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Looking for Something to Keep Fabric Edge from Raveling.

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Initial post: Nov 9, 2011 10:24:22 AM PST
Robyn says:
I'm trying to find a product that will fix a cut fabric edge so it won't ravel. In a perfect world, this would be flexible, invisible, and non staining. Can anyone make any recommendations? I've been looking around a bit, and everything I've seen looks like it would dry stiff and crusty. I would be using it on long expanses of fabric, so something I could brush on would probably be best. Thanks!

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 9:37:14 AM PST
Jeanne White says:
Fray-Check and similar products are sold at fabric and craft stores. You apply it only to the very edge of the fabric. If you brushed it on, you would have way too much product applied and it probably would be stiff and crusty. I use it a lot in making dolls and doll clothes, and have no problem with it.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 10:47:07 AM PST
bishophicks says:
What kind of fabric? What kind of project? If synthetic, heat is an option. Also some silk. You can use fray-check in a more controlled manner as well

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 11:35:32 AM PST
Robyn says:
Thanks for the replies. :-) I would be using scraps, so any and all fabrics. Mostly thin fabric like cotton, but not exclusively. I'm making garden decorations with wide fringes (think flags), and I don't want the fringes to ravel in the wind. Maybe I'll try Fray-Check. It seems kind of expensive for the application, and I'm afraid the fringes won't move in the wind naturally, but maybe worth a try. I even thought about painting the edges before cutting, not sure if this would work or not. Thanks!

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 8:26:49 PM PST
BookLuvR says:
Use a marker to draw a line the where the fringe will stop. Stitch with a narrow zig zag along that line. The fabric won't ravel past the zig-zag stitched line.

You say you "even thought about painting the edges before cutting". This does not make sense because you say you want "wide fringes" By definition, a fringed fabric is unraveled along an edge, so if you paint the edge to prevent raveling you won't have fringe . . . Best think through your project make a few, samples to learn what you want and how to do it.

Finally understand that any project requires effort and if it's not worth your effort then it's likely not worth doing -- an entirely personal decision for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 4:22:42 AM PST
Robyn says:
Thanks for your reply. I don't want the fabric to ravel AT ALL. And by wide fringes, I mean I want 1-2" wide strips of fabric at the bottom of my flags, maybe 6" long. NO raveling. Zero. And why would painting an edge not seal it? Finally, sewing the edges is something I want to avoid. That's why I'm here asking about sealants... (And I don't own a sewing machine.)

And although I appreciate all opinions, I resent the fact that you suggest that I have not thought out my project or that I don't consider it worth my effort. What I'm doing right now IS planning. What do you think I came here for, if not for advice, and finding the right tool for the job before beginning it? Is that not considered planning? Do you think I don't realize that projects require effort? I am not 12, and don't like being addressed as if I were. Perhaps that wasn't your intention, but it sure came across that way...

To those that made product recommendations, I got some Fray-Check and will try it, but it looks like the project will use a lot of it, and take a lot of time to apply. (I want to market these, so I need low cost and simplicity.) I'm still wondering if I painted about a 1/4" line of paint and cut in the middle of the line if that would stop the raveling. I may try it on a strip of fabric and hang it outside for a few days as an experiment. Spray it with the hose, abuse it a little, see how it holds up.

Anyway, thanks again for the opinions and recommendations. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2011 5:44:56 PM PST
KNeesie says:
You might also consider polyurethane spray. I've no idea whether or not it'd be wind-proof but it may be worth a try.

Posted on Nov 28, 2011 6:45:18 PM PST
Why don't you just run a line of Elmer's Glue along the place you want the fringe to stop?

