Methods for Finishing Fleece Blankets

Written by siva stephens
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Methods for Finishing Fleece Blankets
Finish a fleece blanket using a blanket-stitch in contrasting yarn. (William McKellar/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Fleece is one of the best blanket fabrics on the market; it's soft, warm, comes in many colours and patterns and is simple to work with. Fleece does not ravel, so you don't need to hem the edges. This opens up many possibilities when it comes to finishing the blanket edges. Without the need for the customary, bulky fold-and-sew hem on all sides, you have several decorative options for trimming your fleece blanket.


One option is simply to wield the scissors carefully when cutting out the blanket; a nice, straight edge is the most basic finish. Alternatively, use pinking shears or other decorative fabric scissors or cutting wheels to make scallops, points or other fancy patterns along the edges. Add fringe to the blanket by making 4-inch long cuts every half-inch along the sides. Tie knots at the base of each strip, cut every other strip short, cut diagonal tops into randomly spaced strips or fold the strips in half and sew the tops down to make "loop" edging. To make a double-sided blanket, cut and fringe two same-sized pieces of fleece, lay them back-to-back and join them by knotting every other set of corresponding fringe strips together.


It's not necessary to sew the edges into a hem, but a narrow hem can give a large blanket a finished look. A decorative stitch is another pretty way to finish your blanket. Run the edges through a serger or a programmable sewing machine that makes zigzags, waves, loops or other motifs using matching or contrasting threads. Use a large-eyed needle and yarn to hand-sew the edges using a blanket stitch, or thread several dangling lengths of yarn through the same spot, knot them together and cut them to the same length to form tassels.


For another attractive look, apply blanket binding just as you would to an ordinary cotton or wool blanket. Use prepackaged binding or wide, tightly woven ribbon folded in half and stitched around the edge of the blanket. You can also add any other flat-edged trim such as pom-pom strips, ruffles, lace or silk fringe. Simply use a flat machine-stitch to sew the trim along the edges of the blanket, pleating the trim at the corners if necessary to make it lie flat. Cut a 4-inch-wide strip of contrasting fleece long enough to go around the perimeter of the blanket, sew the strip to the edge of the blanket and cut to within ¼ inch of the seam to make a contrasting fleece fringe.

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