There are many different ways to finish a weaving. One of the most common and possibly iconic ways to do this is to have fringe at the bottom.
As with most things, though, fringe for your weaving is not always so straightforward!
There are many different options both for how you create your fringe and what your finished fringe will ultimately look like.
You can go really simple with overhand knots at the base of your scarf or as “complicated” as macrame along the edge!
Your ideal warp finishing and fringe options might even depend on the type of weaving you are creating.
Functional weavings (scarves, rugs)?
These may require different choices for finishing.
… or they may not.
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Warp fringe vs rya knots
The simplest way to have fringe on your weaving is to use the warp “waste” that is already on the weaving. This warp is what is leftover from attaching it to the loom and/or taken up by headers and scaffolding.
If you are planning to utilize this warp yarn for your fringe you will need to be aware of this before you even start weaving. This is because you will need to account for the extra warp when you are setting up your weaving and in your calculations.
Another thing to keep in mind when using your leftover warp is what color your warp is. This is a given if you are weaving up something that is balanced or pattern woven. These types of weavings show the warp in the actual piece so it is important to the overall aesthetic.
If you are weaving tapestry, though, then the color of your warp is not always something you need to consider. Since a tapestry is a weft-faced weaving you do not see any warp. That is unless you use some of it for fringe.
If you are looking for a fringe that is full and overflowing, then using your warp waste probably will not be enough. Your fringe will be limited to the amount of warp ends that you have. If weaving tapestry, then these warp ends are usually even fewer since tapestry requires a smaller EPI.
If the idea of using your warp yarns is not going to give you the fringe of your dreams, you have the option to create new fringe using rya knots.
Rya knots are great for this because you can use as many strands of yarn as you want for fuller fringe. They also give you the option of using colors that are not in your warp and/ or different colors in the same space.
Rya knots are great for fringe because they also allow you to create really long fringe without using your leftover warp. You do still have to plan for your fringe at the beginning, but you can at least wait until your warp is on and you are ready to start creating.
Fringe variations (twist, braid, macrame)
Sometimes straight fringe is just not what you are going for.
There is a wide range of types of fringe that you can create with either your warp waste or rya knots. These are most often done with your warp, though.
These options are great for when you want your fringe to have a little extra “weight” to them. That means they will hang well when on a scarf. They are also good to keep your fringe from getting tangled and matted.
No matter the option you choose, it is a lot easier to work with your fringe if your weaving is weighed down so it will not move! Something as simple as putting a book on your weaving will keep it in place while you attend to your fringe.
Twisted fringe is a really classic option that creates a heavy fringe that will drape well on a scarf.
The twist is also pretty easy to do, if not time-consuming by hand.
One great thing about a twisted fringe is that you have the option to use a fringe twister to make this process go faster and help your twists to be more consistent. Regardless of if you are using a fringe twister or doing it by hand, your general instructions are the same!
I am using the Schacht fringe twister and I love how quick it makes the twisting go! This fringe twister allows you to twist up to 3 bundles of yarn at a time, but you can twist only 2 if you want smaller finished fringe bundles.
You start your twist by taking at least 2 fringe yarns and twisting them together. Do this at least 1 more time, but for larger bundles do it a total of 3 times.
Make sure you twist them all in the same direction! This is important.
Take all 3 of these twisted bundles and then twist them together in the opposite direction.
Tie a knot at the very end and move on to the next bundle! Make sure you twist each bundle the same amount so they are consistent.
Check out the video below to see the fringe twister in action!
If you are using the Schacht fringe twister then attach 2 or more warp yarns to each clip. Try not to cross them over each other when clipping in order to keep it clean when you start to turn the handle.
Turn your handle clockwise.
Count how many times you turn the handle and remember it for the rest of your bundles.
Take all of your twisted yarns off and put them into 1 bundle.
Clip this 1 bundle together and twist counter-clockwise.
Detach and tie!
Braiding is another simple way to get bundles of fringe on your weaving. You can either do a simple braid with 3 strands of yarn or double it up. If you want to get real fancy then you can also do multi-strand braids.
Here is a refresher of how to do a simple 3 strand braid:
Take 3 strands of yarn and separate them. Take 1 of the outer yarns and cross it over the middle yarn.
Then take the other out yarn and cross it over the new middle yarn.
You will keep doing this until your braid reaches the desired length or you run out of yarn!
Tie a knot at the end to keep everything together.
If you are feeling really fancy then you can do macrame at the bottom of your weaving. This will not be individual bundles of fringe, but instead will elongate your weaving with a lace-like texture on the ends.
I will admit that macrame is not my expertise, but I have been known to do very simple macrame at the end of my weavings on occasion.
You can do this simple macrame technique like this:
You will be using smaller bundles of yarn for this. Make sure they all have a knot at their top at the edge of the weaving to keep your weft in place.
Take 2 small bundles of yarn and tie them together about an inch down from the edge of your weaving.
Move over to the next 2 bundles of yarn and repeat this step all the way across.
On your way back you will then take 1 bundle of yarn from each not and tie those together.
You can do this as many times as you want, just make sure to alternate which bundles you are tieing together to create your lacy “net” fringe!
Side (selvedge) fringe
If you are wanting something a little different then you can create side fringe on your weaving! This is really simple to do if you just ignore one of the main things that I teach.
That is, to weave in your weft tails as you go! Most of the time you want to weave in your weft tails. They can get in the way, and it makes the finishing process a lot easier.
If you do not weave them in, though, it can be an aesthetic choice.
You can even exaggerate your side fringe by purposefully starting and stopping your weft yarns more often – as much as every single pick of your weaving. This will give you a consistent selvedge of fringe all the way up!
You could also do some side rya knots every few picks to get some extra fluff on the sides.
Side fringe is not something I see too often, but if done well it could be a really fun addition to your weavings.
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Tapestry vs functional weavings (scarves)
I already touched on this a little bit earlier, but the type of weaving you are doing may determine the type of fringe you have or at least the decisions you have to make when creating your fringe.
It is very common to just use the rest of your warp on functional weavings like scarves. That is because there is usually a large number of warps to begin with and you will probably not want something too fluffy at the end of your scarf.
You do you.
As for tapestry, adding rya is the most common method for fringe, but if you like the look of using your warp then there is nothing wrong with that!