Upcycled Swag: Repurposing Fabrics for Unique Clothing

People wear clothes everyday and all sorts of apparel require care as well as fixing. However, this might not work for long. Clothes can become vulnerable to environmental changes as they age. If not, you get tired of wearing the same style frequently. This is why the concept of upcycling can seem helpful. One way is to add embroidered patches. Others we will discuss later in this guide. 

Why to Upcycle Fabrics?

Upcycling the fabric gives them new life. You can put your creative instincts to work, forming something close to your heart. Also, this act is eco-friendly as you are not wasting the natural sources. You are just converting one style to another, most likely, increasing its value.

Upcycling the fabrics is responsible for lowering the production cost. This is in particular for the businesses that are part of the fashion or textile industry. Another reason to do so is to reduce waste. 

Upcycling makes clothes unique. You are adding your personal touch and opting to create something different. In case you are not going to use upcycled fabric yourself, there are others who would value your creativity and efforts. 

Types of Materials for Upcycling Clothes

There are various sorts of fabric, including routine clothes, which are perfect for upcycling. For example, start with your existing garments. They are most probably old and have suffered from wear and tear. Hence, this makes them perfect for modifications. Next material is denim, and the garments of this material last for a longer period of time. Distressing denim is loved by many. If not, use it for other purposes.

Bed sheets have the ability to convert into dresses or shirts if you like their patterns or textures. They are usually larger in sizes; hence, you have a greater opportunity for experimentation. 

Start Upcycling


Dyeing will change the color of the old fabric. It depends on you whether to alter the entire fabric’s hue or just a few portions. You can even form patterns. Also, there are types of dyeing, like dip dyeing or tie dyeing. 

This change can also refresh your mind. It is apt too when you do not want your favorite apparel to alter too much. Also, it needs just minutes to show you the result. Fewer minutes will have lighter shades. Pick the duration as per the requirement of pigmentation.

Adding Patches

Applying, for instance, custom patches are helpful for upcycling existing clothes or accessories. You can choose any style from punk to patriotic. Moreover, if you are not into customization, search for the existing artwork in the market.

Patches are of various kinds, like PVC patches, leather patches and sublimation patches. Pick one as per your preferred texture and quality. Moreover, there are many ways to apply them on your old fabric, like via ironing or fabric glue. Also, for more durability, sewing is suitable. This will not easily fall off after washes. 

Creating Gift Wrappers

Existing fabrics can help in wrapping gifts too. This will eliminate the need to purchase new or expensive wraps, inducing cost-effectiveness. Moreover, fabrics also vary in colors and patterns. You will let the receiver experience something new in terms of packaging.

Furthermore, you should wash the fabric properly and cut as per desired dimensions. As per a source, you can try cutting in square shape. Also, search online for fabric-wrapping methods. To add more to its beauty, look around for a ribbon or string. Attempt creating a ribbon at home. 

Making Cleaning Cloths

You might have an old piece of fabric in your house used for cleaning. This is a good alternative to buying new cleaning cloths. Take reusable towels for instance. They can absorb more water and are washable. If not, take anything made of cotton. However, make certain you are picking the material that can effortlessly absorb large quantities of liquid. 

Moreover, make good use of old sweaters and t-shirts to wipe the floor, furniture or shelves.


Upcycling old fabric is a wise idea to create something unique without wasting too much money. There are just certain procedures one can follow using fabrics like denim, routine clothes and bedsheets. For example, you can attach patches to adorn the old dull looking garments; just pick the backing type carefully.

Another way is to wrap the gifts with existing fabrics. First, wash them and cut them in the preferred shape. Look for tutorials online to do the job efficiently. You can even create ribbons while using such clothes. Also, you can use old clothes as cleaning cloths. Cut them if required. Look for their liquid absorbing potential. They should be good at the latter to effectively clean various surfaces.

Dyeing can alter their looks by adding one or more colors. You can form patterns or simply refresh the old hues. Moreover, this does not take more time and you can even do it at home. 

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