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frayed fabric edges

rekha | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello everyone, I am not a newcomer to sewing but you could say I am a sewing amateur.  I have been trying to find some method, such as fabric glue, to stay the frayed edges of the fabric I am working with, but don’t fancy washing it after completing the project.  Can anyone help?

Rekha from UK


  1. sanderson | | #1

    Kind of depends on what kind of fabric your fraying is happening to...nylon can be run through the "edge" of a candle flame;  fray-check takes care of most fraying but can leave a stiffness that won't work well as an undergarment, for instance. 

    1. rekha | | #2

      Hello, Sanderson,

      The material is a nondescript, the nearest I would compare it to is tweed!

      What is fray-check?


      1. NansiM | | #3

        Fray check, or fray stop is a clear liquid sealant sold in most notions departments.  You simply put a drop where you want the control and let it air dry.  A couple of my favorites are the backside of buttonholes, let dry, then open and also, any point that you've reinforced with stitching where the directions then tell you to "clip to point".

        I usually test on a scrap before using on my garments in progress to be sure it doesn't do anything I don't like: too stiff, or maybe a color change.  So far I haven't found any objections, but testing makes me feel more at ease.

        It seems I've seen newer names for similar products and at least one of them advertised that it stays SOFT even after drying.  Just can't think of the Brand at the moment.

      2. BYDEZINE | | #4

        are you talking about edges of fabric that are inside the garment or edges outside that aren't hemmed.

        for inner seams you can serge the edges or bind them with a sheer binding like couture. for external edges like a hem that I assume you want to fringe, sew a line where you want the fringe to end and the sewing will prevent it from fraying further.

        Or maybe i dont understand at all what you meant. sorry.

        1. ElonaM | | #5

          If your machine can do a zigzag, you can use that to prevent ravellng (loosen the tension a bit, or use a special overcast foot to prevent the edge from rolling over as it's stitched).

          But I also am confused: Are you working on a garment or something like a tablecloth? You would want a nicer edge if it's visible or if comfort is a factor. Fray-Check can be a bit stiff.

        2. rekha | | #6

          Thank you for writing back, Bydezine. The edges are to go inside the garment, eventually.  I want to stabilize the fabric while I am sewing it.  I like your idea of putting shear after completing the task.

          Rekha, UK

          1. carolfresia | | #7

            Another reasonably inexpensive and quick solution is to bind the seam allowances with Seams Great, which is a sheer, bias tricot that comes in a roll, about 1/2" or 5/8" wide (I forget exactly). When you pull gently on in, you'll see that it curls slightly to one side--use this curl to cup the Seams Great around the raw edge of the seam allowance, and then sew. I usually use a zigzag stitch because it seems to flatten the tape and the fabric down nicely. You can get Seams Great at chain fabric stores or online through some of the notions dealers.


          2. rekha | | #8

            Excellent! Thank you, Carolfresia and Bydezine. No easy way out, then!

            Rekha, UK

          3. carolfresia | | #9

            Well, just plain zigzagging, as Elona suggested, is a pretty standard approach, and very quick--before I had a serger that's what I did for lots and lots of garments, and it worked just fine. With a very loosely-woven fabric, however, you sometimes need a little more control over the edges, which is when a binding comes in handy. And really, the Seams Great is only slightly slower than doing a simple zigzag, and produces a decent-looking, non-bulky finish. Just be sure not to press it with a hot iron (use a presscloth to prevent melting), and don't pull it too taut when sewing, or you'll get some puckering and gathering as the bias tape retracts to its original dimensions.

            Incidentally, this capacity to stretch a bit and then return to its original length makes Seams Great a handy notion when you want to get a little bit of gathering, but not as much as elastic would create. It can be used to create a small amount of ease in the cap of a sleeve, for example.


          4. rekha | | #10

            Carol, I have been giving more thought to your suggestion, and being quite lazy, I will extend your idea to Wandaweb, a sort of strip of fusible interfacing.  Much easier, unless you can suggest some flaws in this method.

            Rekha, UK

          5. carolfresia | | #11

            I don't know what Wandaweb is, but it sounds interesting! Let us know how you make out with it. Try a test strip first to be sure that it doesn't make things too stiff, though. You don't want to end up with very inflexible seams.


          6. rekha | | #12

            Mmmm, good thinking, Carol.  I hope I can lay my hands on the most flexible of the the fusible interfacing (called Wandaweb here in the UK).  Give me a few days and I'll let you know.

            Rekha, UK

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