How can I reuse or recycle old tights/stockings?

TightsI used to wear skirts quite a lot so, given I live in the chilly north of England, I bulk bought tights (or stockings, but mostly tights) whenever I had a bargainacious opportunity. Still, with the help of nail varnish for emergency repairs, I managed to keep them going until they were grey, shapeless, snagged nylon sacks. Attractive imagery, I know.

Now those many, many sexy garments are taking up valuable space in my underwear drawer but I can’t bring myself to throw them away, no matter how unlikely it is that I’ll ever wear them again. I’m sure there are hundreds of things to do with them but am really at a loss to think exactly what. So, any suggestions?

Best Suggestions

  • Reuse – Practical: Use them as a supportive-but-gentle way to tie plants and flowers to supports – or similarly, to make hair ties that won’t snag or pull. Alternately, put the annoying ends of soap in the foot of a stocking and tie it around your outdoor tap for when your hands are muddy.
  • Reuse – Creative: Nylons can be used as filler or a filling liner for toys/draught excluders, and can also be used for crocheting/rag rug making in their own right. For an easy peasy dog toy, plait a few pairs together into a short but stretchy tug toy.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

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125 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old tights/stockings?”


  1. fools gold says:

    i use old tights etc to seive old paint they are brilliant for this. we also use other clothing plus thick opaque tights for polishing. it’s cheaper to re-use than buy in rags. drop me a line at, munchkin69@mail2chocolate.com gladly take all unwanted stuff. will try and make use out of most things.

  2. Beamager says:

    Good morning, Excuse Me but my English is not very good. Here is my request: I search bottoms or panty hoses spun to make flowers with. Then if you had bottoms or panty hoses that you want to throw the poubelle them, think in moi. I me definitely to recover them. But my biggest probleme it is to find of the matiere premiere (panty hoses or bottom lines). It is for it that I come to ask you if you would not have panty hoses or bottom lines which you want to throw has the garbage can. Because, I want recuperer. You want to see what I make: http://www.aufeminin.com/album/mesfleursencollant You will be can etre surprised by what they can make by recycling sticky or low. Accept not you from it me of Belgium, Italy, Switzerland then why? I wait for your answers. Thank you has you. In + Bea
    beamager@wanadoo.fr

  3. Tempest says:

    My Gran made a jar full of what she called pickled bums, sections of tights filled with cotton wool, or some filler, then put a cotton line through making what looked like a bottom. This was then given as a novelty present to friends and family.

    Made me laugh.

  4. Leslizia says:

    you can cut them and make some new stockings

  5. Anna says:

    They can be used as padding for covered coathangers for self or to give as presents. Get a wooden coathanger (haven’t been able to make this work with wire ones, sadly!) – cut elastic off waist of tights as it’s too thick and lumpy, then wind tights tightly round hanger from one end to the other and secure end with a few stitches. Knit or crochet a long strip – get measurements by measuring round hanger (usually 2-3″) and length of hanger, then calculate using tension. If using DK yarn and size 9 needles, 24sts = 4″, so work it out from there. Usually I use about 15 sts. Knit (plain or fancy stitch, your choice!) or crochet to right length. Sew round hanger. Add ribbon bow to base of metal hanger bit, decorate with buttons, lace, bows, anything. (BTW metal hanger is just poked through knitting at the halfway point – no need to detach it.)

  6. Anna says:

    They can also be plaited into bathmats. Cut off waist elastic, cut up centre of body section to provide separate legs, sew legs together at toes and tops to make long continuous strips that you wind into balls. Then plait together and sew into rounds or ovals, coiling the plait and sewing as you go. They look best dyed – nylon dyes well with washing-machine Dylon and they make warm, soft and quick-drying bathmats. You can even dye your balls of lengths into different shades and have a 3-tone mat, if you can be bothered.

  7. Anna says:

    …and they can be cut into small pieces and used to stuff cushions or soft toys! Best mixed with polyester stuffing (from an old duvet is the cheapest way, or cushions/pillows that have gone out of shape)- the tights make the polyester go further and tend to be a bit lumpy on their own.

