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5 ways to stop fabric fraying

If you're stitching a project over several weeks or months, the fabric edges can get tatty and frayed. Here's a simple guide on how to stop fabric fraying.

How to stop fabric fraying

Some fabrics tend to fray more easily than others, and when you have a lovely piece of fabric it can be an uphill battle when it starts to fray. That’s why we’ve put together this easy guide on how to stop fabric from fraying.


When you are working on a sewing or embroidery project, in particular, a lengthy project, the more likely it is that your fabric is going to start fraying. So we’ve put together some useful methods to show you how to stop fabric fraying. It’s an annoying part of needlework but luckily we have some super helpful methods to stop fabric from fraying.

If you are new to cross stitching and need help with getting started on your first project, or you’d like to refresh your knowledge then check out our guide on how to cross stitch, for lots of helpful tips. We’d also recommend taking a look at this guide to cross stitch needle sizes, which is helpful for budding new stitchers. 

5 ways to stop fabric fraying


Seal your fabric edges with masking tape

The quickest and easiest way to seal your fabric edges is with masking tape. Simply measure and cut a length of masking tape for each side, and fold it carefully over the edges of your fabric. The sticky substance on masking tape can sometimes stain fabric, so always remember to leave enough material around the actual stitched design. This way, any marks can be trimmed off later or obscured by a frame.

How to stop fabric fraying


Hem your fabric edges

Hemming your fabric is a really effective way to keep it neat and intact. Fold your fabric over by approximately 2cm (¾in) on each side, and press it carefully with a warm iron. Then, using a brightly coloured, strong thread (doubled over if necessary), stitch around the edge using a simple running stitch, finishing your thread off securely at the end.

How to stop fabric fraying with tacking


Use a hoop to hold your fabric in place

If you’ve chosen to stitch a smaller project, the best way to keep the edges of the fabric in good condition is to pop your stitching in a hoop. Not only will it help you to create even stitches, it’ll also help to take the pressure off the edges of your fabric, discouraging you from touching them as you work. Find embroidery hoops on Amazon.

How to stop fabric fraying with a hoop


Fray check

Fray check is a a colourless liquid which strengthens and binds fabric surfaces and prevents textiles from fraying. To apply the fray check first trim away any flyaway fabric which has already frayed, this will create a reinforced edge and stop futher fraying. You will only need to use a small amount each time, so is great for multiple projects, plus it is relevatively low cost at just £5.75. Find fray check on Amazon.

how to stop fabric fraying


Zigzag stitch

The zigzag stitch is usually done with a sewing machine and it helps to prevent fraying by grouping threads together. That means it’s less likely the strands will slip out of the group. There are lots of useful tutorials available if you need help, you can also head over to our article on how to use a sewing machine for helpful tips.

how to stop fabric fraying

That’s it! Hopefully, these simple tips on how to stop fabric fraying will help lessen the frustration of fraying fabric. If you loved this article and want to dive into your next stitching project, we have plenty of free patterns waiting to be downloaded. Take a look at these lovely cat cross stitch patterns for lots of cute inspiration, or if you’re a nature lover then try these cross stitch flower patterns or the busy bee cross stitch pattern. If you’re new to cross stitch and want to try a kit, take a look at these lovely modern cross stitch kits which contain everything you need to create your next project.