Fray Check Alternative: What Can I Use Instead of Fray Check?

Fraying is always a concern. That's why there are many companies out there trying to produce good products that help you stop fraying when you are sewing. Loose threads can be a pain to handle but if you use the right product then your sewing project should go smoother.

What can I use instead of Fray Check? Some sewers suggest fabric glue, while others go with clear nail polish. The trick to applying these alternatives is to have a clean edge.

To learn about these and other fray check alternatives, just continue to read our article. it has that information and more. Take a few minutes to see what alternatives are practical for you to use.

What to Use Instead of Fray Check


As you know Fray Check is a liquid formula that is designed to stop ribbon edges, seams, and other fabric cuts from fraying as you sew. But this product may not be available everywhere and we have heard that the manufacturer has changed the formula a little bit so it may not be as effective as it once was.

One problem with Fray Check is that it is said that it takes a long time to dry. That can set your sewing schedule back a little as you wait to work. There are some good alternatives you can use.

One is Elmer’s glue and the excess is supposed to wash out. Or you can go to regular fabric glue or one of the many competitors to Fray Check that may include the term ‘fray’ in its label. For example Fray Block by June Taylor.

Clear nail polish is another suggestion that seems to work as well. Ten if you own a serger, you can always handle fray at the same time you are cutting or simply stitch the edges closed so the threads do not loosen up.

Best Fray Check Alternative

There are a lot of candidates for this top position. The one that works best for you will be the best Fray Spray alternative. Especially if the cost of that alternative is on the inexpensive side of the cost of Fray Check.

If you do not want to brush on the liquid, you could go with no fray spray or one of its competitors. This may take some practice in order to learn how to pray on the right amount.

Starch is another top contender and it is easy to find in your supermarket. A double dose of starch on the edges of fabric should keep all the threads in line and the material looking good.

Clear nail polish is one of the better choices as well. Most women have it in their bedrooms or make-up kits so it is free to use until you run out and it is always handy to find.

Or you can combine fabric glue with pinking shears or a rotary cutter with a pinking blade to keep the fraying to almost nil.

Fray Check vs Clear Nail Polish


One of the drawbacks to using Fray Check is that you have to seal the bottle up well after using it. If you don’t or if you do not put a straight pin in the opening, the liquid can dry out and become useless.

You do not have that problem with clear nail polish. The polish stays in liquid form and is ready to be applied at a moment’s notice. Both options are said to make the fabric stiff after application and you have to let both dry completely before handling the fabric again.

However, with nail polish, you don't need a lot to control the threads. Just a little bit handles the problem quite well. Then there is the issue of price. While prices vary with clear nail polish, you can get some cheap brands that won’t cost you as much as one bottle of Fray Check costs.

If you are on a tight budget, then clear nail polish would be the better option and nothing is stopping you from using a Fray Check alternative.

Fray Check vs Fabric Glue

In some people’s minds, Fray Check is the same as fabric glue. It is one of the top options to seal up the fabric edges and acts as the glue will. While fray Check is not the most expensive option out there you can find cheaper fabric glues that will do the same thing.

Elmer’s fabric glue is one of those options and fabric sticks are another. Both should dry well and hold the threads tight so you can concentrate on other parts of your sewing project.

The key to using fabric glue is the purpose. Do you need permanent or temporary holds? That is where most fabric glues will beat Fray Check as their temporary hold lets you do other sewing tasks and then will disappear when you need them to disappear.

You may have to water down the different glues at times to make sure the fabric remains pliable and still hold the threads in place. How to use either product here will depend on what you want to have taken place on your fabric edges.

Fray Check vs Liquid Stitch


One thing about the latter of the two competitors is that it will dry quickly. When you are in a rush or do not have a lot of time to wait, this may be a good alternative to Fray Check.

The liquid stitch option is a permanent fabric glue that will not go away. One of the more positive aspects of a liquid stitch is that it will work on anything. It is a tough glue that has very strong holding power.

Fray Check will take about 30 minutes to dry completely which means you need to have some alternative tasks on hand to work on while you wait. Plus, it hardens as it dries which means you have to use your steam function on your iron to keep it pliable enough to work with.

That is extra work and time you may not want to do or have. Both products will have their naysayers and you need to take the negative complaints with a grain of salt.

Fray Check vs Super Glue

Superglue has a very strong adhesive hold on just about everything it touches. But one of the drawbacks to using this product on fabrics is that it tends to discolor the material and make it look like you used super glue instead of some other fray prevention technique.

From what we have read, fray Check does not do that and when it is dry it should remain clear so that no one will know that you used a glue product to hold your threads in place.

Also, both products can be hard to use as the bottles are so small and inevitably you will get some on your fingers. When that happens you have to stop what you are doing and clean your hands.

Both may have a strong odor to contend with as well. If you have a sensitive nose, super glue may not smell as bad as some sewers have claimed Fray Check has. Super glue won’t wash out nor will Fray Check so this will be a toss-up with the discoloration factor the deciding element.

Homemade Fray Check


When you do not want to pay the money for Fray Check or put up with its mess and odor, then one alternative is to make your own style of fray check using different products around the house.

One alternative you can try is Elmer’s or other regular glue that has been watered down enough to hold the fabric without making it too stiff. Regular scotch tape is another product you have around the house and it will be a temporary fix at best.

We have not come across any recipes that provide any ingredients to make this product at home. Most options are as we have already described, use factory-made household items. Starch or spray starch will work as well.

Other options you will have will be fusible interfacing, pinking shears, and regular stitches. For materials like ribbons which can be made out of nylon fibers, a lighter will work just as well. The flame will melt the fibers together and create a lasting hold.

Some Final Words

Fray Check is just one of many products you can turn to when you need to stop the fabric from fraying. Not only are there many similar competitors, but you can also use spray starch, clear nail polish, a lighter, and more depending on the fibers in the fabric you are working on.

Those alternatives may also cost a lot less than Fray Check will.

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