Posts tagged "cotton"

How can I reuse or recycle old bedding?

bedsheetsWe’ve had an email from Yvonne:

What can we do with a box of old double bed sheets, duvet covers and valances which we don’t use any more because we’ve got a king size bed?

The first thing I’d suggest would be to pass them on – if they’re still in ok condition, give them to a charity/thrift shop or local shelter, or offer them on Freecycle. Bedding, particularly duvet covers, seems to be pretty popular in the charity shops that I go to seem to.

Aside from that, there are a whole lot of reuses for bedding because at the end of the day, it’s just flat lengths of fabric – and usually 100% cotton (or at least cotton-heavy) fabric at that. Rag ruggers often use bed sheets/covers because they’re cheap & available, and the old solution was, after turning the outside edges in, to use them for handkerchiefs.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle onion skins?

onion skinsWe’ve had an email from Jess:

Is there anything I can do with onion skins instead of just throwing them in the compost? I remember reading about using them to dye eggs at one point but I don’t want to dye eggs! Any other ideas?

Ours always go straight in the compost – usually because I’m getting into a panic about making the rest of the onion-based meal (burning! where’s the stock!? argh, we’re out of cheese! etc etc) – but I like the idea of doing something more with them too.

Apparently you can use them for dyeing other wool or cotton based things and not just eggs, but cotton stuff doesn’t tend to be very colour-fast so maybe use it for artwork or hardly-washed soft furnishings instead of your new favourite tshirt.

Is there anything else that can be done with them? Other practical or crafty suggestions? Or culinary ones (I have half a memory of them being good for reducing the taste of burnt stews…?)?

(Photo by grafbea)

How can I reuse or recycle … old bras?

Old brasI find it strange how attached I get to a couple of bits of cloth and a bunch of straps. Some bras I’ve worn to absolute death – until the underwire had been sown back in countless times and the elastic in the cloth is decidedly inelastic – and then I’ve been sad that they’re gone (turquoise bra – still miss you, sigh).

Other bras I own I’ve worn a good number of times but now they don’t fit – mostly because I’ve put on weight but also because I was less fussy about how well they fitted in the past so have a heap of bras that looked nice at one point but were completely the wrong size to begin with (purple lacy one, looking at you here).

Either way, the result is I’ve got a stack of bras that I can’t wear any more but that aren’t good enough quality to give away to a charity shop or the like.

Any ideas what I can do with them? Suggestions for what to do with any of their component parts (underwires, straps, fasteners, the cups themselves…) are welcome too.

How can I reuse or recycle … cotton bobbins?

Reels of cotton on plastic bobbinsMany moons ago, I met the man who had the idea to make cotton bobbins out of plastic rather than wood (since the latter had friction problems apparently). He was quite a wealthy guy by the time I met him so I guess he made some money from the brainwave. But, of course, at what cost? After all, plastic: boo.

I don’t sew as much as I used to so it’s less of a problem but every now and then, I finish a reel of cotton and think back to that guy and his money and resent just throwing the bobbin in the bin.

Any suggestions for re-uses?

(Photo by Morrhigan)