When it comes to starting a cross stitch, other than gridding, most people just start. But if you’ve found your fabric fraying whilst stitching, you probably mean to do something about it next time; but never do. Stopping fabric fraying, especially aida and evenweave, seems like a daunting task, but we have 7 ways to stop that fabric fraying, regardless of what cross stitch fabric you’re using.
Hand Sew The Edges
The first thing for many when it comes to fraying is to stop it using some type of sewing method. For most people, this is the blanket stitch, but honestly, any edge stitching (or even backstitch) will stop fabric fraying. The one issue is that it takes forever. This is twice as bad if you sew on a large piece of aida, and then cut it down once finished, meaning you have to stitch it twice.
Machine Sew The Edges
However, sewing machines exist for a reason. Lots of cross stitchers also have other hobbies like machine sewing, and therefore a sewing machine at hand. This can be super useful for winding bobbins but also stopping fabric edges fraying. It’s super-fast and generally works better than hand-stitching anyway.
The most common stitch is a zig-zag, but many sewing machines can also do edge stitches specifically made for this. And if you have a serger, even better!
But what about a no-sew method? We start with a commercial option, fray check (other brands available) which is like a thick glue. It sticks the edges of the fabric together, giving you a stiff edge to your fabric, that will never (and we mean that) fray.
But the commercial glues do cost a lot of money. And so there are two options using less expensive options.
The first is a thick super glue (note; you can get different thicknesses) which is basically the same as fray check. Fray check tends not to stick to human skin as easily as super glue, but it works just as well and is much cheaper if you can avoid sticking it to yourself.
The second option is PVA glue, or ‘craft glue’ as its sometimes called. This requires you to wait for it to dry, but PVA glue will hold the edges of your fabric just as well. It doesn’t stick to skin, it’s non-toxic (although we’d suggest never eating glue), and if the worst happens, you can just wash it off.
The way I personally prefer to edge my fabric, however, is tape. If you wanted the cheapest option, sellotape works, but masking doesn’t leave any residue. It’s fast to apply, is super cheap, and works just as well (if not better) than the other options on our list.
Next up, we have pinking shears. That might sound like a fancy new term to you, but in all likelihood, you’ve received aida with pinked edges. Simple little shark teeth like cuts. Thankfully a pair of scissors does this for you, meaning all you have to do is cut your fabric out. We should say however that whilst this is a common method used to stop fraying, it doesn’t actually stop it. Instead, it reduces the impact of fraying. If you intend to really get hands-on with your fabric, this technique might not work too well.
Finally, we have fringing. This technique works wonders, and the fact that it’s been around for hundreds of years is a testament to that, but it’s also very visual. More often than not it’s used as a decorative edging rather than to stop fraying. However, if you don’t like the look of fringe, you can crochet the edge.