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How to Release Machine Embroidery Fringe

Without water soluble thread

What this type fringe looks like


Fimbria Flowers

From Our Whole Lives collection

From the Fimbria Flowers collection

From the Fimbria Flowers collection

From the Love Is... collection

How Machine Embroidery Fringe is Made

First a series of satin stitches is sewn - in circles, straight line, other shapes.

This is followed by a series of tack down stitches - tiny straight stitches that sew along one side or in the center of the satin stitches. These stitches hold the satin stitch threads intact after their bobbin thread is released.

If sewing fringe without water soluble thread, the satin stitches have to be manually released to create the fringe.  This is done by cutting the bobbin thread on the backside of the embroidery.

Helpful Tools

  • Small sharp scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tape lint roller
  • If you need glasses to see close up, wear them

Helpful Tips

  • When sewing fringe, it is a good idea to use a different color bobbin thread from the top thread.  In this way it will be easier to see the bobbin thread on the backside.
  • Do NOT release the fringe until all of the whole embroidery design has finished sewing
  • It is easier to release fringe while the design is still in the hoop

This is what the fringe looks after it is sewn

The red satin stitches is the fringe

The green is the tack down stitches plus a stem stitch that covers them

My fringe flower, avant la libération

This what the backside looks like

The red satin stitches are the fringe

The green is the tack down stitches plus a stem stitch that covers them

The tiny white line along the center of the red satin stitches is the bobbin thread.

Depending on the top tension of the machine, the bobbin stitches may be a tiny thin line like this or wider.

The white bobbin thread is a good contrast against the red thread so it is easy to see.

Bottom side of the fringe flower. Time to cut that bobbin thread to release the fringe.

Use small sharp scissors to begin cutting away the bobbin stitches. Cut the bobbin stitches a few at a time. It will look chunky if you cut too many at a time.

This is not like cutting fabric.

Try not to cut the red thread outside the bobbin stitches. It’s okay to cut the red thread between the white bobbin thread and the green tack down. But not the green tack down.

In this example the bobbin thread is such a thin line it would be too difficult to cut only them. Since it is okay to cut the red stitches between the bobbin stitches and the green tack down that is where I cut.

The green tack down stitches are going to hold that end of the satin stitches in place while the outside edge of the red stitches will be pulled to the top into fringe.


This is how it looks after cutting the bobbin stitches

Notice I also cut some of the red thread between the bobbin thread and the green tack down. But not the green tack down.

The white stabilizer underneath is now exposed.

If you look closely you can see a few of the tiny white bobbin threads still trapped in some of the red outside stitches or loops. Brush them off with your fingers and use a tape lint roller to remove the rest.

There always seems to be a few stubborn ones that require the tweezers.

Bottom side of the fringe flower, with the bobbin thread cut


On the top side use tweezers to pull up a few red threads at time.

Take your time. Be patient.

Pull them up through the fabric to the topside.

This process doesn’t take very long. Patience is worth the effort.

There always seems to be one that is difficult to get up. Usually if you check the backside you will find that it is still attached to a bobbin thread. Cut the thread and pull the red to the top.

Time to lift and release the fringe


Below you can see the red fringe stitches have all been pulled to the top

My finished fringe flower looking straight on


An angled view

My finished fringe flower from an angle

That’s it!

Easy as “...Puddin' Tame, ask me again and I'll tell you the same!”







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