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 11:16:51 AM PST
Kobo says:
Fray-check will go a long ways if used properly. Just apply a very thin line of it on the very edge, like where the scissors cut. Yes it does take some time but is well worth it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2011 4:47:10 AM PST
I think you would have to use the paint on BOTH sides in order to avoid unravelling. Put it on wax paper before you apply the paint--also I agree that fraycheck is probally the best option--get it from Walmart since they are generally cheaper--also if you have a Micheals around--check for a coupon online since you can usually get 1 NON-sales item for 40% off --they put these coupons out frequently--dont buy too much in store right then--just 1 or 2 items cause when you pay you may get additional coupons and can go right back in and buy something else--AC Moore has a card also--just like Micheals--so you can earn points for every dollar you spend and get credit after 200 points for a percentage off or Money off--dont remember which. Call those places to check prices before you go --save ya some time--including Walmart--then IF you find you will be needing a lot of Fray Check---search here in EBAY--probally made in China anyways so you can get it mailed to you for way cheaper! That is what I am finding with my craft/jewelry supplies--only buy few items here in MA and get rest from EBAY, etc. AND the other crazy place I would check for FrayCheck (it would be some sort of generic) is the various $1 stores and Five Below if you can find that...I have found some awesome things at the $1 store but it always is only certain ones get the really kool things...really odd--and you can order online from Dollar Tree! haha!
Sorry I can't suggest much more. If I think of anything else you can use I will post! ;)

Posted on Dec 19, 2011 1:12:48 AM PST
You can make a substitute for Fray Check from 1 part Duco Cement Tube - 1 Oz. and 2 parts lacquer thinner. As far as I know, you have to use the green and yellow tube Duco and traditional lacquer thinner (not the "green" kind). You can find both at hardware stores. It has the same drawbacks as Fray Check - it will stiffen and darken the fabric if too much is applied, plus it is runny and if you spill it on your clothes, you'll wish you hadn't. It has a short shelf life so best to use soon after mixing; store any leftover in an airtight container.

Hope your flags go well!

Posted on Dec 19, 2011 10:24:54 AM PST
There are several posts online such as in Ehow as to how to remove that Duco cement IF you spill any or it isnt like what you thought it would be--I looked cause was thinking after my jewelry glue problems (ugh--hubby stuck his fingers on it and couldnt get it off!) that acetone nailpolish remover might work and sure enough that is part of what Ehow and others are recommending... :)

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 10:53:05 AM PST
kestergayle says:
product like fuseable webbing work?

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 7:29:58 PM PST
Older Mom says:
MistyFuse. This is an iron-on fusible web that leaves fabric soft. You would iron it on *before* cutting the fabric edge. To keep the fusible off your iron and ironing board, sandwich the fabric and the MistyFuse between sheets of parchment paper (Reynolds is a good brand, available in the area where aluminum foil and waxed paper are sold). If you Google MistyFuse, you will find more descriptions of what it is, what it does, and how to use it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 9:17:16 PM PST
Janet Morrow says:
There is an older idea of ironing lightly a clear or color edging that can be cut or sewn or just iron and go. The edging has been used in the past as I described and then caught on as a way to hem clothes without sewing. I think your idea is great and don't let constructive criticism get to you. Jan

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 9:19:22 PM PST
Janet Morrow says:
I made a reply on Jan 26, 2012. I wondered what your results were from all the ideas.

Posted on Jan 27, 2012 9:47:53 AM PST
I recommend the misty fuse as well. If your project will hang outside, they make a UV version of misty fuse and they also make it in black for use on darker colored fabrics. I have used it seal the edges of slippery silks and it worked like a charm. No issues with changing the hand of the fabric and your hand won't cramp up holding the fray check bottle as you gently apply that thin line. I have found the fray check works great on inside seams and places where you don't have a long cut to seal. If you cut 1/4-3/8" strips of fuse, iron that to the center of your cut line, you will easily seal 2 edges at once and not waste any of your fuse. there are other fuseables out there that would work, but the misty fuse is by far the softest, and can even be used on sheer fabrics without changing the sheen or hand of the fabric.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 5:40:55 PM PST
Shelly Cole says:
Hi Robyn! I just saw your post and was wondering how your flag project was going...If you had found something that worked for you?

If not, or maybe even if you did, I just thought that there were two products that you might want to try that seem like they would be more simple to use. One is more likely to work than the other!

The first and LESS likely to work, but I think still worth trying is the new Clear paint that is being made by Krylon Paint. The actually make a clear paint for use outside. I'm wondering if you LIGHTLY spray painted both sides of the fabric BEFORE you cut it how it would work. I think it would still be light weight enough to accomplish what you're trying to attain.

