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rustic pillows for couch customized rustic pillow covers Sewing Tips with Rick Rack- The Most Terrific of Trims_1

2019-09-18 00:15:09 custom gift for Anniversary

Rick rack or rickrack or ricrac, however you spell it, there’s no denying it’s been at the top of the trim list for near 200 years. Earliest mentions of this wavy wonder date back to the mid-1800s! At its most simplified, rick rack is defined as a flat, narrow woven braid in a zig zag form. It was originally known as “waved crochet braid.” That’s right! Rick rack’s history is not as homespun as you might think. Rick rack was a preferred trim for fancy handwork in the late-19th and early-20th century, a sought-after component of crocheted lace designs. Because the harsh laundry methods of the time involved boiling-hot waterrustic pillows for couch, grated lye soap, and large wooden paddles, the durability of rick rack made it a favorite with seamstresses who were tasked with applying or repairing the much more delicate laces. From elegant lace gowns to prairie pinafores, it’s a trim that’s weathered the test of time and we have the best tips for adding it to today’s projects.?

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Besides its job as a lace embellishment, one of oldest tasks of rick rack was to provide a finished edge to fabric. Before there were sewing machines and sergers, tightly woven rick rack did the trick.

Old school rick rack was formed by tightly braiding cotton or wool thread into the signature zig zag shape, creating a flat bias weave that allowed it to curve in any direction. The basic construction has changed little over the decades. Today, the braiding is done by machine and the fibers are more likely to be polyester since it better resists fading and curling. In addition, the old rick rack you’re likely to find in Grandma’s sewing basket is probably quite skinny. Today you can find rick rack in a wide variety of widths, from teeny tiny to super jumbo, and in a huge range of colors. There are even metallic and variegated options.?

One mystery we were unable to solve was how the name rick rack evolved. Waved crochet braid seems like a perfectly dignified name, but toward the end of the 1800s, the name rick rack pops up. If any of our Sew4Home smarty pants sewers know the history of the transition to rick rack, we’d love to hear about it.?

We’ve summarized some of the most common techniques that can help you get the perfect waved edge, as well as tips on how to handle corners and curves with ease. We also show you some fun ways to combine rick rack for a unique dimensional look.

Modern rick rack doesn’t normally require pre-washing/pre-shrinking prior to using it in a project (the one exception being red rick rack… always pre-wash red stuff), but if you come across a vintage cotton rick rack, do pre-shrink it before applying it to another fabric.?

Press rick rack before you start to eliminate the hard creases that form in the packaging.?

When you’re sewing, don’t stretch or pull the rick rack too much. It’s best to try to keep it as flat as possible.?

Projects shown at top. Top right clockwise: Fabric Bowl Covers, Fat Quarters Plaid Apron, Patchwork Trivets with Circular Quilting, Seersucker Trimmed Bedsheet &; Pillowcases. Projects shown in second photo: Double Tier Half Apron with Rick Rack Details, Pretty Teapot Cozy–a ScrapBusters project, Double Layer Half Apron with Fancy Details.

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