Monday, January 26, 2009

Fraying Hem, Fraying Nerves

Ooops! Before I washed this set of four towels, I machine-stitched across the end of each towel. But then I absentmindedly cut the roll of towels apart before washing and drying them.

This towel bore the brunt of my silliness....the plain weave intended for the hem frayed badly.

Wouldn't you know, this happened on a set of towels I intend to use in our master bathroom. It couldn't have happened on a single towel that would be hanging on its own.

I wanted to make the hems look the same on all four towels.

My weaving group came to the rescue with suggestions.

First I pinned the frayed area to a foam core board. (This is a simulation...the fraying was repaired before I took this photo).

With the frayed area pinned to the board, I used pins to work the threads into a better position, straightening them out and re-weaving them the best I could.

Next I used Lite Steam a Seam 2, a double-sided fusible webbing to stabilize the fabric without adding bulk or stiffness. Steam a Seam is available at my local Joann Fabrics, and probably many other fabric stores.

I positioned the steam a seam at the edge of the hem,

peeled it back to, then folded the hem into position.

Then I applied steam a seam to the other side of the frayed area, and folded the hem down a second time, as originally planned.

I pressed it to fuse the web to the fabric.

Then I hemmed normally - which for me, right now, means hand-hemming. Otherwise, the combination of me, my sewing machine, and my handwoven fabric can get pretty out of control.

After washing and using the towel, I am happy to report I can't tell the difference between the towel with the repaired hem and the other towels in the set.

I did not use Steam a Seam on the other towels. That product is very light and doesn't add much bulk to hems - otherwise the other towels would have felt different than this repaired towel.

Thanks weaving buddies for bailing me out once again!


Gwen said...

Great save! Sounds like a lot of work, but the towels look very nice and you saved your matched set - so I guess it was worth it! :)

bspinner said...

Great information!!!! Thanks

OzWeaver said...

I'm so glad to know about Steam a Seam! Your towels are beautiful, and I bet you can no longer tell which one had the near death experience!

Your photos of NEWS look wonderful. I've never been because I've been going to MAFA (Mid Atlantic Fiber Assoc) since mid 80s. If only I could spend the year traveling the country to *all* the regional conferences!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting on my blog and introducing me to yours. Enjoyed your towel post and, like OzWeaver, I'm glad to know about Steam a Seam too. The towels came out terrific. Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

Nice to see all of you here!!

I should have mentioned in this post that several of the weavers in my local weaving circle use Steam a Seam on almost all of their hems.

Especially if you're machine stitching handwoven fabric, it holds things in place very well.

There are different weights of Steam a Seam. The one I used is very thin - so a little fragile while you're tacking things together, but after washing the fabric I couldn't notice that it was there at all.

Susan said...

Fantastic fix to a 'near death experience'! Great friends by the way...

I use my serger to cut apart my towels and secure the raw edges. If you have a machine, its super for taming wild threads worming out.

I love the pattern you used. I have woven 'breaks and recesses' many time and consider it the ideal towel texture pattern. Very absorbant!

Congrats! Susan

Lynnette said...

Great save and a great product. It's new to me and something I think would be great to have around. I love to see the 'how to' type of photos...well done.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hemming advice you sent to my blog.

Lovely towels, and I'll have to remember that save technique. What is the weave structure and yarn type?