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  • Writer's pictureRhona Norrie

How to fray the edges of your stitching

The text "How to fray the edges of your cross stitch" is on top of a cute cross stitched mouse.

Deliberately fraying the edges of your stitching can give your stitching a nice neat finish. It softens the edges and can help disguise a slightly wobbly cut edge. You can fray the edges of your stitching for cards or ornaments (or anything else, for that matter!)… it’s a wonderful effect as you can see here…

So, how do you fray the edges of the fabric? Read on!


Trim your finished stitching to the desired size (which includes the frayed edge) and then carefully pull away the threads on each side.

You can pull away several blocks from aida, just make sure to do each side of your stitching one block at a time so that the threads come out easily. Using a needle to start to tease out the threads makes things easier.

Fraying one or two blocks of aida for a frayed edge border is usually enough, but if you want something really fancy, perhaps for a book mark or a coaster then try this…

A cross stitch bookmark with a triangular frayed edge sits on w white background.

Make your frayed edge into a shaped fringed edge.

Decide roughly how long you would like the fringe to be and then using a soft pencil or erasable ink pen, carefully draw on the fabric, the shape that you’d like the fringe to follow. This could be zig-zag, curved, wavy – whatever suits the design.

Handy hint – make sure your scissors are really sharp.

Tease out the threads one block at a time (if you try to remove too many at one time it will tangle and stick) to reveal the fancy edge.

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