin purses or doll clothes require only small amounts of fabric, so they are perfect for working with scraps.

Some organizations collect clean rags and fabric scraps for recycling or reuse.  For instance, here in the Twin Cities, Eureka Recycling allows customers to put out a bag of fabric scraps with their recycling or leave them at their Drop-Off Recycling Center.  The Goodwill also accepts donations of clean rags and scraps of fabrics, which are then donated to local businesses like mechanic shops.  You can also contact other thrift stores or nonprofits to see if they accept these items.

Finally, you can use them as rags in your own home.  Why buy paper towels or special cleaning cloths when you can use old socks, torn shirt sleeves, and more to clean up?  And of course, most rags can be washed out and used multiple times before you finally need to dispose of them.  So the next time you decide an article of clothing can’t be worn any longer or you have scraps of fabric left from a project, thing of the best way to reuse them!

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