Best Ways to Stop Ribbon Fraying – Heat Sealing Ribbon

How to Heat seal ribbon with wood burning tool

How do I stop this ribbon from fraying? This is a question I see all the time from crafters new to using ribbon in their creations. Heat sealing the ribbon is the answer!
Having lovely sharp ends to the ribbon without a hint of fraying is very easy to accomplish.

Wood Burning Tool Heat Sealing Ribbon Method

My favourite method to stop ribbon fraying is using a wood burning tool (you can also use a soldering iron). All you require is a tip that heats up.
Heat sealing ribbon with wood burning tool
Cut the ribbon to the desired shape or angle and lightly run over the cut edge with the wood burning tool. The tool slightly melts the ribbon forming a seal that stops the ribbon fraying. Using a smooth glass cutting board you can cut ribbon to length and heat seal the ribbon at the same time using the tool. It is perfect when cutting ribbon when making korker bows. You could also make a picture frame ribbon cutting surface. Instructions to make your own are here.

Tea Light Candle Heat Sealing Ribbon Method

If you are using a tealight candle move the ribbon close to the flame without the flame touching the ribbon. As you see the ribbon begin to melt slightly move the ribbon along the flame to seal the cut part of the ribbon.
Heat sealing ribbon with flame

Gas Lighters

In a pinch I have also been known to use the gas lighters – the ones with a long nose that you push a button for the flame. If you forgot to seal a piece of ribbon or need to seal a piece of ribbon you snipped off these make a handy tool.

Hot Knife Heat Sealing Tool

These hot knives are similar in shape to the wood burning tool. Instead of a tip they have an element that heats up. Some of them also have a press foot. This foot runs under the ribbon to keep it off of the bench as you cut and seal the ribbon. I would still use a glass cutting board or similar under it.

Hot Scissors

Other than the Hairdressing brand of hot scissors I have only come across scissors that have a heating element welded onto the blades with a cord taped to the handle that is then plugged in. I am not sure how long the hairdressing ones would last cutting ribbon.

Ribbon Cutting Machine

These machines have a 2 metal rods coming out of the power box. They are joined by a piece of wire or thicker element that heats up allowing you to place ribbon (or webbing) over the element to cut and seal it at the same time. This is very useful if you need to cut and seal a lot of ribbon.
Most grosgrain ribbons and satin ribbons will heat seal well. Keep in mind that any ribbon that contains metallic thread may spark or catch alight if you use an open flame.

3 thoughts on “Best Ways to Stop Ribbon Fraying – Heat Sealing Ribbon

  1. freda says:

    hi please I’m been looking long time to buy hot knife to cut syntactic Fabrics to make my own ribbons please let me know what you have and the price thank

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