  8. Shorty says:

    The filtering options are endless! Maybe they can be stitched into a reusable coffee filter?

  9. Amelia says:

    Old tights can be used as a great storage system for hanging up onions in a cool dry place after they have been harvested

  10. M says:

    Hi, I find old tights really come in handy round the garage, for straining fluinds, paints, as rags etc. Trouble is demand far outstrips supply. I would be interested in taking loads of what you have off your hands.

  11. kitschkitty says:

    Use a foot/leg over the end of your vacuum cleaner nozzle if you ever need to pick up small spilt items like beads, seeds, staples, etc.

    You can use them to make a face, stuff with a little wadding and then sewn and decorated to add a nose, ears and other features. They can also be filled with sawdust and grass seed and decorated to look like a face – when the grass grows out of the top it looks like hair!

    I’ve used them to recover worn out foam headphone/earphone parts.

    They can be used as stuffing as previously mentioned.

    I imagine you could use them to cover bandages, sleeves, hair etc if your doing a job where you need to keep any of those things tidy (like if you are painting or something)!

    You can stuff them to make a door/draft excluder.

    I guess you could use a clean foot to cover glasses and drinks cans in the summer if you are out in the garden and worried about flying insects, maybe they could be used for other screening purposes too?

  12. Bre says:

    I am looking for clean used tights or stockings. It doesnt matter if they have a few ladders in them. They must be clean. I need quite a lot, ideally in tan colours, all variations from light to dark. I can use them for craftwork. Thanks.

  13. Jon says:

    Here, one use has been given, ie. garden tying – the “give” can be better than a hard bit of twine. The other I’ve not seen mentioned but is again sort of gardening (at least here as we grow some soft fruit) related. They can be used as a “jelly bag” to strain the juice when making things like blackcurrant jelly, cordials, purees, etc.

  14. melanie says:

    If anyone has any old tights/stockings etc I would gladly recycle them , I am currently doing a degree in textiles and need as many pairs as possible for my coursework making flowers . Please contact me melaniemckie@hotmail.com all help will be gladly appreciated thank you

  15. Becky says:

    I have lots of old tights I want to recycle at the moment, mostly black and 60-100 denier with holes, if anyone is interested please contact me at lostwisdom@hotmail.co.uk

  16. Melinda says:

    - I use squares cut from old nylons to cover a jar or sprouting seeds. I secure it with a rubber band, and lean it ot the side of my dish drainer, where it is out and I don’t forget to rinse it a couple times a day.

    - I have used squares cut from the thicker tights on my coffee maker as a filter. It worked well, rinsed out easily and could be re-usd.

  17. beamager says:

    Hello,
    I am French and I’m sorry for my English might not be very correct.
    My approach is somewhat unusual, but I found that this method for my research hosiery damaged ..
    You are a consumer of stockings or tights? But they wear out, will spin or pierce easily? So remember to reuse them instead of throwing them away, because now, recycling has become a daily action in our lives so why not recycle our tights. Especially since they are not damaged tights that will be missed! So now, from today, keep your tights, because they will be useful for making flowers.
    Here I make flowers with tights or stockings and queues of wire. But my biggest problem is finding the raw material (tights or damaged). That is why I am asking you if you did not tights or damaged you want to discard. Because, I want to recover well.
    Want to see what I do: http://www.leblogacollants.com/que-faire-collants-files/
    http://album.aufeminin.com/album/675502/tout-en-collant-mes-fleurs-0.html
    I do not trade with my achievements, but I give them in nursing homes or
    works, but especially not trade with and I insist. You might be surprised what you can do tights or recycling.
    It sends me an envelope and I normally get from France, Allemang, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Canada … why not you?
    No matter what color they are white, beige, black, brown, gray … it does not matter.
    Here is a testimonial from a friend:
    “Mireille wrote:
    I have only just come across your ad, your creations are beautiful.
    I have tights to give you and just say that like you I was doing flowers and butterflies and others with tights and I had a hard to find, so I put an ad on forums and I received a lot of stockings and tights.
    Maybe you could try. Good luck and congratulations for your magnificent work. ”
    I await your responses.
    Thank you.
    beamager@wanadoo.fr
    A +
    Bea

  18. Pip says:

    Hey, I have lots of clean old tights I’d prefer to recycle, can anyone make use of them, let me know and I’ll send them. Pip.

