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help with finishing satin ribbon ends

wlric | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Can anyone suggest a nice finish for the ends of a satin ribbon sash? This is at the empire waist of a junior bridesmaid’s dress. It will be tied in a bow at the back, with long tails. The ribbon is 2″ wide. I would like to make a diagonal cut on the ends of the tails and somehow finish it nicely. My hand sewing skills are rusty, so any advice for making a good looking finish would be appreciated.


  1. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #1

    I would just run a fine bead of "fray Check" or a similar product along a diagonallycut edge.  There is no bulk, no sewing, and it doesn't fray. 

    1. wlric | | #2

      Thank you. As they say: simple things are best. I haven't used fray check in so long, I had forgotten about it.

  2. woodruff | | #3

    Hot cutting tools (your husband may have an edge that's suitable in his toolkit) will work on many fabrics, and I have read--not tried it, mind you--that careful flaming the edge with a match will also do the trick. I would imagine that some practice would be necessary!

    1. sosewnem | | #4

      I used to light a candle to do the job when my daughter was small.  It beats having the match burn down & having to light another.  I don't recall what part of the flame worked best, though I think it was near the bottom (blue part of flame).  However, you are quite right, one must be careful and practice first.  Sometimes it would melt in a way I didn't want and I'd have to cut it off and start again - but it did work.

      1. wlric | | #5

        Thanks to all. I think that for this particular sash I will use the fray check. I have seen ballet dancers use a lighter to seal the ends of the satin ribbons on their pointe shoes. They are pros at it. But, I certainly am not! I appreciate all of the tips.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #6

          If you have or know someone who has a serger, I suggest a fine two thread rolled hem.  My Huskylock 936 does a beautiful job of this.  Mary

          1. wlric | | #9

            Can you tell me how you deal with the thread ends at the beginning and the end of the hem?

          2. MaryinColorado | | #10

            Two thread rolled edge on the serger. I just use Fray Block and snip them off after it dries. 

  3. user-51823 | | #7

    if the fraycheck makes the edge rough enough that it wants to catch on the dress fabric, buff it lightly with fine side of a nail file to remove the small still fibers and soften it.

    1. wlric | | #8

      Thank you. The edge is a little stiff. That sounds like a good solution.

  4. Teaf5 | | #11

    I have never finished the edges of satin ribbon--not even on my own wedding dress!  If you cut it on the bias (from the point back toward the middle) with very sharp scissors,  it will have a crisp edge that won't fray.

    1. PASDENOM | | #12

      Fray Check is stiff, Fray Block is not. For a small application like this you can also get a reasonably good result with clear nail polish, applied very sparingly. While I agree that a bias edge shouldn't fray, threads will get pulled along the edges and leave the point fringed over time. If it's a special occasion dress to be worn once you can get away with it, but if it's a child's garment or getting a lot of wear and washings it's better to seal it.

  5. wlric | | #13

    Thank you all for the discussion. Lots of good ideas here.

  6. emsmiata | | #14

    I just did the ends of some satin ribbon, also for a sash, and I melted the edges with a ligher - with a steady hand, bring the ribbon in toward the blue flame and it shrinks away, just perfectly. It's also great for smoothing out cut edges if they ended up curved when you cut them!  :)

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