Working with wool

Its that time of year again when the wool garments stop being something that simply performs excellently and unobtrusively and really shines as a star of woodland clothing!

Insulating, warm when wet, highly breathable, hard wearing, easy to maintain…you’ve heard us say it all before! This time I simply wanted to share a great trick on the sewing machine for making woollen items be it from a blanket or old woollen jumper. This trick is nothing new in itself but if you have tried making woollen items before and been frustrated at fraying seems then read on.

Check your sewing machine for a zig zag icon and load up a scrap piece of material to try out how this stitch works as you sew. Once your happy with the width of material needed for this stitch swap over to your woollen material. Essentially this is a locking stitch that is commonly used along seem edges to prevent fraying.


Mitten patterns penned onto old woollen jumper.

What I have come to practice when using the locking stitch is to draw out the pattern onto your material as you would for cutting out but BEFORE cutting them out run the locking stitch all the way around the patterns to be cut. Finally carefully go round with sharp scissors and cut the patterns a few millimetres outside of the zig zag stitch.


Lock stitch around mitten patterns on old boiled woollen jumper.

There appears little in this but I’ve found cutting your wool patterns out and then trying to lock stitch the edges tricky, continually running over the edge of the pattern and actually squashing the edges forcing them to start fraying. This simple step ‘seams’ to prevent this!


The same technique here used before installing a zip to a woollen hoody.

Adam Logan.

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