How to keep fabrics from fraying

A successful sewing project is an absolute perfection — every single step must be flawless. Your stitches must be neatly done, work with an accurate measurement, and most importantly, your fabric must be in good condition all through the project. After all, the fabric is more or less the framework that showcases your sewing skills to the outside world. 

Fraying is a term used to describe a situation whereby the fibers of fabric become unwoven, weak, or tattered due to friction ( when the fabric constantly rubs against a surface). Unfortunately, not many people know “how to keep the fabric from fraying,” but the good news is that in this article, you will not only learn how to keep your fabric from fraying but also ways of preventing them from fraying altogether. 

How can I stop fabric from fraying

Fusible is among the best ways to keep fabrics from fraying. You will find details on how it can be used below. 

Step 1 

Pre-fold the raw edges of the fabric, making sure they are folded in from the wrong side and iron them 

Step 2 

Once the first fold is set, align the edges of the fabric with the iron hem tape. Make use of hem tape that has large width and nice bonding capacity you are working with which and textured fabrics. And if the fabric is medium or lightweight, make use of thinner or shorter hem tapes. 

Step 3

Refold the fabric the second time to enclose the fabric edges and the fusible tapes inside. Note that the hem tape must be kept hidden between the folded layers of the fabric. 

Step 4 

Iron the upper part of the folder edges to get the layers to bond together. The heat in the iron will melt the glue in the fusible tape and cause the layers to adhere permanently together. If afterward, some layers remain unbonded, iron them for the second time. 

Ways to prevent fabrics from fraying

  1. Wide the seams 

To keep fabrics like sheer where you want them while sewing, the seam allowance should be wider than those of the regular fabrics, so take note of this when you are cutting the fabric. This will give you some frayed edges to work with. 

  1. Sew French seam 

With a wider seam allowance, you can create a French seam. A French seam is a technique that allows you to enclose the seam allowance from the inside of the fabric. With this, you can sew and trim off frayed edges without reducing the seam. 

  1. Use interfacing 

On the edges of the fabric, use iron-on fusible interfacing to prevent the fabric from fraying. Before you start sewing, precut narrow strips of about a quarter inch and add them to the raw edges. This will stabilize the fabric, and if you still want to make use of the french seam, you can trim the fusible facing before turning the fabric to sew the next step. 

  1. Zigzag stitch 

You can also stop fraying by sewing zig-zag stitches on the edges of the fabric. Try out zig-zag stitches of about 3 inches long and 3 inches wide to see if that’s gonna stop the fabric from fraying. Furthermore, you can also try 3 step stitches if this doesn’t work.

  1. Hand stitch 

Fabric is not just limited to soft fabrics alone; sometimes, thicker fabrics fray, too, and the best way to prevent such from occurring is a blanket or an overcast. This is suitable for thick fabrics that wouldn’t go through the sewing machine easily. 

  1. Use a serger machine 

You can use a serger machine to stop raw edges from fraying. Not only will served edges stop your fabric from fraying, but they will also give the edges a professional look. Although you can also use a regular sewing machine with an overlock edge foot for the task, but unlike the serger machine, the raw edges wouldn’t be automatically trimmed before sewing unless you trim them manually with scissors. 

  1. Make use of fabric glue and fray stop

To stop fraying, you can also make use of fabric to stop fraying liquids. You can also make use of fabric glue or paint the raw edges of the cut fabrics with mod podge. There are several fray-stopping liquid brands you can use. Some of these brands include fray check, fray Stopa, and Dritz spray stops. 

How to keep fabrics from fraying when quilting

A very good way to prevent your fabric from fraying while quilting is by using Bias tape. Wrap the tape around the fabric edges for a stable finished edge. Bias tapes are strips of fabrics cut at a 45° angle to make the fabric grain stretchy and more pliable. With the bias tape, you can easily achieve clean finished edges. 

How to keep the fabric from fraying without sewing

You can make use of fabric sealant if you want to keep your fabric from fraying without sewing them. Fabric sealants are liquids in a tube-like container made by several brands, and you can also find them in craft stores. 

To use these sealants, apply them by squeezing the tube and applying a thin layer on the fabric edges, and trimming all loose threads. 

How to keep the fabric from fraying in the wash

Fraying can be prevented in the wash by using a serger machine to serge the cut end of the fabric yardage before you prewash them in the washing machine. If a serger machine does not come in handy, an alternative way to do this is by using a regular machine to make zig-zag stitches on the edges of the fabrics. 

Does clear nail polish stop fraying?

Yes, you can make use of clear nail polish to prevent fraying. To stop fraying, you can apply clear nail polish at the edges of your fabric and leave it to dry out before you start working on the fabric. If applied heavily on the edges, it may make the edges stiff but be rest assured that your fabric will not unravel. 

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