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Thread: What to do with fraying fabric?

  1. #1
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    What to do with fraying fabric?

    What does everyone do with cheap fabrics that seem to do nothing but fray?
    "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."
    Good friends are right there with you.

    Susan

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have ironed a lightweight fusible interfacing to some fabric because I had to use it. Otherwise I would have pitched it!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  3. #3
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    Clothesline basket?

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I've had Moda fray like crazy on me! In general, I just whip through the piecing as quickly as I can with as tight a stitch as possible. Then I pretend nothing on the back of the top is happening.

  5. #5
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    Pinking shears or pinking rotary cutter or Fray Check and hope that it helps. Lol - but if it's cheap thin low thread count I for sure wouldn't mix it in with my high thread count fabric.

  6. #6
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I really have only had the super cheapo $1.50 a yard Walmart poly/cotton mix fabrics fray on me so badly that I worried about the integrity of the quilt. I just did as JulieR says and stitch with a small tight stitch, then maybe use fray check. I just avoid those altogether since I mostly make quilts anyway.

    Fray check is seriously the most awesome product though, I gotta tell ya! I use it for all sorts of things, aside from quilting!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Use it for making chenille strips or rag quilts!

  8. #8
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Do you NEED that fabric? Can something else be used? My sanity is worth more than a fraying fabric. But then I'll use silk lamee which ravels a lot. Cut 1/2" seams. Might use Fray Check in some places. Cut/sew and finish quilt quickly. Back with lightweight fusable interfacing.

  9. #9
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Run a zigzag stitch over the edge. Use usual stitch length or longer and as wide as you can without going over your seam width.

  10. #10
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    I say to myself "life is too short" and I throw the offending fabric away.
    I had read something once to the effect of "simplify your life. If it isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful, get rid of it."
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
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  11. #11
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    I've had $12-$15 / yard fabric fray horribly, just too loose of a weave. I either pink it, get it sewn in quickly as possible, and handle it as little as possible. Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpatchquilter View Post
    I really have only had the super cheapo $1.50 a yard Walmart poly/cotton mix fabrics fray on me so badly that I worried about the integrity of the quilt. I just did as JulieR says and stitch with a small tight stitch, then maybe use fray check. I just avoid those altogether since I mostly make quilts anyway.

    Fray check is seriously the most awesome product though, I gotta tell ya! I use it for all sorts of things, aside from quilting!
    This is what I purchased when I was first starting out quilting. It frayed like crazy and I regretted being so frugal but 10+ years later those quilts are just fine!

  13. #13
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    pinking shears!

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniePenny View Post
    I say to myself "life is too short" and I throw the offending fabric away.
    I had read something once to the effect of "simplify your life. If it isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful, get rid of it."
    Exactly! I don't have the guilt gene about throwing something away or giving it away. It is so foolish to feel guilty about having to save everything just because you have it.
    Got fabric?

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Definitely toss it or use it to stuff a dog bed. You don't need to spend your precious time making something beautiful to have it fall apart.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
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    Try starching it really well before cutting. Most of the time that helps a lot.
    also if you didn't prewash you might try that as it seems to tighten the weave sometimes

  17. #17
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    how about running it through a serger?

  18. #18
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    If it doesn't stop fraying when I have washed and dried it, I use it to make pillowcase liners for extended family members. They last quite a few years and are much less expensive than buying one.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieR View Post
    I've had Moda fray like crazy on me! In general, I just whip through the piecing as quickly as I can with as tight a stitch as possible. Then I pretend nothing on the back of the top is happening.
    This made me smile.... :-)
    Laura

  20. #20
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. You have all gave me some good ideas to think about. The different pieces had been marked down from a higher price, and I loved the colors, and it is 100% cotton. I didn't think of it as terribly thin, but it does have a slick feel to it. Yes, I am a new quilter, and learning a lot on here. To me the very fact that I am even asking about it, and had considered throwing it away or used as a dog bed filler is a good sign to me that I am becoming a better quilter. I am still deciding, but I have thought about all the time that goes into one, and would like the next big quilt I make to be made stable with quality.
    "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."
    Good friends are right there with you.

    Susan

  21. #21
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCatOwned View Post
    I use it to make pillowcase liners for extended family members
    At the risk of sounding uncouth, what is a pillowcase "liner"?

  22. #22
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I have had very nice fabric fray like crazy and very cheap fabric hold up well.
    One of the first quilts I did was made from this gorgeous decorator fabric that I should have used wider seams on. Since I didn't and it is already partially hand quilted (one of many UFOs) I am now very carefully quilting beside the ditch in the sashing catching in each seam allowance so that the likelihood of fraying is reduced. I'm hoping this will take care of the problem. Think this one will end up as a display only quilt anyway.

  23. #23
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    I had some black solid fabric, bought in a Lancaster quilt shop during a trip to the USA, fray so badly when the top was washed that the top was in danger of falling apart. Very disappointing. I used what was left to make the inner layer of cat beds. There was simply no point in endangering other quilts with it.

    Unless I have an iron-clad reason to buy looser-woven fabric, I avoid it like the plague.
    Maggie in Jerusalem
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  24. #24
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    Trash... cheap fraying fabrics shouldn't be used in quilts. It will just fray in your quilt.

    Its best to buy good quality fabric for quilting.

  25. #25
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    Unhappy Fraying Fabric

    Quote Originally Posted by JuneBillie View Post
    What does everyone do with cheap fabrics that seem to do nothing but fray?
    I have had "good" fabric not cut properly when purchased. Then when I cut it into strips I notice all the fraying on both sides. The strips I continue with and handle as little as possible. If I notice this before cutting, sometimes I take the time to 'straighten' the fabric and cut along the warp (?). Then you lose some of your fabric as it can be as much as 2-3" off grain. If it is a block that I'm using as a background for applique, I use Fray Check. As someone else noted...it is wonderful for this.

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