Deco mesh is a loosely woven material that is commonly used in the creation of wreaths. It comes in a variety of colours and widths, and it even has wires in the sides to help it maintain its shape. Regrettably, deco mesh frays easily. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help reduce or eliminate fraying.
Method 1 Using a Soldering Iron
1. Invest in a soldering iron with a wide tip. A regular soldering iron with a pointed tip will still work, but something with a flat, wide tip (such as a flat-head screwdriver) will speed up the process.
A soldering iron can be rented from a hardware store.
A wood burning tool will also suffice for this purpose. Select one with a broad, flat tip.
2. Turn on the soldering iron. It is up to you how you do this and how long it takes to heat up. Some soldering irons are wall-powered, while others are battery-powered. Most soldering irons heat up in a matter of minutes.
To save time, work on the next step while the soldering iron heats up.
3. Place your deco mesh on a hard, heat-resistant surface. Do not use scissors to cut the mesh. Simply measure how much you want to cut and place it on a hard, heat-safe surface. If necessary, use a marker to draw a “cutting” guideline across the mesh.
You should avoid cutting the mesh because it will fray.
If the surface is not hard, the soldering iron will not cut through the mesh. It must also be heat-resistant; otherwise, you will create a fire hazard.
4. Press the soldering iron tip against the deco mesh. The iron’s tip’s wider edge should be parallel to the end of the mesh. You’ll have more surface area to “cut” with this method. Hold it in place for a few seconds, or until it melts through the fibres.
Deco mesh is made up of fibres that run lengthwise and widthwise. Insert the tip between two widthwise fibres.
Rock the iron back and forth gently to assist it in “cutting” through the mesh.
Begin at the deco mesh’s edge. It makes no difference whether it’s on the left or right side.
5. Scratch your way across the deco mesh. Move the soldering iron across the mesh to the next un-cut segment. Press it down again and rock it back and forth until the mesh is cut through. Repeat this process until you reach the other side of the mesh.
The iron’s heat will cause the fibres to melt and separate. The hot plastic will adhere to itself, preventing fraying.
Method 2 Hemming the Mesh
1. Cut the deco mesh 1 inch (2.5 cm) longer than desired. This additional length will be enough to make a 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) hem at each end. It’s even better to cut the mesh a little longer than that, just in case it frays while you’re working.
Consider using a rotary cutter instead of scissors. This will help even more to reduce fraying.
2. Fold the opposite end down by 1/2 inch (1.3 cm). If the mesh is wired, pinch the edges to aid in the formation of a crease. Pinch your way across the folded edge, or use a heavy book to weigh down the mesh.
Just do one end for the time being.
3. Open up the hem and apply glue to it. For this, you can use either hot glue or fabric glue. Hot glue dries faster, but it also becomes opaque and stiff. Fabric glue takes longer to dry, but it dries clear and less stiff.
Make use of a low-temperature hot glue gun. This way, you won’t get blisters from handling it with your fingers.
Work on wax paper or freezer paper to prevent the glue from sinking through the mesh and sticking to your table.
4. Cover and press the hem with wax paper. Because you won’t be touching the glue directly, the wax paper will help keep your fingers clean. It will act as a buffer between your skin and the hot glue if you used it.
If you don’t have wax paper, you can substitute freezer paper.
5. Allow the glue to dry before peeling away the paper. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes if you used hot glue. When it becomes opaque again, you’ll know it’s dry (the same colour as the glue stick). You may need to wait 15 to 20 minutes if you used fabric glue.
6. The other end of the deco mesh should be hemmed and glued. Place the mesh on wax paper and fold the end down by 1/2 inch (1.3 cm). Apply hot glue or fabric glue to the inside of the hem, then fold it back down. Cover it with a second sheet of wax paper and press it down with your finger. When you’re finished, remove the paper.
The mesh is now ready for use.
Method 3 Trying Other Methods
1. To avoid fraying, use a rotary cutter instead of scissors. This will not eliminate fraying completely, but it will help to reduce it. If you don’t have the time to glue the mesh, this is a great alternative.
Make sure you cut through the mesh between two widthwise fibres.
2. For a quick fix, cut the mesh and then dab a drop of glue on the corners. Cut the mesh between two widthwise fibres. Apply a drop of glue to each corner of the mesh and wait for it to dry. This will aid in keeping the final, widthwise strand in place. If desired, trim the excess lengthwise fibres.
Hot glue works well here, but fabric glue or super glue can also be used.
Hot glue sets in minutes, whereas fabric glue and super glue take 10 to 15 minutes to set.
3. Hairspray, spray adhesive, or clear acrylic sealer can be used to coat the edge. Cut your deco mesh to the desired length between two widthwise fibres. Place it on a piece of paper and mist it with your desired product. Allow it to dry before flipping it over and spraying the other side. Allow it to completely dry before using it.
The drying time of the deco mesh is determined by the product used. Hairspray dries the fastest.
You only need to spray the edge of the deco mesh.
4. If the end of the mesh will not be visible, knot it. If you’re making a deco mesh wreath with the ends hidden behind the wire frame, this is a great option. Make a loop in the deco mesh and thread the end through it. Trim the excess after guiding the knot to the end of the mesh.
Keep the mesh ends on the back of the wreath so they aren’t visible.
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