How to Keep Ribbon From Fraying

Have you ever had a piece of ribbon that was just fraying away? Don’t let it keep going! Just follow one of these 3 steps.

Here are a few options to keep your ribbon from fraying.


3 Different Ways To Keep

Ribbon From Fraying


  •   Use a clear nail polish

You’re going to want to start with good, sharp sewing scissors. (like these ones here) I actually need to get some new ones right now, too, since after awhile they just get dull and don’t do their job well. :-/ For now, I sharpen them myself using one of these, and that seems to help for a bit.

Go ahead and figure out how long you want your ribbon to be and then cut it at a 45° angle or cut it in an inverted v-shape to discourage fraying.



Apply a thin coating of clear nail polish. (Be sure to wipe the excess from the brush so you’re not applying too much.)

This can be done by laying it flat and doing one side; after it dries, flip it over and do the other side. Or, hold it in your hands and do the edge at one time. Let dry completely. (You’ll want to test a small piece of ribbon first to make sure it’s not going to discolor your ribbon.)


  • Use an anti-fray product

If you plan to wash the ribbon frequently, you’re going to want to use an anti-fray product.  (If you can’t get an anti-fray liquid, clear craft glue will work, too.)

Again, start with some good, sharp sewing scissors and make your cut at a 45° angle or cut it in an inverted v-shape.

Squeeze out a small amount onto a paper plate or bowl and using a cotton swab dip it in and wipe off the excess. Now just drag it across the raw edges of the ribbon on both sides.


This may take awhile to dry. To keep it from sticking to your surface, hang it somewhere from a clothesline until it is completely dry.


  • Use the heat method

This is my preferred method to keep ribbon from fraying. It’s actually pretty fun to do! All you need for this method is a utility lighter. If you’ve never done this before, you should definitely test a scrap piece of ribbon. This is the ribbon I usually use this method for. (This works for 100% polyester ribbon but not for cotton or burlap.)

Start with sharp sewing scissors and cut your ribbon at a 45° angle. Hold the ribbon between your thumb and forefinger down a ways from the cut edge. You don’t want to burn your fingers! Remember, always be careful when working with fire. 🙂


With your other hand, light your utility lighter. Since I’m right-handed, I hold my ribbon in my left hand and the lighter in my right hand. Simply hold your ribbon up to the flame. You don’t want to put it directly in the flame or it will just catch fire. I like to put it near the blue part of the flame and move the lighter, not the ribbon. Again, you’re putting it close to the flame but not totally in it. Work from one end of the ribbon to the other. Move quickly with the lighter. If you watch closely, you can literally see the ribbon melt and see the edge seal. It’s pretty cool! This might take a few times to get the hang of it, but once you get it, it is quite simple! If you “mess up” just trim your ribbon a tiny bit and do it again.

After it’s done, you can feel the edge of the ribbon and it now has a “plastic-y” feeling edge. I like this method the best since I know it is “sealed.”

Follow one of these 3 steps and you’ll keep your ribbon from fraying away. It’s that simple!



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  1. I am making cotton ribbons for my dog n granddaughter so they match .how do I get it not to fray

  2. Thank you for the great tip of using heat on ribbon to prevent fraying . I spent hours on a crochet baby blanket . I was not happy with the results of using a fray check etc . It left the ribbon discolored. The heat method sealed neatly and is almost invisible . I love the finished project and will use this tip over and over again.

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