Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

Using a Fabric’s Raw Edges as a Garment Design Detail

Leave the edges of a garment unfinished for a high-fashion look

Leaving the edges of a garment unfinished used to mean one of two things. Either you were an eager beginner, or you were an artsy-hippy type and it was part of the vibe. Raw-edge construction has become a high-fashion staple, though. Designers Antonio Marras, Eileen Fisher, Isabel Marant, and Natalie Chanin, among others, have inspired my exploration of the raw edge. The iconic Chanel jacket is probably the most famous use of the so-called frayed edge. But how do you create a garment using the raw edges of your fabric as a design detail in a way that looks intentional—and not like you just forgot to finish the seams?

I’ve incorporated raw edges into my garments for years and have learned a few things that make the garments look intentional and stand up to wear. It’s more than just not finishing the edge. There are a number of design choices and construction techniques to be considered, so that your garment turns out to be stylish rather than a fashion don’t.

I’ll show a few of the garments I have made with raw edges as a design detail. I’ll also share some behind-the-scenes information about how they were created.

Seams with raw edges

Seams are the obvious place to think about leaving the fabric’s edges exposed. Because seams also keep the garment together, they need to be strong. Here are a couple of garments with raw seams that hold up to wearing and washing.

The fabric choice in this sweatshirt makes it a great candidate for raw-edge construction.

Sweatshirt with raw edges

French terry, a stable knit, doesn’t ravel at the cut edge. On this garment, the seams are simply sewn with wrong sides together, the allowances are pressed open, and then topstitched to keep them flat. Most…

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. User avater
    cco | | #1

    Thanks for the inspiration on how to incorporate raw edges into a garment!

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All