Fray Check and Transparent Sewing Thread

I'm always keen to try out new sewing gadgets and recently the girls and I have been trying out some more cool haberdashery items - so here are the details of what we thought of them!

First one under the test is the Prym Fray Check. It’s £5.10 for a 22.5ml bottle and it has saved one sewing project of mine already!

What is it for?

Simply, it is to stop fabric from fraying at the edges.

It is good for seam edges of fabrics that can fray a lot, like loose weave wool or linen. It could also be used to stabilise seams that might stretch out when you overlock them.

It would be good for appliqué too or if you were sewing on a patch pocket and didn’t want to bulk out the seam allowances with overlocking.

I used it recently for the buttonholes on a blouse I made from really lightweight rayon fabric. Interfacing would have made the button band too stiff in such a lightweight fabric but I needed something to stop the fabric from fraying – it was perfect! Just make sure that any chalk markings that are on your fabric have been taken off first – otherwise you’ll seal them in with the fray check.

We also found it to be really good on the edge of ribbon and it was a lot easier (and safer) than getting a lighter out to singe the edge.

I accidently made a little nick in the fabric of a top I made recently and it was right at the front. I just put a little fray check on it and as the fabric is so busy it just blends in and saved the day!

And…….it doesn’t wash out which is awesome!

How easy is it to use?

There are no instructions on the packaging really, just a warning to check it first on your fabric. Once you have applied it to the fabric, wait until it dries before moving on. This might take a few hours depending on the type of fabric and how much you have put on. When it’s almost dry just give the fabric an iron and it will help to blend it into the fibres of the fabric more.

It comes out the pointy nozzle easily when you squeeze the tube as it is a runny liquid.

It can cause a little discolouration to the fabric but if you were using it on the inside of a project then it would be fine. When I used it for the buttonholes, the buttonhole stitching went over the mark anyway.

In this picture it had dried in and you can just about see the tide mark where it was.

It does make the fabric a little bit stiffer so it is best not to use too much.

Next up is this Prym Transparent Sewing Thread. It costs £2.30 for a 200m spool.

What is it for?

It works just like normal thread so you can use it for sewing by hand or machine to achieve a normal stitch that will blend in really well to the fabric. If you are using it on the machine you can just use it in the top with a normal thread in the bobbin.

On this sample I used dark bobbin thread and the transparent thread on the top. You can still see the stitching but it's almost like the thread has taken the colour of the fabric.

It is made of Nylon and is actually finer than normal thread. It doesn’t yellow or become brittle and shouldn’t be affected by heat.

It’s great for appliqué or quilting when you don't want the thread to be noticable and just blend in.

If you are really struggling to match a thread colour to your fabric you could opt for this as well.

How easy is it to use?

The thread doesn’t come with any specific instructions but this handy video explains things really simply.

It can get a little bit tangled so some recommend using it with a spool cap – which is a bit like a fruit net. They usually come with your machine.

I found that when I was using it in the sewing machine the spool cap got in the way a bit and actually once I had threaded the machine it was fine. I would however recommend storing it with a spool cap on as the thread is quite springy and can get tangled easily.

It can be hard to see the thread, so to help thread the needle you can use a permanent marker to colour the end of the thread.

Have you used these things before? Do you find them useful too?

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