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Horsehair Braid Hem

Horsehair Braid HemHow 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.

Categories:  Basic Video   |   garment sewing   |   Professor Pincushion Posts   |   Videos

7 thoughts on “Horsehair Braid Hem

  1. Wesley

    Can this same technique be used on tulle and/or stretch (power) mesh? I am making a power mesh mermaid gown and want more body in the hemline.

  2. ProfessorPincushion

    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!

  3. Marva

    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.

  4. ProfessorPincushion

    yay! glad we were able to help. If you have a JoAnn’s near you, that’s where I picked up mine. 🙂

  5. Deborah

    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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