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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Heat sealing ribbons ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Heat sealing ribbons
techniques?
Trinity.
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Trinity.
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 10/9/05
Posts: 1386
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Date: 10/6/06 7:24 PM

I want to be able to put ribbons on my daughter's dresses that wont fray away to nothing in the wash. I do cut the ends on the bias, but unless I cut them just right, they fray away anyway.

I have read that ribbons can be heat sealed to prevent fraying, but there appears to be no specialized tool for doing such a thing. I am looking in the wrong places? I don't know.

So, does anyone heat seal their ribbons, and how do you do it? TIA

Melissa

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Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

pbrenneraz

pbrenneraz
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/10/03
Posts: 51
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Date: 10/6/06 7:28 PM

I don't know about a special tool, but if you have a woodburning tool, stencil cutter or something like that it might work. Just be real careful not to burn yourself or start a fire. Fray check should work too - maybe try putting a line of fray check where you want to cut and cut through it after it's dry? I have no idea if that will work ...

We heat seal my son's web belts using a flame on the stove, but I'm sure you want something more delicate and not have a molten mass of ribbon

Good luck!

Patty

Stitchology

Stitchology
Intermediate
Maryland USA
Member since 1/26/03
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In reply to Trinity.


Date: 10/6/06 8:32 PM

Fray Block is softer. Clear nail polish works too. I think to heat seal you have to cut with something hot, like the woodburning tool. This would only work with the right fiber content.

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Buy the best and you only cry once.

SewVeryTall
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SewVeryTall
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Nebraska USA
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Date: 10/7/06 8:57 AM

Melissa...I heat seal ribbon with a very specialized tool, a match, hehe.

You want to just wave the lit match close to the cut edge. Try it a couple times on a scrap, and you'll get the hang of it. You'll see the edge "shrink back" a bit, and then you can feel that it's melted a little.

If you do it too much, you'll also know, because it'll blacken. If so, trim that off and try again.

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Ardis

the lefthanded daughter of a lefthanded mother

marjoryt
marjoryt
Expert/Couture
Mississippi USA
Member since 8/1/06
Posts: 278
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Subject: I used a bead and a knot for my daughter's items. Date: 10/15/06 2:29 AM

I was desperate to get the stupid dress done and move on to something more interesting. Turning the ribbon back and sewing it wasn't working at all, dabbing it with clear nail polish left a nasty chunk...then I notice a few small left over beads in my button tray. I slipped a bead over the ribbon, ran the ribbon over the outside and through again, and tied a knot, leaving a tiny little bit to fray. It worked, and it worked PERFECTLY through the washings. My daughter loved it, and from there we continued.

For her playclothes, I would sew down ribbons on either side of the back neck openings, then add the bead. I could then tie a bow in the back, and she felt perfect dressed. Her hair was so straight and fine, no barrette would ever stay in.

Trinity.
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Trinity.
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 10/9/05
Posts: 1386
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Date: 10/15/06 10:03 AM

Thank you, everyone for your suggestions.

Patty: I sat at my kitchen stove for some time trying to make this work. It was a bit of a hit or miss thing, though. Sometimes the ribbon would melt just right, other times not. I'll bet there is a technique, but I don't know what it is.

Ardis: I tried this, too. But I think i'm clumsier than you, 'cause either it didn't melt at all or it caught on fire.

What I ended up doing what using a 50% off coupon at Joann's I bought a wood burning tool for $5. Perfect. As long as you cut the ribbon with it before it reaches its full temp, it makes an incredibly fine melt, you can barely tell its been melted. The ends don't feel scratchy and I think it'll hold.

I won't celebrate until it's been washed a few times, though.

Stitchology: I will get fray check for non-meltable ribbons, though. I hadn't even thought of that.

Marjoryt: That sounds cute. I'm seeing pony beads when I read that. Is that what you used?

Thanks again, everybody.

Melissa

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Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

sandrasdaughter
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sandrasdaughter
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Georgia USA
Member since 10/28/04
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Date: 11/6/06 10:37 AM

When using grossgrain I just heat it with a match and be sure to put it right out....

Cheap and quick and will NOT unravel!

ccris
ccris
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Member since 10/27/05
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Date: 11/6/06 12:24 PM

I've always used fray-check on ribbon ends and it's worked perfectly. I dab fray-check on the front and back of buttons from RTW, too. Love that stuff. It's also good on buttonholes.

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