Horsehair Braid Hem

Horsehair Braid Hem
How can you get full-looking vintage style skirts without all the petticoats?  The secret is horsehair braid.  Don’t be turned off by the strange name.  While, historically, it may have at one time been made out of real horse hair, these days this hem stabilizer is normally made out of nylon or polyester.  I purchased mine at my local fabric store by the yard and it’s polyester and washable, which is always a plus.  Horsehair braid can come in different widths and, when added, to your hemline will take your skirt hem from flat to fab.  The hem will stand out further away from the body and create a more stylized finish.  It’s perfect for circle skirts, vintage style dresses, garments that need some shape and even in wedding dresses.  Horsehair is used often in formal and special occasion dresses, like wedding dresses, when you use softer fabric but you still want it to have some shape at the bottom of the dress.

In our demonstration, we show you how to sew horsehair braid to straight hems, curved hems and also go over lace hems.  You can see my example here for a simple skirt with a curved hem.  The fabric I used is a lightweight, silky polyester that’s great for draping styles but in this skirt it just kind of lies flat and boring.  Now add the horsehair braid and the bottom bounces to life and gives it more flounce and lift.   You’ll be surprised at how easy horsehair braid is to use.


  1. Marva

    March 25, 2014

    I really love your videos. They are so helpful. My question is am I to add or cut the hem line by 1/4″ when adding the horse hair braid? Thank you.

    • Avatar of ProfessorPincushion


      March 26, 2014

      If you’re using a commercial pattern, it’ll tell you how much hem allowance is included in the pattern. So if it states 1 1/4″, you can cut it down to a 1/4″. If you’re making your own pattern then you can just add a 1/4″ hem allowance to the pattern and no further trimming will be needed. Hope that makes sense!

  2. Judith Sargent S

    January 22, 2014

    Wow! So much information in 12 minutes. Very clear directions! I’ve always wanted to try Horsehair Braid. You tutorial was super!

  3. Deborah

    January 19, 2014

    I really like this tutorial/ . I just learned about using horsehair in the hems but didn’t know where to find it, how to use it etc. I found this and it is perfect for what I needed to know. Thank you for sharing.

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Starting in 2009, the Professor Pincushion team had a vision of creating a sewing tutorial website in which beginners could learn and master the art of sewing. Our site launched in March of 2010 and we have since produced over a hundred sewing related tutorials that cover everything from sewing basics to fun and original projects. Regardless of the subject, we always strive to create HD quality videos that takes the viewer step by step through each process so that nothing is left out and the mystery behind learning to sew is revealed to all.

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