The second product I was thinking about was Modge Podge. Out of the jar, it looks just like Elmer's wood glue, but it dries clear. Not particularly pliable though. So you would only want to lightly brush the edges of the fabric AFTER you cut it. I think it would still allow the flags to flow in the breeze like you want. If the Modge Podge is to thick, I think you could add a bit of water to it to think it out.

The other thing that comes to mind while I type this is that I wonder how good old fashioned plain old paper mache would work? You know, just a light mixture of flour and water. I don't might draw bugs....but it's something to consider!

Even if you don't use or even try either of my ideas, I would love to know how your project turned out! I make jewelry and I always enjoy hearing about how someone else's creative endeavor turned out!

Happy Creating!

Shelly C.
Greensboro, NC

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 8:34:45 PM PST
CampBobette says:
Clear finger nail polish, thinned with a little polish remover. Still a little stiff but far more economical than Fray Check.

Can you finish the edges with a turned& stitched finish or a french seam?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 5:38:31 AM PST
Problem with paper mache I think would be that exposed to the outside elements (rain, etc) it would definitely break down rather quickly and yes, I agree it probably would draw bugs too and smell a bit as well :( Dont go for that one--great for many other uses though :)
Like Shelly's idea of the clear spray paint--I have been using that for many things for many years--definitely spray outside--keep in mind the temps that are needed so it would dry fast enough and it then you should be good to go! Think it would even work on the completed project if you were still having issues with ravelling. I liked someone else's idea of clear nail polish as well but do know that when applied it can sorta bleed through basically--do it on wax paper so you can peel away and make sure you have non-acetone as well as acetone nail polish remover (sometimes you need the other--I use the acetone to remove my jeweler's glue from my fingers). The Mod-Podge isn't a bad idea either but not sure how well that stands up over time outside also....
So basically the paint and the nail polish that have been mentioned sound best to me. Idk. ~D

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 2:18:11 PM PST
Savage Lucy says:
I would just use a good pair of pinking shears myself. Then hemm the edges (Depending on your project and what sort of an edge you want.)

Posted on May 25, 2012 10:05:26 PM PDT
Saint says:
If you cut the fring on the bias is shouldn't ravel, depends on how your project is designed to determine if cutting on the bias will work for you flags.

Another thing to consider if you paint or coat your fabric before you cut may cause some issues with your scissors or rotary cutter, may be tough and not allow for a good cut.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 3:45:12 AM PDT
BookLuvR says:

I don't visit this site often, but pain kept me awake this morning so to the net I came where, alas, I found your angry rant.

Among other things, too lengthy and unpleasant to recount here, you wrote: "I resent the fact that you suggest that I have not thought out my project or that I don't consider it worth my effort."

I neither said nor suggested that.

When I'M working on a project with technical challenges I make samples and evaluate in order to think through the project and find the best solution. Sometimes the time, effort and expense involved in finding and applying best solution outweighs the value of the project to ME.

I took MY time to read your question, think of some possible solutions I might use, and write them to you. In return you took offense where none was offered and posted an online rant of resentment against me.

Wow --

By the way, I offered the suggestion regarding fringe, because you in your 11/16 post said you indicated you WANTED "fringe".

Fringe isn't, as you now put it, "wide strips of fabric" with "NO raveling. Zero."

At the risk of you raging I'm "addressing you as if you are 12" note that fringe is an ornamental border of threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge material. Fringe can be a separate material sewn to an item or fringe can be "self fringe" created by unraveling the edge of a fabric.

Since your original post did not mention sewn on fringe and thus seemed to be contemplating self-fringe I wrote "By definition, a fringed fabric is unraveled along an edge, so if you paint the edge to prevent raveling you won't have fringe ".

From your response it's pretty clear that you were so invested in taking offense that this did not get through.

I've never been met with a rant of acid resentment in return for taking the time to offer a solution to someone who asks for help. It feels bad, so I won't read your requests for assistance in future.

Posted on May 27, 2012 11:06:13 AM PDT
Try using Aleen's Flexible Fabric Glue. The fabric stays soft and will not ravel.
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Discussion in:  Arts & Crafts forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Nov 9, 2011
Latest post:  May 27, 2012

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