    • beamager says:

      Hello, I make flowers out of old pantyhose. I put a few flowers on the site: http://www.leblogacollants.com/que-faire-collants-files/
      and on Facebook: Beamager Ger
      If you want to send me your old tights, here is my address: Beatrice et Marc Gerfaud, Imprimerie Nouvelle Gerfaud, 5 rue de la Foret, BP 67, 44130 Blain, France
      Feel free to contact me if you need more information: beamager@wanadoo.fr
      Thank you, Sincerely, Beatrice

    • M says:

      Hello Pip,

      I noticed your message with regards to the old tights you have. I need all you’ve got. I run a garage and we find them invaluable used as rags where scratches must be avoided, for straining fluids…and lots more. I will give you my address if you let me know your e-mail addy. I will of course pay you for any expense and postage.

      Thanks!

  19. Kate Thornton says:

    Hi,
    I have tons of pairs of stockings and tights if anyone can do anything with them. Some may have little snags and ladders in them, but most of them are okay. I have holdup stockings too. I wear mainly sheer/semi-opaque black tights and stockings (for work/play) but I have some tan, grey, white, blue and a few red in there too I think. They go back years and years – I’ve never wanted to thrown them away. You can get me on email: misskatethornton175@gmail.com
    Thanks,
    Kate

  20. Kate Thornton says:

    Hi,
    I’ve had a lot of contact from people on the site and have now got rid of my entire stockings and tights collection! I’m amazed I had so many responses and very happy that they’re going to go to good homes and get used.
    I’m building my collection up again slowly – so will soon have more to give away. I’m not going to do quite so big bundles next time – so others have a chance of getting some.
    I’m sorry to the people that contacted me after I’d run out.
    I’m on misskatethornton175@gmail.com if you want to get in touch.
    Thanks,
    Kate

    • trudi smith says:

      Hi Kate,

      I iam making rag doll`s and soft toys from scrap fabrics and need lots
      off old tights and stockings, which i us as stuffing and sale them,
      and give the money to Cancer Research.
      It would be nice of you to send as many as you can, maybe ask your
      friends to help you??,.
      I`m on willowslender@yahoo.co.uk, i do hope to here from you soon.

      Thanks,
      Trudi

  21. alison price says:

    hey kate thornton
    i received your box of tights and stockings last week. i had no idea you were sending so many!!!! i was totally amazed and enjoyed going through them all. i spent a full three evenings sorting them out into types, colours and deniers. u should have let me pay the postage though as i saw the price on the royal mail label!!
    these will keep me busy for months kate
    thank you again
    alison
    x

  22. George says:

    Hello,
    I have just seen this post and was wondering if you could help me, i run an allotment, and tights get used allot by all of us there, however myself and the other gents did say it would be good if people put them all to good use as there must be hundreds of thousands a day thrown away.
    If anyone here could kindly send us as many as possible, we would highly appreciate the donation, and not one pair would be wasted (and I’m sure our better half’s would be glad for us to stop pestering them)
    We are based in the Northwest UK.
    Thanks
    George and The Green Fingered Gardeners.

