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A couple of years ago I made this bookmark for my son:

enter image description here

As you can see, it is fraying at the edges from use. (Not visible is a backing of 14 count aida that is held to the front with white back-stitching. In retrospect, this was not a good decision.) I would like to preserve/repair this bookmark somehow.

My initial idea is to remove the backing and use a fabric adhesive to affix the bookmark to heavy white card stock. Of course, this approach won't fix the edges, which I will have to just trim.

I was wondering if you all have any other ideas.

1 Answer 1

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My approach would be this:

  1. Remove the backing by carefully taking out the backstitches.
  2. I would use a thick, non-woven iron-on interfacing on the backside. If you only have thin interfacing available (that's the standard), apply 2 layers. Put a piece of baking paper on your ironing board, lay the bookmark on top, front facing down. Lay a piece of interfacing on top (glue facing down) that is bigger than the bookmark but smaller than the baking paper. Pre-heat your iron to the temperature recommended by the interfacing and press it down hard on the stack without moving it around. Let the stack cool flat on the board or it may permanently bend. You can force it flat by putting a heavy object on top while it cools.
  3. Trim the interfacing to the exact edge of the bookmark. Trim all lose threads from the damaged edge at this step as well.
  4. If you want, you can add a new layer of fabric for the backing. Make sure all edges of the backing fabric are turned inwards to avoid fraying. Personally, I would hold it in place with a few temporary stitches instead of fabric glue. Glue has a tendency to seep through the fabric and cause spots of discoloration.
  5. Repair and secure the edge by stitching around it and through the interfacing and backing fabric with a yarn that resembles the one used in the cross stitching. Personally, I would stitch over the entire white edge to cover it with a new edge. I recommend a blanket stitch stitched so close together that the strands of yarn lay side by side (to hide the damaged edge). You can also use a buttonhole stitch to reinforce the edge. There are also more decorative variatins of the blanket stitch, as shown in this video.

Usually you need to fold the edge of fabric over to finish it without fraying. Since this is not possible here, the iron-on interfacing is added to give the stitches a foundation. Since interfacing is usually not woven, it doesn't fray.

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