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How to Sew Horsehair Braid

WHAT IS IT?

This stiff plastic meshlike trim made of nylon thread was formerly made of horsehair. Horsehair braid can be white or black, and it comes in many colors as well. It’s available in different widths; wider ones will have a thread running along one side to help ease it into a curved shape.

Horsehair braid trim detail

Horsehair braid trim detail

Skirt without horsehair braid

Skirt without horsehair braid

Skirt with horsehair braid

Skirt with horsehair braid

WHEN DO YOU USE IT?

Horsehair braid adds structure to the hemline of garments. Use it anytime you want to stiffen a hem. It’s especially effective for circle skirts, as it helps to define the shape of the hemline. You can add it to curved hems as well as straight hems.

Tips + Notes

HOW TO SEW HORSEHAIR BRAID

Here are two ways to apply horsehair braid. The first method is best if you don’t mind the trim showing on the inside; the second method covers the trim completely.

How to sew horsehair braid (1)

Measure the hem of your garment. Cut the horsehair braid the length of your hem plus two seam allowances. Overlap the ends of the horsehair braid and sew across the ends.

How to sew horsehair braid (2)

Cover the overlapped seam with seam binding or strips of fabric, and edgestitch (page link) the binding in place. The cut ends of horsehair braid are scratchy, so covering them will make it more comfortable to wear.

METHOD 1

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 1) - 1

Reduce the hem allowance to ½” (1.3cm) if it’s wider than that, and trim off the excess. With the wrong side of your garment up, overlap the hem ¼” (6mm) on top of the horsehair braid and pin it in place. Edgestitch (page link) the horsehair braid all around the hemline.

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 1) - 2

Turn the braid to the inside, folding the hem ½” (1.3cm) toward the inside of the garment so it’s not visible from the right side, and press. If the hemline is curved, pull up the threads on the upper edge of the horsehair braid trim, easing the trim to fit the garment. The braid will curve inward at the upper edge.

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 1) - 3

Slipstitch (page link) the upper edge of the braid to the fabric or underlining.

METHOD 2

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 2) - 1

For this method, choose a horsehair braid that’s the same width as the hem allowance. Or change the hem allowance on your pattern to match the width of braid you’d like to use. Press up the hem allowance on the garment. Tuck the horsehair braid trim into the fold of the hem, and pin or hand baste (page link) in place.

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 2) - 2

Finish the horsehair braid trim together with the hem edge. Seam binding or bias tape finishes this type of hem nicely. (See page link for bound seam finish.)

How to sew horsehair braid (Method 2) - 3

Topstitch (page link) or slipstitch (page link) the hem in place. Topstitching by machine can be a nice way to show off the curved hem, but it will be visible on the right side. Slipstitching by hand produces a nearly invisible hem.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine