Paper Yarn

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Paper yarn

  • Paper can be used in a range of different unusual ways including as a textiles material. Creative Paper is a paper yarn that is suitable for knitting, crochet and other uses where a traditional yarn might be used. It can even be washed by hand although I would recommend you try this out on a sample piece first. 
  • Paper can also be woven to create a strong practical material, for example for using in a bag. This bag which was featured in the Trash to Treasure exhibition in Nottingham in February 2016. It uses woven paper & yarn to create a strong and practical material for a bag. This is a good example of how the properties of a material can change when used in different ways, as when used as a single sheet the paper is weak, but when used in in bulk, or when folded and compressed it becomes stronger.
woven paper bag


  • Investigate the properties of different types of paper and card
  • Experiment with different types of paper and card, using weaving, knitting, crochet, as well as with making your own non woven paper, to create materials suitable for use as a textile. Compare the methods and the textiles materials they create, particularly in terms of strength, draping and flexibility.
  • Design textiles products made out of paper materials
  • Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout
Creative paper knitting yarn

Other Links

  • Take a look at Japanese brand Goldwin's eco friendly fabric which is partly made from paper fibres, and which is an example of non textiles materials being used in a textiles context. The fibre is currently being used in Goodwin's C3Fit socks. Plant fibres are made into high quality paper which is then slit into thin strands which are twisted to form yarn. The fabric has natural moisture management, provides thermal regulation, is strong & durable, has natural odour control and UV protection and is light. 
  • Find out more about ChiaShan Lee, a textile artist who creates knitted garments sculptures and other items out of newspaper.  She talks about her background and inspiration for her work and why she works with newspaper. The links in the article are also worth clicking on to find out more about her work. 
  • Jim Nakao intricate cut paper dresses
  • Look at the work of Dutch designer Marian de Graaff who work includes textiles materials from paper

Practical activities and ideas are provided as a starting point only. Students should use these as inspiration as part of an iterative design process developing the idea further themselves. Credit should be given to the original source where appropriate.

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