How to Twist Fringe on a Handwoven Scarf
I recently finished two handwoven scarves and want to share how I wind fringe in case it helps you. I prefer twisted fringe to loose fringe, which is more likely to become a tangled mess especially when working with wool or other sticky fibers. I wind the fringe after cutting the woven piece off the loom, but before wet finishing. I'm sure you can find a million other ways to do this as everyone has their own technique, but here's what I do:
1. Cut the length of the fringe making sure the fringe on both sides of the woven item is the same length. To do this, lay the whole woven piece out with the end on a cutting mat and use a sewing ruler to measure the length of the fringe (4 inches on the scarves pictured). Make sure the end of the woven piece is straight all the way across and the fringe is straight under the ruler. Press down on the ruler while cutting the same as when cutting pieces for sewing. Run the blade of a rotary cutter along the length of the ruler at the desired length to cut the fringe (remembering to be careful not to slice your fingers!). The excess length should come off easily. Flip the woven piece over and repeat these steps on the opposite side.
2. Fringe Design Choices. I have a four clip Leclerc twister. They also come in two or three clip versions. First I decide whether I want thinner or thicker fringe. I made thin fringe on the larger scarf (oh boy!) by placing one end of yarn into each clip and winding 4 ends total into one bundle of fringe. On the second scarf, I made thicker fringe by placing two ends in each clip for a total of 8 ends in one bundle of fringe (honestly, I don't know what I was thinking with the first scarf because this was a MUCH better choice as the yarn is 18/2 and it was a lot less twisting and I liked the look of the thicker fringe on these scarves). Tip: The number of strands will vary based on the thickness of the yarn, so you may want to try out different combinations of number of strands in twisted bundles to help decide what you like best.
3. What do I do with an uneven number of ends? If the number of ends you wove with aren't divisible by the number of ends in your fringe, somewhere in the middle, add one extra strand of warp to the fringe in as many places as you have extra warp strands. Example: On the larger scarf, I had 490 total ends and I twisted 4 ends per clip. That left 2 ends unaccounted for. To resolve this, in two separate places in the middle, I wound 5 ends in a fringe by placing 1 end in each of 3 clips and 2 ends in one clip. No one will be able to tell the difference.
4. Now get ready to twist! Begin twisting making sure to count the rotations so that each piece of fringe will have the same look. On the bigger scarf, I twisted 22 times each. On the smaller scarf with thicker fringe, I twisted 12 times each. Whatever you choose, make sure it is consistent for every bunch of fringe.
5. Tie a knot at the end. When you have the correct number of rotations, carefully remove each end from the clips and hold them together. Now make one overhand knot with all of the strands close to the end of the fringe. You will see that the individual ends will twist back onto the others making a lovely piece of fringe!
6. Troubleshooting. Occasionally, a strand of yarn may get dropped if it wasn't secure in the clip or when the fringe is removed from the clip. Don't despair! I usually take out the other strands and straighten them out as much as possible and start over with that piece of fringe. It really won't add too much time to the process.
Repeat the twisting and knot tying across both sides. When you are finished with this, you can wet finish the handwoven piece.
I hope this helps! Happy weaving!!
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