How to Stop Ribbon from Fraying
Don’t get us wrong, we love working with ribbon. But it can be a nightmare when you start to see your beautiful ribbon work unravel before you. All it takes is one loose thread or snag and your ribbon starts to fall apart the more you pull. For today’s post, we decided to teach you a number of different methods to keep your ribbon from coming undone.
To Keep a Ribbon from Fraying
Option #1: Cut the ribbon at a 45 degree angle. You can pick right or left; the side doesn’t matter. This will help keep the ribbon from fraying. Some ribbon will still fray even with this method. We recommend heating the edges of the ribbon like in Option #4 if the ribbon continues to fray. Never cut your ribbon straight down the middle unless your craft calls for it, and use a different option from below. Cutting straight down the middle guarantees the ribbon will fray fast.
Option #2: Cut the ribbon into a V-shape or flag shape. This is really cute for cards! If you want to add a little spice to your ribbon, cut your ribbon into a V-shape at the ends. This helps with fraying and looks wonderful for photos. The way to cut ribbon into a V-shape is by first folding your ribbon in half. Fold as perfectly as you can, since it makes a difference on how even the cut will look. Fold the fold between your fingers and use your other hand to cut the ribbon fold in a 45 degree angle. Be sure to have your scissors lower on the crease side and go up across the ribbon. If you go opposite (starting from the edges on the outside to the creased side), you will end up with a diamond shape at the end instead.
Option #3: Choose your ribbon wisely. Grosgrain, Satin, organza, velvet, and other fabric ribbons tend to fray the easiest; even rat-tail cord unravels a bit. Wraffia ribbon (or raffia ribbon), Poly ribbons, curling ribbon, jewel ribbon, and paper ribbons do not fray. If you don’t want the hassle, just stick with the ribbon that doesn’t fray.
Option #4: Heat seal the edges with a lighter. This is the most common method of keeping ribbon from fraying. It is super easy to do! You can use a lighter, a candle, or a match. Hold the edge of your ribbon with two fingers, and lightly roll the lighter across the edges of the ribbon – only for a few seconds. You’ll be able to see the ribbon start to singe and seal. This only takes seconds to do, so don’t hold the fire on the ribbon for too long. You may burn the ribbon and leave an ugly black mark. If that happens, cut the edges off and start over. If you are new to this method, be sure and give yourself enough ribbon to make mistakes. After you see the ribbon singe, wait a few seconds for the ribbon to cool. Once it does, run your fingers over the edges. It should feel harder than the rest of the ribbon and somewhat plastic-feeling.
Option #5: Use fabric adhesive or clear craft glue on the edges. Before you attempt this option, test the ribbon out first. Some ribbon is very sheer or sensitive to clear liquid glue and will show a stain on the ribbon edges. Use a small part of the ribbon or scrap ribbon, glue seal the edges and let it dry for a couple of hours. If the ribbon is not stained, then this option is good to go. All you need to do is apply fabric adhesive or clear craft glue on the edges. Use a cotton-swab to only dabble a few drops of the glue accurately.
Option #6: Use clear nail polish to seal the edges. This one is just convenient. If you have a bottle of clear nailpolish around, save the trip to the store for glue or a lighter. Just dabble a few drops of nailpolish on the glue to stop it from fraying. Again, test this method on the ribbon you are working with before going full force. You may find out that the nailpolish stains the ribbon badly, and need to get your errand shoes on!
Option #7: Use a made-for-ribbon-fraying adhesive formula. If you are working with ribbon a lot (we hope so), it might be a smart investment to purchase a made for stopping ribbon from fraying formula. You can pick one up at your nearest craft store.
Hope today’s post was very informative and gets you going on working with ribbon more!