How to keep a ribbon from fraying

    by Tabitha Harwell

    About the Author

    Tabitha Harwell has been writing since 2008, with articles appearing in local publications and various websites. Her background includes a career in the fashion and beauty industry. Harwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations.


    Handling ribbon, whether on a package, a sewing project or on clothing, will eventually cause it to fray. Although ribbon could fray with use, this should not deter you from using it to decorate packages or accent your sewing projects. You can prevent ribbon from fraying to ensure that the edges of the ribbon fabric remain neat, crisp and beautiful.

    Things You'll Need

    • Scissors
    • Fabric adhesive
    • Clear nail polish
    • Liquid fray sealant

    Cut the tip of the ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying. Either cut the ribbon off to make a 45-degree angle or cut it to create an inverted "V" shape. To make the "V" shape, simply cut inward from the left side and right side of the ribbon so the cuts meet at a 45-degree angle at the center.

    Apply a fabric adhesive to the ribbon to seal the raw edge. Fold the ribbon under about 1/2 inch and apply a small amount of fabric adhesive. Hold the ribbon in place until the adhesive dries and then release.

    Apply clear nail polish to the end of the ribbon to prevent or stop fraying. Clear nail polish hardens the ribbon, making the fibers stay in place. The nail polish may wear off eventually and then you would need to reapply it to the raw edge of the ribbon.

    Apply a liquid fray sealant to the ribbon. Available at craft supply stores, the fray sealant works similarly to clear nail polish but it lasts longer. Brush the fray sealant onto the ends of the ribbon and allow it to dry.

    • Always make sure ribbon is the same length on either side when trimming into a V shape.
    • If a ribbon frays, do not pull on a loose ribbon strand. Pulling will cause the ribbon to unravel.

    Photo Credits

    • Images