How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems

Written by brenda priddy
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How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
Many wedding dresses use horsehair braid to keep the skirt stiff. (wedding dress image by araraadt from Fotolia.com)

Horsehair braid trim is a type of stiffening material made from nylon fibres held together in a mesh pattern. Horsehair braid trim comes in several thicknesses. The product is designed to add additional stiffness to the hem of a garment, typically used to keep gathered skirts stiff and full. The trim is useful for formal wear, girl's clothing and costumes. You can also use the trim to make any hem stiff for any project desired, such as curtains or tablecloths. Anything that has a hem can use horsehair braid.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • ½-inch horsehair braid trim, long enough for hem
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Towel
  • Chalk
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length of the hem to determine how much braid trim is necessary for the project. Cut the trim ½ an inch longer than the length of the hem so you can overlap it and sew the edges together.

    How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
    Measure the length of the hem. (Glass with measuring tape. image by mashe from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Iron the trim with a low heat iron to remove any creases or folds in the trim. If you are worried about melting the fibres, you can place a towel over the trim as you iron to disperse some of the heat.

    How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
    Iron the horsehair braid trim. (iron image by Eray Haciosmanoglu from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Mark the desired hemline on the wrong side of the fabric with chalk. Leave enough fabric to fold the horsehair braid trim inside the fabric, plus ¼ of an inch. Trim any excess fabric.

    How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
    Trim any excess fabric. (scissors image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Align the bottom edge of the horsehair braid trim along the marked hemline. Pin the trim in place with straight pins.

    How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
    Pin the trim in place. (pin box image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Sew the braid trim in place along the hemline. Use a regular running stitch, or a hem stitch if your sewing machine is capable of making a hem stitch.

    How to Sew Horsehair Braid Hems
    Sew the braid trim in place along the hemline. (sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Fold the fabric hanging down below the braid trim up over the trim. Tuck the raw edge of the fabric under and pin the fabric in place like you would for a regular hem.

  7. 7

    Sew the hem in place, removing the pins as you sew. Add extra stability to the trim by sewing a few extra stitches along the seams of the garment.

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