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How to Stop the Ribbon From Fraying? Full Guide

Have you ever had to wrap a gift for a relative and remembered that you had some ribbon left from the last time you wrapped one, but when you take it from your arts and crafts box it looks shorter, more unraveled, and more damaged than you remembered?

So now last-minute quick stops to a store near us, to buy more ribbon just for it to get frayed and pointlessly ineffective for the duty it is supposed to do. In this article today, we’ll be covering this exact topic, how to stop ribbon from fraying!

Key Takeaways

  • Use sharp scissors to cut the ribbons
  • A simple over-the-counter solution is to use a flame to burn the edges
  • Be careful with the materials of the ribbon, since synthetic ribbon burns easily and quickly
  • Glue and nail polish come to help in any situation
  • Woodburning tools do the job perfectly fine without much effort, with the help of a metal ruler
  • If you deal with a lot of ribbons at once invest in a ribbon cutter

So, how to stop the ribbon from fraying?

In simple terms, the edges should be isolated, so the ribbon doesn’t fray. There are plenty of solutions to stop ribbon from fraying varying from candle-light flames, glue, nail polish, a ribbon cutter, and so on.

There are a couple of steps to check from the tools you are using to cut the ribbon to the ways you are cutting it. Overall, when using scissors, I recommend to each one of you use sharp scissors. If you happen to have some nice scissors laying around, just sharpen them if you notice that they became dull or rounded.

As a result of the way the fibers of the fabric are secured together into a ribbon, several techniques will help you put a stop to worn-out ribbons.

For the most part, the direction in which you choose to cut the ribbon plays a big role. If you cut it straight it triggers the fibers to fray, more than the other ways, and further, the interconnection of the fibers breaks.

The best, and most effective way to cut a ribbon, as I anticipated, with sharp scissors, is cutting it at an angle, either 45 degrees from one side, and it gets a diagonal finish, or 45 degrees from both sides so the finishing part looks like the tongue of a snake and the piece that you cut it off looks like an isosceles right-angled triangle.

You’ll find that either way will be effectively helpful to you as an application and you’ll find yourself using it all the time from now on.

It’s a pleasing enough fact that it saves you tons and tons of ribbon fabric from your rolls, over and above that, it looks nicely done and noticeably but effortlessly you show signs of being a meticulous individual. When you get right down to it devil is in the details, am I right?

You can also cut it straight but you will need to be more cautious of the ends that I will talk more about later on, so keep reading to find out some quick solutions.

Also Read: Ways to Stop Burlap From Fraying?

What helps prevent fraying?

Candle-light flame

What I usually do as a quick and easy way and keep going, is to use a flame. Either from a candle or a lighter. Approach your ribbon close enough to the flame and you will certainly notice the ends curling together and settling safely so it doesn’t fray anymore.

I recommend being careful with the flame since you may burn your fingers and it causes blisters, and truth be told no one wants that uncomfortable feeling. I find candles to be more effective since it is stationary, and you are more in control of your hands and the ribbon you are holding compared to using a lighter.

A tip that must be mentioned is to be careful also with the kind of ribbon you are dealing with. Cotton ribbons easily put an end to fraying with a flame, but synthetic ribbons are harder to handle.

As you might already know synthetic fabrics in general are a product made of petrochemicals that are found in natural gases, so that kind of fabric is artificially made by us humans. Since we settled down the base of synthetic ribbon, you might assume that since it is made of practically plastic it catches easily on fire.


An easy over-the-counter solution is using glue, either craft glue, fabric glue, hot glue, or any type of glue for that matter. You can apply it with a simple stick, and you can control the amount of glue that is inserted in the ribbon if the ribbon is going to be visible.

If the visual aspect of the ribbon is not important in your case then just apply glue on the edges and you are good to go. Besides, there are products like fray blockers that are particularly made to avoid the problem of fraying fabric or ribbon in this case.

Also Read: Can I Wash Fabric Glue?

Nail Polish

Unfortunately, there are times when we run out of glue but don’t lose your hopes yet, there are still more solutions for every situation. Most of us have nail polish, am I right?

But the good thing is that there are times that nail polish comes in handy other that the satisfaction of applying it to our nails. Nail polish serves good solution to end fraying and messy edges of the ribbon.

Again, if the visual aspect is important in your case, I recommend using clear nail polish or at least try using the same or similar color to the ribbon you are using. If the visual sense is insignificant in your case and you just want to hold the fibers of the ribbon together then any nail polish does the job just well enough.

Other helpful solutions

There are other cases where you might want to be more detailed, either for a gift, a dress, or any other purpose whatsoever, you can end it by sewing thread on the edges of the ribbon. Which gives a pleasant sight and feeling.

An alternative you can find effortlessly useful might be a woodburning tool if you own one. If not so, you can find it in any craft store near you. What I like about this technique is the immediate cutting and burning of the edges so you will not need to go over the same ribbon edge twice.

To another extent, you might see it important for you to have straight cutting lines for a better presentation. As for that matter, I advise you use a ruler, a metallic one since you will have to work with heat. But always be safe and cautious when working with heat and flames. Safety first!

Ribbon cutter

In those cases where you have to deal with a lot of ribbons constantly, I recommend investing in a ribbon cutter, there are different types and techniques, but I assure you they make the workflow faster and effortlessly.

Also Read: What Is Chenille?

Final Words

As you can see, there are plenty of methods you can try as a solution to preventing/stopping ribbon from fraying. I tried to cover simple and available for everyone solutions and I hope I was able to assist you in this matter. Thank you for reading through, see you in the next one!