Chenille Fringe Frustrations
Madelyn's currently busy teaching classes, so this issue's Ask Madelyn is a classic originally published August 17, 2012.
I wove a scarf with rayon chenille warp and a silk/cotton weft. Now I have a chenille fringe that is raveling away. What would be the best way to avoid a "bare" fringe for this scarf? I have enough length to hem the scarf, but it would be chunky, and twisting the fringe only makes the chenille dissolve faster. I have thought about making it an "infinity" scarf and sewing the ends together or using FrayCheck on the ends. Any suggestions?
Rayon chenille is certainly not fringe-friendly. You have exactly identified the problem and the drawbacks for possible solutions (bulky hems, for example). I have actually preferred a twisted fringe, but one that includes many strands rather than only a few. For a 1,400 yd/lb chenille, I usually include 8–10 ends in each fringe and twist very, very, very tightly, trimming the tails fairly close to a very tight overhand knot. FrayCheck or glue won't hold well enough. If you did plan for hems in future scarves, it would be good to weave the first and last inch with 20/2 cotton or a sewing thread weft spaced somewhat loosely so that the part you turn under has a minimum of bulk. Then, of course, I always wash chenille scarves by hand, making sure the fringe barely moves in the water.