Woman Knits Stylish Suit Out of Hundreds of Plastic Grocery Bags

Looking at Rosa Ferrigno’s new suit, you could swear it was knitted with regular yarn. It’s only when you touch it and hear the characteristic rustling of plastic that your realize there’s something special about it. In fact, the suit and jacket ensemble is made out of over 300 plastic grocery bags.

At age 75, Rosa Ferigno, a Sicilian immigrant from Greece, in western New York, is a very active woman. In the warmer seasons, she spends most of her days tending to a large yard complete with flower and vegetable gardens, but in the winter she likes to keep busy by working on complex knitting projects. Last year, she took on her most challenging endeavor yet, a stylish suit made out of hundreds of brown plastic grocery bags. The fruit of her labor is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Photo: cocoparisienne/Pixabay

Ferrigno, who once worked as a seamstress before starting a family, got the idea for her unique hand-made suit last August. She was at a family picnic and saw one of the other guests carrying a purse made from repurposed plastic bags. It intrigued her, so she and her daughter searched for instructions on how to make one on YouTube. The 75-year-old ended up making a purse from red, white and blue plastic JC Penney bags, and a braided one out of brown Wegmans plastic bags. But that was only the beginning.

After finishing her second plastic bag purse, Ferrigno realized she needed something to match it with, so last November she told her daughter she was going to make a skirt and jacket suit out of Wegmans bags, as a winter project.

Rosa started her unique project by cutting up the plastic bags into strips and then tying them together to make longer, yarn-like strips that could be knitted. But in order to knit the plastic yarn, she needed large needles that didn’t exist on the market, so she made her own. She bought long wooden dowels from a Michaels store and whittled points at the end of them to create two gigantic needles.

The suit took Ferrigno a total of two months to complete. The jacket was made out of 170 plastic bags, and the skirt required another 140. Although she didn’t even use a pattern when knitting the impressive ensemble, it ended up fitting her perfectly, and when she finally showed it off at a brunch, earlier this month, everyone went crazy. Even the people at Wegmans supermarket were blown away.


“We love it when our customers reuse or recycle grocery bags, but never have we seen a work of art like Rosa’s!” Jo Natale, the supermarket chain’s vice president of media relations, told Democrat & Chronicle.

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