How To Stop Felt From Fraying

A considerable part of a professional sewist work is to contain fraying to a minimum. Whether you are working on a craft project or sewing a new clothing item, finding the appropriate technique to control the number of frayed edges is essential.

However, unless you are working with fabrics that don’t fray, you won’t have to worry much about your technique. Nevertheless, you must know that almost all fabrics (woven ones) will show some signs of fray when cut.

In this post, you will get to know about the possibility of the felt fraying and the likely causes (if it does fray). In addition, you will learn some ways to stop felt from fraying, alongside a guide on how to stiffen it.

Does Felt Fray?

First off, not many people understand the term fray. Mainly, sexists use the term “fray” to depict the unravelling of yarns or threads coming undone from cut edges of fabrics. This “fray” of fabrics has long been one of the leading causes of low fabric durability. 

So, you might be wondering whether your felt will fray or not. Well, judging from its construction, it is impossible for felt to fray. Now, unlike other fabrics and materials used by sewists, felt is an unwoven design. 

The reason for the “no-fray” on felt isn’t due to any strange chemical mixing or extra application. Instead, the way manufacturers produce felt makes it impossible to fray because they don’t weave in the first place.

What is Felt and How It’s Made?

Felt is a sort of matted fabric consisting of textile condensed fibres pressed together. Generally, the felt composition is from wool or any animal’s fur with acrylic and synthetic fibre.

Manufacturers make the felt fabric by applying high pressure with warm water and other heated moisture to fuse each material into one rather than interweaving it.

Ways To Stop Felt From Fraying

As earlier stated, felt rarely frays; however, continuous usage of the fabric will cause it to weaken over time. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to strengthen felt by preventing it from scattering or getting ruined.

This section will see step-by-step guidance on how to stiffen felt to avoid fray or scattering.

Before proceeding, there are some necessary things you will need to stiffen your felt to help it regain its strength. Some of the essential ingredients required to stiffen felt include;

  • Warm water
  • Felt (of course)
  • Container (preferably an old one)
  • Wax paper
  • White school glue
  • Iron and ironing board

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Get the container and mix

In this step, you will measure the right amount of old school glue with warm water in an unused container. You are to mix about one part of old school glue with three scopes of warm water for the mixture. 

However, the measurement of glue and water depends on the size of felt you are trying to stiffen. After measuring all ingredients into the container, ensure you mix all contents thoroughly. Mix until the combination becomes smooth to prevent glue chucks from sticking to your felt.

Dip your Felt into the mixture

Before you start dipping your felt into the mixture in the container, you first need to have it cut out properly. Now, whatever size of felt you are trying to stiffen, ensure that you cut out a larger portion of it and dip it into the mixture.

The overly cut out felt is because after letting it soak and dry, it tends to shrink in size. So, even if it is excessively large after drying, you can reshape it to the way you want. While soaking the felt, ensure that it is fully submerged in the mixture and every piece of it is inside. 

Dry Time

After your felt has soaked in the mixture for some reasonable amount of time, you can bring it out. At this moment, remove your felt and (in a gentle manner) wring it over your bowl – no pulling or twisting it. 

Once you bring it out of the mixture, it will retain the wet and soaked nature. But, with your wax paper, you can speed up the drying process. Place your soaked felt on the wax paper and arrange it till it’s flat and smooth. 

Then, leave it out to dry for a day or two, depending on the day’s temperature. It might have some wrinkles from the “wringing out” process, but that’s fine.

Remove the wrinkles

Once completely dried, your felt might show wrinkling signs on its surfaces which shouldn’t be there. The best way to remove this wrinkle is by sandwiching it between two cloths and pressing it with an iron.

This will straighten out any wrinkles on the felt. However, you shouldn’t place your iron in direct contact with the “just dried” felt. Depending on the texture of the felt, you might need to iron the wrinkles out for a much longer time.

Regardless, ensure you do not leave the iron on the felt for too long, or it might affect its durability.