Subscribe to my newsletter
Yarnworks Facebook Yarnworker Instagram Yarnworker Pinterest Yarnworker Ravelry Yarnworker YouTube Yarnworker YouTube

Help, I Warped My Loom Backwards and Other Things That Can Go Wrong

Warping backwards happens. I once merrily warped a loom backwards while doing a demonstration for my colleagues. We often discover this error when we are getting ready to wind onto the beam and realize we are heading towards the wrong one. Sometimes, if it just isn’t your day, you may also discover that your warp …

Read more

Geeking Out: Take-Up, Shrinkage, and Elasticity

The subject of take-up and shrinkage has come up a number of times lately, specifically in relation to yarn substitution. My general thoughts on yarn substitution can be found here. Take-up is how much the yarn rebounds after it is removed from the tension on the loom, and shrinkage is how much it shrinks after …

Read more

Thanks For Spending Some Time On The Yarnworker Cloud

During this season of reflection and celebration, I want to take a moment to say thanks for being here. Three years and a dozen weave-alongs later, we have our virtual little school house in the sky. Instead of building it brick-by-brick, we have constructed it in bits and bytes. It still feels very physical to …

Read more

Color Value

When it comes to choosing yarn color for weaving, it can come down to this central question: Is contrast important or not? In some weaves, color-and-weave for example, contrast is extremely important. In other applications, you may not want to highlight the differences between colors, but rather focus on highlighting one color or another. Contrast is …

Read more

Geeking Out: Shuttles

Shuttles do just what their name implies. They shuttle the weft back and forth as you weave your cloth. Here are some ways to think about selecting a shuttle for your rigid-heddle weaving. Stick Shuttles Stick shuttles come with most rigid-heddle looms and are available in a wide variety of sizes. I like to pick …

Read more

The Tie That Binds: Spinning Competition Continues

Spinning competitions are old, very old. I’m not sure when the first competition occurred, but my guess is it was not long after we started spinning fiber into yarn. Humans like to test their mettle against other humans, and spinners are no exception. Textile competitions, formal and informal, are regular features during fall harvest festivals, …

Read more

2019 Yarnworker Biennial Survey Results

Every two years I send out a survey to get a feel for where rigid-heddle weavers are on their weaving journey and what specific issues they may be experiencing. Feedback from these surveys helped start the weave-alongs and prompted me to create specific content, most recently, A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn. First a Bit of …

Read more

When to Use Which Finish

Finishing your fringe is like icing a cake. You can create a highly decorative look or something clean and simple. Beyond aesthetics, how do you know which technique is best for your specific circumstance?

The purpose of finishing your fringe is to secure the weft and, if necessary, keep the yarn from fraying. Some folks aren’t bothered by a little bit of fluff (I‘m one of those folk), while others would rather maintain a clean look.

frayed fringe

To determine if your yarn will fray, take a small snippet and swish it about in warm water, rubbing the ends a bit. Let it dry and notice what happens to the ends. This is most likely how they will look with washing and wear in your woven piece.

There are four primary ways to finish your fringe—knotting, twisting, stitching, and hemming. There are advantages and disadvantages to each one.


Knotting can be as simple as tying an overhand knot, or highly decorative by tying a series of knots. A single row of knots creates an open fringe and doesn’t keep the yarn from fraying. I’m a fan of decorative knotting as it gives me the open look of fringe, but mitigates fraying. You can see how the fringe below is worked on my YouTube channel.

lattice knots


A classic weaverly finish is to work a twisted fringe. It preserves the look of fringe, but prevents the yarn from fraying. Braiding will also do the trick. In this example I worked two rows of offset knots and then worked a twisted fringe.

twisted and knotted fringe


Hemstitching and embroidery stitch are popular, because they are worked on the loom and don’t require any further finished work off the loom. However, they doesn’t prevent the yarn from fraying. Shown here is what weavers call the embroidery stitch, which is very much like the daisy chain stitch. It isn’t as secure as the hemstitch, but works up much quicker. As long as you don’t trim the fringe too short, it holds up well.

embroidery stitch


Encasing the fringe in a hem is the ultimate protection from fraying and gets rid of the fringe altogether, but it can also affect the drape of the cloth. Burying the fringe in the cloth and snipping the ends is another option. This is often used with weft-faced weaves.


In one of my previous Knitty columns, I did a round-up of finishing techniques with a bit of how-to thrown in. Here are three of my favorite books on finishing work. (No affiliate links used here.)

Interweave’s Compendium of Finishing Techniques by Naomi McEneely

Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition by Suzanne Baizerman and Karen Searle

Finishing Touches for the Handweaver by Virginia West

Heddles Up!


There are many ways to finish the fringe on your weaving project, which is right for your project?

Liz Gipson Widgets
terms to know