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How Do You Hem A Hand Woven Fabric

Hemming a Woven fabric might sound challenging. What do you think about woven fabric? Woven fabric is the two sets of yarns that are perpendicular to each other. Horizontal thread known as the weft is wrapped over vertical thread known as warp. They are so in a repetitive pattern, under-over and again the same while making the entire fabric.

You can make your hand-woven fabric with some hand-operated weaving looms or power loom machines. The latter is known as hand weaving, and the fabric you design is the handwoven fabric.

Handweaving requires enormous work and may take several days or months to weave a 5-meter cloth. Hence, these are so expensive.

Well, today’s article is all about how to hem these beautifully crafted fabrics, the handwoven fabric. So, keep reading the article and know the answers to all your questions.

How Do You Hem A Hand Woven Fabric?

Handwoven fabric requires some techniques and proper steps to follow to get the properly hemmed handwoven material. You may face some trouble while hemming, but it is not that hard, as once you are started, you can go with the flow.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to weave a little more fabric from the position you intend to hem, and do not forget to factor the hemming allowances into your entire calculations.

While using a machine, you need to secure the raw edges of the hand-woven fabric to prevent any unraveling during the finishing process. It is beneficial to provide the entire fabric with a great press before beginning, and it is easier to work with the pressed one. This is the dog ear technique.

Firstly you need to fold the corner of each side of the hem and press it with a heated iron. With this, the corners won’t get ragged and ugly after washing, and the flared outlook would be reduced a little.

After you press the dog ears properly, you can take the raw edge of the fabric and fold it over, usually one-fourth inches but more if it is raggy. Then, again, fold them for half inches and press with an iron. Now, when all the corners and raw edges are hidden and encased, you can place some pins to hold them intact.

Take the pressed and folded fabric to the sewing machine, and with the thread, sew a medium straight stitch to the folded edge about one-fourth or one-eighth inches. You can prefer distinct stitches if you desire, but you can go for a medium straight stitch for a professional finish.

Also, do the reverse stitch at both the beginning and the end of the project. For the invisible finish, you can also hem the woven fabric via your hands with the help of a needle and a thread. Let’s now get into a detailed discussion on how do you hem a handwoven fabric.

2 Different Methods To Hem A Hand Woven Fabric

A sewn hem is the ideal way to finish your hand-woven fabric’s raw edges. You can hem the woven fabric via sewing machine or by hand, and with both the techniques, the project comes out to be very tidy and clean.

Before beginning with any of the procedures, you need to gather some supplies to give them the hand-woven fabric. It includes a sewing needle, a sewing machine, a sewing thread, and some pins or clips.

The first step to the hand-woven fabric is to secure your fabric’s raw edges. You can use zigzag stitches done via sewing machine, and if your warp has over one item, you need to trim them carefully at the spacer and zigzag the edges. If you don’t desire to do it via a sewing machine, you can leave that raw, but you need to be careful while washing.

Method 1 – Hemming By Hand

Hemming a hand-woven fabric by hand provides a tidy and invisible finish. Here are the steps followed;

Step 1 – Fold Over the ZigZag End

First, you need to fold your fabric over the zigzag end you made earlier. Some hand-woven hemming projects will specify how much to fold, but some of them possess a wiggle room, and you can fold the area as much as you desire. Make sure that you fold enough so that the needle has come to bite with them.

Step 2 – Fold Again Hide The ZigZag Edge

Now, you need to fold the fabric again to hide the zigzag edges between the two layers of your hand-woven fabric. Finally, clip or pin the hem of the fabric into place.

Step 3 – Measure The Sewing Thread

You need to measure the sewing thread as you can prefer 1.5 times the length of your hem. Then, with the help of your needle, catch one of the stitches inside the hem and then tie the thread to your project, and it would be best if you will start by sewing the short edges.

Step 4 – Begin Sewing Your Hem

Now, after measuring the thread, you need to begin sewing your hem. You can run your sewing needle via the channel created by the hem’s fold for some stitches and then bring it all out. You can catch one of the ends of your fabric and then dip it back to the channel for some more ends. You should do this step at the place with proper brightness; otherwise, it may get worse.

Step 5 – Knot The Thread

After you are finished sewing a hem on the handwoven fabric, you need to knot your thread over the fabric; you can knot it around the inner end of the hem and feed the tail via the channel to hide it.

Method 2 – Hemming By Machine

Hemming by sewing machine is a faster method than hemming a woven fabric via hand method. The sewing machine, as a result, gives your fabric the tide and clean row of stitches that can be seen from both the front and back end. The steps you need to follow to hem the handwoven fabric by sewing machine are as follows;

Step 1 – Fold Over the ZigZag

The first step for you is to hem the handwoven fabric by sewing machine to fold the fabric over the zigzag end. Some of the hand-woven fabric projects will specify how much to fold, but there is a little wiggle some of the time. So, you can do what you feel is comfortable for you. Ensure that you must fold the fabric enough so that the needle can bite into the fabric and the raw edges are covered.

Step 2 – Fold Again Hiding The ZigZag Edge

Now, again you need to fold the hand-woven fabric. This time, you need to fold the fabric to hide the zigzag edges you made between the layers of the hand-woven fabrics. At last, clip or pin the hem into place over the fabric.

Step 3 – Sew Using Your Sewing Machine

After that, you need to sew the hand-woven fabric using the straight stitch on the sewing machine. Finally, you can use the backstitch for one of the two threads at the beginning of the end of the project to secure the thread.

Step 4 – Tie The Thread

After finishing the sewing process, you need to tie the two tails of the thread you used in a knot, and with the help of a sewing machine, you need to hide them inside the hem of your handwoven fabric.

Some Tips To Hem A Hand Woven Fabric

Here are some things that will help you with hemming the hand-woven fabric easily.

1. You can weave a thinner thread at the beginning of your project and fold them over the first. The thinner yarn makes the hem lighter in weight, and it would be best to try cotton-woven fabrics. With the higher EPI fabric, you can use 2 out of 16 cotton for your hems.

2. Always prefer using the alternate color for your thinner fabric picks. You can use distinct colors to weave your first picks then you can later switch to the primary yarn. It will give you the proper way to fold over and is hidden inside the hem after finishing,

3. Weave your fabric with a contrast thread to trace the fold lines. You can prefer polyester as a topstitching thread in a brighter shade as it is not that thick to affect your weaving. But, make sure it is slippery and can be pulled easily, reusing them when you are finished.

4. Prefer using the iron to press the folds of the hemming to keep the wiggly yarns intact in place, making pinning easier for you.

5. Use the walking foot in the sewing machine. Quilters may be familiar with the even feed foot or the walking foot attachment for your sewing machine.

This tool will make multiple layers of sewing over the fabric a lot easier because the presser foot has some teeth on it that moves the fabric in the similar way that the feed dogs on the bed of your sewing machine do. This means that the top layer of your sewing moves at a similar speed at the bottom.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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