How to Finish the Edges of Material Using a Sewing Machine to Prevent Fraying

by Camela Bryan
Unfinished edges fray.

Unfinished edges fray.

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Cut a triangle of gingham fabric and tie it around your daughter's hair hair to make a summer scarf that is perfect for a picnic. Dress up a skirt for an afternoon party with a sash made from a long strip cut from paisley silk. A square cut from yellow satin makes a pocket square that will perfectly match his tie. These are great accessories that you can wear one time. By the end of the event the edges will begin to fray. If you wash them, they will fray until the items fall apart. Use your sewing machine to finish the edges and prevent fraying.

Items you will need

  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing thread or embroidery thread

Matching Edge

Step 1

Thread your machine with regular sewing thread that matches the fabric.

Step 2

Set the machine to sew a zigzag stitch with a medium stitch width and length.

Step 3

Sew along the edge of the fabric so that at the needle goes down at the edge of the fabric when it makes the right side of the seam.

Step 4

When you reach a corner, stop with needle in the fabric on the left side of the seam. Lift the pressure foot, turn the fabric and lower the pressure foot. Sew backwards a few stitches to fill the corner and continue sewing.

Step 5

Finish all the raw edges of the fabric in this way.

Contrasting Edge

Step 1

Thread the machine with machine embroidery thread.

Step 2

Set the machine to sew a wide zigzag stitch with a short stitch length.

Step 3

Sew a seam on a scrap of fabric. Adjust the stitch length until the thread completely covers the fabric under the seam.

Step 4

Finish the edges as described earlier.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images