Finishing the edges of your handwoven work is an important final step to making your project shine. This article covers two basic finishing techniques: hand twisted and braided fringe. A fringe is more than a decorative element—it also secures your weaving. These simple and beginner-friendly techniques can be used on a variety of projects, such as scarves, rugs, and towels.
Continue this pattern by crossing the right and then left end over the center end until your desired length is complete. Tie an overhand knot at the end of your bundle.
My sample warp divided very cleanly, but what if your project doesn’t? There’s been many times where my outermost fringe bundles have had one, two, or even three extra ends in them and it’s always been completely invisible. I recently twisted a fringe where each bundle had 5 ends in it, which divided as 3 ends + 2 ends. The fringe is fine and looks great!
Fringe length and thickness comes down to personal preference and what looks good with a given project. Twisted fringe (in my opinion at least) has a nice swing to it and is perfect for blankets, scarves, and shawls, while I’ve only ever tried braided fringes on rugs and more utilitarian items — it feels stiffer to me. But there’s a lot of variation possible in weaving from sett to yarn, so why not try a braided fringe on your next silk scarf? You might just find your new favorite finishing technique.
Amanda Rataj is an artist and weaver living and working in Hamilton, Ontario. She studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and has developed her contemporary craft practice through research-based projects, artist residencies, professional exhibitions, and lectures. Her textile focus of the material and conceptual nature of vernacular, everyday objects used for the home and body; her work (and weaving patterns) are available at her website, and at Guildworks, or by commission.