The art of making ‘plarn’ mats

Besides recycling those ubiquitous plastic bags that pile up, another option for making use of the excess is to reuse them by crocheting “plarn” (plastic yarn) mats. These mats are being utilized as sleeping pads for homeless people without access to shelter. The mats are hygienic, waterproof, light, soft, and provide a durable barrier from cold concrete.
In early January, a group of Hemphill County 4-H’ers delivered plastic mats to the “Tent City” in Amarillo, a community of homeless campers. Several local women had been recruited to crochet the mats for the project. One of them, JJ Cullender, is “hooked” on making the rugs, and stopped by The Record last Thursday to demonstrate the process.

Cullender showed how she stacked several plastic bags, rolled them up, then cut off the ends. She cut the bags into 1-inch strips and looped them together with a lark’s head knot. The resulting “yarn” was rolled into a ball. She used a P crochet hook to start a chain of 60 stitches, and then, began single crocheting a mat that was 6 feet by 3 feet, which accommodates most people. Cullender borders her mats with black plastic bags to finish them off. She also prefers to have a pattern, and often searches out different colored bags for her ideas.

To view a video of making the crochet bags, visit this URL:
Plarn Rugs

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