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6 Methods to Finish Raw Edges of Fabric Without A Serger

Thinking about finishing the raw edges of fabric might look horrifying without a serger, but you can easily prevent the material from fraying even without one. There are several ways of doing it. Stay with us to know the different techniques of finishing seams beautifully.

How To Finish Raw Edges Of Fabric Without A Serger

Are you worried about finishing seams but do not have a serger to do so? Well, you do not have to worry about it. We have sorted it out for you. There are many ways to finish raw edges without a serger. You can use pinking shears, sew the edges with a zigzag stitch, or mock overlock stitches, or you could turn and straight stitch the material. You can also go for french seams for the same.

Read on to learn various methods of finishing the raw edges of your fabric without a serger. We will discuss the processes in a detailed manner for a better understanding.

Method 1. Finish Raw Edges Using Pinking Shears

Perhaps it is one of the simplest ways of finishing seams. Pinking shears have a serrated blade used to prevent the fabric from fraying with their zigzag cut. This method is best suited for tightly woven materials because they are washed less often. However, it would not be wise to use it on a loosely woven fabric like linen. Let us take a look at its process.


The things that you will require are:

  1. Fabric
  2. Pinking Shears


Step 1: Sew Your seam

Step 2: Now, clip it with a pair of pinking shears along the edges.

Method 2. Finish Raw Edges With Zigzag Stitches

If you do not own a pair of pinking shears, you do not have to worry. There is another way of finishing the seams, which is sewing the raw edges with a zigzag stitch. It is one of the most common methods of completing the raw edges of the fabric. The process has been mentioned below.


The following items are a necessity for the process.

  1. Fabric
  2. Sewing Machine


Step 1: It would help adjust the stitch setting to its default, which is 1.5 mm length and 3.5 mm width. However, the setting may differ according to the machine’s brand and the fabric you are using.

Step 2: Practice on a scrap material until you get the perfect zigzag stitch for your fabric.

Step 3: There are two methods of finishing the seams. In the first method, sew a seam with the appropriate seam allowance.

Step 4: Stitch a zigzag near the seam and trim the excess fabric out. This step is perfect for armholes and princess seams.

Step 5: The second way to finish your garment’s raw edges with a zigzag stitch is to sew the edges before stitching the seams.

Method 3. Turn And Stitch To Finish Raw Edges Of fabric

The turn and stitch method of finishing seams on a piece of fabric is probably one of the oldest ways of doing it. If you have a sewing machine that does not have a zigzag stitch, you can always choose this process to finish your fabric’s raw edges. This method is comparatively more comfortable and does not use much of the thread. Let us take a look at it.


These are the items required for this process.

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Fabric


Step 1: Sew the seam with the right seam allowance.

Step 2: After you are done with the seams, turn the raw edges under the seam allowance. Fold the edges on both sides of the seam.

Step 3: Press the folds and sew with a straight stitch.

Method 4. Use French Seams To Finish The Raw Edges Of Fabric

French seams give a perfect finished look to the raw edges of your fabric. This method works well for children’s wear as it is sturdy. However, it would be best if you do not use french seams for curves. It is also an appropriate method to be used on lightweight woven materials.


The items mentioned below are the must-haves for the process.

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Ball Pins
  3. Fabric


Step 1: Pin the wrong sides of the fabric together. It would help to keep a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Step 2: Now, you have to press the seam allowance on one side.

Step 3: Pin the right sides of the fabric together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. It helps in enclosing the first seam and allowing you to have a finished look on the outside.

Method 5. Finish Raw Edges Of A Fabric With Mock Overlock

Almost all the machines now come equipped with mock overlock stitches. These work just as fine with small projects. Such stitches are also known as overedge overcast stitches. It also requires an overcast foot for the stitches.


You will require the following items for the process.

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Fabric


Step 1: Take an all-purpose foot if you do not have an overcast foot.

Step 2: You have to sew with the overcast stitch. This stitch allows you to sew the seam and the zigzag simultaneously.

Step 3: Now, trim away the excess material

Method 6. Finish Raw Edges of Fabric Using Hong Kong or Bound Seam

A Hong Kong or bound seam is appropriate for finishing raw edges of unlined jackets. It helps in giving it a finished inside look and is suitable for heavyweight woven fabrics.


These are the items required for the process.

  1. Bias Tape
  2. Sewing Machine
  3. A Pair Of Scissors
  4. Fabric


Step 1: Cut a few yards of bias tape, depending on your garment.

Step 2: You can use pre-made bias tape for spontaneity and press it.

Step 3: Now, you have to cut the bias tape to the length of the seam you are working on. It would help to cut an extra inch or two.

Step 4: Put the bias and the right sides of the seam allowance together. Then sew them at 1/4″.

Step 5: You have to press the tape away from the allowance.

Step 6: Now, you have to encase the binding around the allowance to the other side and then press it.

Step 7: Stitch in the ditch starting from the right side to the bias on the other side of the seam.

Step 8: Cut away the extra tape.

Step 9: Repeat the same on the other seams.

How Do You Seal Fabric Edges Without Sewing?

If you want to finish the raw edges of fabric without using a serger, sewing machine, or even stitches, then you can for a pair of pinking shears. It is one of the simplest ways of sealing fabric edges without sewing that you will ever come across. These shears cut the edges uneven, which makes it difficult to fray. Using this method is suitable for woven fabric, which is not washed much often.

What Stitch To Use To Keep Fabric From Fraying?

When you are thinking of preventing the fabric from fraying and using a stitch to finish the raw edges, it would be best to go with a zigzag stitch. This stitch is commonly used for securing the seams on a material. Adjust the setting of the stitch to the default, and start sewing. However, it would help if you practiced scrap fabric stitches before going on the final garment. It will help to get the perfect setting for your stitch. Most of the machines come with an overcast stitch, and you can also go for this stitch for a more professional look.

Will Zigzag Stitch Prevent Fraying?

Yes, the zigzag stitch is the most common way to stop the fabric from fraying. You can adjust the setting of the stitch to default and then go on with the sewing. It would be helpful to practice on scrap material before stitching the final fabric. It will also help you achieve the right setting of the stitch.

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