  23. melanie says:

    If anyone has any old tights/stockings etc I would gladly recycle them , I am currently doing a degree in textiles and need as many pairs as possible for my coursework making flowers . Please contact me melaniemckie@hotmail.com all help will be gladly appreciated thank you

    Apologise to anyone i haven’t replied too my email was full of spam and took me a while to delete them and thanks to those that have sent to me it has been a great help with my work

    thank you

  24. mychel says:

    i need stocking or panty hose any one can send me in a cheap price..its okey if have hole or old…i want make some flowers….any color.i really appriciate

  25. Nancy Reidy says:

    I used my old panty-hose and stockings to tie up my plants in the garden. So far so good, even though the garden isn’t so prolific because of the draught.
    I also am looking for a use for my old crockpot.Thanks, Granny

  26. Mark says:

    Hello,

    I run a garage and my wife works in a nursery for toddlers. In both our lines of work we have many a time needed more tights (pantyhose) than my missus can get through. I would be so grateful if any of you ladies out there would save them up and send them on to me. I would cover all p&p charges obviously. I’ll take them in any size, any condition, any colour, it is not important. My uses them for crafts projects at the nursery and I find them indispensable in the garage as soft cloths, strainers and for tying things together till it is time for re assembly. I really do hope you can help us out! Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi mark,

      Do you still need these or have you been inundated? I have quite a lot of tights and hose to get rid of, but am in London… Not sure it will be worth posting.

      • Mark says:

        Hi!

        Thanks so much for your offer! No, I haven’t been inundated actually. My e-mail address is crcombine@yahoo.co.uk If you could drop me an e-mail there we can discuss postage etc etc. And thank you again for getting back to me!

  27. Mark says:

    Hello,

    Though I have had some people get in touch, I have yet to move on to actually recieving any old tights! I live in Malta, the climate is warm so tights are not worn a lot. More to the point, they are not worn enough to keep up with demand. C’mon ladies, do your bit for the environment. It is so hard to get hold of old tights in significant quantities that having them posted over here is actually viable. They get used a lot in the business I run, a garage. I use them as tie backs, strainers, wipe rags, filters, padding, polishing rags….. we get through lots and need lots! At least this way the maximum possible use is made of the material before it heads to the land fill. I would be happy to pay you any p&p costs for sending them over. any colour, thickness, condition, size, shape…….. they all do! Really hope I get to hear from you out there. Raid your drawers, seek out those holey, saggy, ripped, unused tights and give them a new life. You’d be surprised at the space you’ll create too. Thanks so much.

    Mark

    • Eileen Rhoads says:

      What is your address so I can mail some old stockings.
      Thank you so much.

    • sandra says:

      Hi,
      I have between 1.50 and 2 lbs of clean nylon stockings.
      If you are interested, reply with your location and I’ll let you know exact weight and postage necessary.

  28. Sasha says:

    Hi all, if somebody is still interested in old tights?
    I have a bunch of them, most of them are black, but also other colours, like red, yellow, natural, etc.

    Thanks very much!

    Sasha

    • George says:

      Hi sasha we would gladly accept any old ones you dont need anymore

      Please send any too

      George Hurst
      40 duke street
      Chorley
      Lancashire
      England
      PR73DT

      Kindest Regards
      George

  29. Mark says:

    Hi Sasha,

    Yes, I am interested in taking them off your hands. I constantly need them for my business ( I run a garage). Send anything you have, it does not matter what condition, colour or thickness. We use the lot!

    My business address is:

    M Zammit
    PO Box 57
    Qormi Road
    Marsa CMR
    Malta

    I am willing to pay for any postage costs, just let me know where I can send you a payment via PayPal.

    Thanks so much

    Mark

  30. Mark says:

    I’d like to thank the lady who sent me a parcel of old tights recently. They arrived safely and are already being put to good use. Thak you so much! Keep ‘em coming please!

    Mark

  31. Sasha says:

    Hello again,
    sorry i didn’t check the page for a few months, so, i didn’t see the answers… well, I still have a lot of tights I want to get rid of :)

    Please, let me know if some of you would like to have them!

    It’s mostly black colours, but also some coloured ones :)

    • mark says:

      Hello Sasha,

      Yep, still need old tights by the shed load. Any condition, colour, thickness, all will be put to good use. I will gladly pay the postage costs. My address is:

      PO Box 57
      Qormi Road
      Marsa CMR
      Malta

      Thanks so much for your help!

