Fringes refer to an ornamental border of threads left loose from a raveled edge or looped threads, cords, beads, threads or tassels attached from a separate strip, used as a fabric trim.
This accent is one of those finishing touches which look beautiful on most clothes.
The fringe has a decorative heading which is usually about 3/4 inches and the length of the fringes varies from 2 inches – 8 inches or even longer.
These fabric trims can be used on just about anything – your dance outfits, bandana scarf, skirts, shawls, wrap scarves, Kaftan side edges, or along the yokes on dresses or shirts or sleeve seams in jackets.
There are different types of fringes available in shops ready to be attached but there is no fun in buying it when you can make it yourself. There is no one way to make these cute trims but nine. All of them easy and doable by even sewing beginners
1. Loop fringes
Loop fringes are looped at the base of the fringe. This fringe is made by making small loops and tacking them in place with small anchoring stitches.
Cut 6 strands of embroidery thread or yarn. Thread your needle with the floss. The whole six strands will make a full enough fringe.
Bring the needle 1/2 inch up from the edge (at 1). Make a small loop of about 1/2 inch to 1″and then take back the needle through the same hole leaving the loop (at 2)
Bring up the needle again near the first stitch (at 3) and make an anchoring stitch across the thread at the start of the loop, tacking the loop in place (at 4)
Make this type of loops and tacking stitches in a straight line along the edge. End the line with a few back stitches. You can get a scalloped effect if you grade the loops.
2 Brush fringes
Brush fringe is a cut fringe made of yarn. Make loop fringes as explained above with six or more strands of embroidery thread. Clip the end edge of the loops cutting all of them open. You can also individually cut the center of all loops. Ensure the cut is straight and even.
Use your needle to separate the floss so that the fringe looks full and fluffy.
3. Bullion fringes
Bullion fringes are made of cord rather than with yarns. You can make quick bullion fringes with cord by this method.
To make this trim cut out a strip of interfacing the length and width of the trim you want. I have used a card sheet but interfacing is the right thing. Wrap the cord around.
Place a 1/4 -1/2 inch ribbon along the top edge and with a very small stitch length stitch the ribbon and the cord together.
Cut out the lower edge of the cord. From the inside cut out the interfacing piece closely near the stitch you have made. You have your fringe ready.
4 Self fabric fringe
This fringe is made from the weave of the fabric itself.
Some fabric frays more than others. To make this fringe, Make a single straight stitch across the fabric edge some 1/2 inches inside.
Remove the weft thread one by one so that only warp thread is left making up your fringe
You can also make this fringe with hand embroidery technique. Check out the post on making cloth napkins for more details.
5. Fabric strip / leather fringes
Cut a strip of leather of a fabric ( unraveling type) of about 4 inches or longer. Mark straight lines 1/4 inch apart with a scale. Make straight cuts till about 1/2 inch to the other edge with very sharp scissors. You can use rotary cutter / exacto knife as well keeping it on a hard surface or self healing mat.
6. Tassel fringes
The tassel fringes have tassels attached to them.
Checkout this tutorial on making tassels.
7. Layered fringes
This fringe involves making knots in intervals in layers of fringes .
Make brush fringes which are about 4 inches – 8 inches long. Cut the edges evenly as explained. Separate the strands of thread of fringes and divide the fringe threads into two. Hold the fringes half from one loop and the next half from the adjacent loop. With a single strand of thread, make a knot 3/4 – 1″ down in the middle of the two loops. Continue doing the same with all the loops. You can make many layers like this for the fringes. If you are making three layers, finish the second layer and then continue making knots in the center of the knots in the second layer. When you have finished trim the fringe evenly at the bottom
8. Pom Pom fringes
These are fringes with pom poms attached to it. I would buy it but if you like it handmade checkout this tutorial at craftaholicsanonymous.net
9.Sewing Machine fringe
This fringe is made using a fringe foot. A satin stitch with the zig zag stitch is made with this foot and this is then cut to make the fringes. Some tips on using this foot are to lower the tension; stitch length should be lower than 1 and stitch width should be like 4 or higher for a good enough fringe.After stitching the satin stitch, you will have to anchor the stitch with straight stitch along one edge ( where there is no bobbin thread in the back). Then cut the other edge for your fringe or remove the bobbin thread on the backside for a longer fringe.
10 Knit fringes
This is one of the best ways to make fringe trims – because knit never ravel. You can just simply cut the fabric edges very thinly. A slight stretching of these fringes will make small curls, if that is the look you want. Knot into bunches if you want to.
11 Beaded fringe
Beaded fringes are the prettiest of all fringes, but it takes work. You have to work beautiful beads on needle and thread throughout the edge. Checkout the tutorial to make 8 types of beaded tassels / fringes here