      Mark

    • George says:

      Sasha we would gladly accept any old ones you dont need anymore, colors are irrelevant but all donations appreciated.

      Please send any too

      George Hurst
      40 duke street
      Chorley
      Lancashire
      England
      PR73DT

      Kindest Regards
      George

  32. CHRIS says:

    Panty hose in particular are good to wear under trousers in the winter, holes and ladders are immaterial as the hose make a very good insulating layer. One can use stockings, but only under loose fitting trousers as the suspenders show under tight fitting ones – not yet met a man who did not like the look of suspenders, so the latter could work in a ladies favour!

  33. George says:

    Hi everyone,
    All of us at The Green Fingered Gardeners just wanted to say a big thank you to Carole from Bradford for her donation of tights, we really appreciate all donations made and please keep them coming as not a pair is wasted.
    Please don’t throw them away, bag them and send them to us and we recycle all of them.

    Once again thank you to Everyone who has sent donations.

    Please send any donations to.

    George Hurst
    40 duke street
    Chorley
    Lancashire
    England
    PR73DT

    George.

  34. George Hurst says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has sent in donations of tights/stockings, we really appreciate them.
    Please keep them coming as there are never enough to go round everyone, there are nearly 30 of us on the allotment so you can imagine the amount of string & ties we would normally go through, hence nothing is wasted as they serve a multitude of purposes.

    If you would like to send your old tights/stockings please post them to -
    George Hurst
    40 duke street
    Chorley
    Lancashire
    England
    PR73DT

  35. Trudi smith says:

    I iam making rag doll`s and soft toys from scrap fabrics and need lots
    off old tights and stockings, which i us as stuffing and sale them,
    and give the money to Cancer Research.
    It would be nice of you to send as many as you can, maybe ask your
    friends to help you??,.
    I`m on willowslender@yahoo.co.uk, i do hope to here from you soon.

    Thanks,
    Trudi

    - See more at: http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/20060606/how-can-i-reuse-or-recycle-old-tights#sthash.D1LDVdzt.dpuf

    • kate wells says:

      Trudi I have loads of Black Opaque Tights ..very thick ..120 /200 denier ..

      • Margret Hurst says:

        Hi kate, if Trudi Smith does not reply me we have your tights, our details are below to send them too an we then distribute them amongst everyone on the allotment, we do rely on regular donations of which there are never enough, but any amount is greatly appreciated.
        Kindest Regards
        Margret

        George & Margret Hurst
        40 duke street
        Chorley
        Lancashire
        England
        PR73DT

  36. beamager says:

    It is for a good cause
    Hello,

    I am in an association for humanitarian purpose and I create flowers with tights or damaged, worn out stockings. My name is Béatrice (beamager). But our big problem is to find tights or damaged, worn out stockings. As most of the women, we throw to the trash can our tights and the stocking when they are damaged, used. Then I am willing to get back them to recycle them by creating nylon flowers. You can see some creations on the following site: https://www.facebook.com/beamager if you can help me in the recycling of tights or of stockings, then contact me on my e-mail : beamager@wanadoo.fr
    I thank you beforehand for your help of recycling for a good cause. Thank you for the bottom of the heart.
    Beamager

  37. Margret Hurst says:

    To everyone who donated we wish to say thank you, your response has been overwhelming, unfortunately we are not taking any donations for a while due to moving address, please do NOT send any to the above address are we will not be able to receive them, we will post the new address as soon as possible within the next few weeks, please check here for details.
    Once again thank you to you all.
    Kindest Regards
    Margret & George Hurst
    + all the members of The Green Fingered Gardeners

  38. Denise Glover says:

    You can put the slivers of soap in one of the stockings and use it in your shower.

  39. Margret Hurst says:

    We would like to thank all the ladies at the Bradford Theater for their very kind donation, we really do appreciate it.

    Just to clarify we have changed our forwarding address to -
    32 Pingle Croft
    Clayton le Woods
    Chorley
    PR67UP

    Thank you to everyone who has sent their tights donations
    Kindest Regards to you all
    Margret & George Hurst


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