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So, most of our bath towels are fraying badly on the edges where the binding is coming off, but they don't have any holes. I figure they have another year or two of wear left in them, especially if I redo the edges. Has anyone done this before and if so how would you do it? I tried googling; one suggestion was to just sew a double seam about an inch (or less) in from the edges and let them fray naturally then the fraying will stop at the seam. But what I am thinking of doing, something like applying bias tape (but it would be homemade, of course because the stuff in the stores is costly) all around the edges. However, I'm not sure what fabric to use. Cotton? Flannel? Something else? That would wear well and not be scratchy to the skin. How would I sew them on so they would look nice, without having to resort to blindstitching by hand on the backside?
 

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Cut them in 1/2 and use them as rags. Towels are $5. at Sams club. If you have to use them just cut the strings off. Binding would not be worth the trouble or expense. JMHO.
 

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More work with bias type and it will 'usually' shrink the first time washed. Shouldn't bleed but it will fade over time and do you bleach your towels? Unless you use white it will bleach out.

Why not just do a 'double fold'? Fold a tiny bit under - then fold it over again and sew it? So much easier and still 'all towel'.......

Good luck - let us know what you do and how it goes.
 

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What about a really tight zigzag stitch along the edges to replace the binding? I think it would be easier to let the sewing machine do the work and shouldn't shrink.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have six large bathtowels, that would be an awful lot of rags/washcloths (which we don't need, we already have plenty). Mine have lasted 7 years so far and are still in decent shape aside from the edges, so I don't want to replace them with cheapies that might not last but a couple of years. Besides, sewing, to this newbie seamstress, is fun, not work :) Though I appreciate the tip and I will actually have a look at what our local Sam's has to offer just to see how thick and absorbent they look.

Bleach? Uh uh. I rarely use the stuff. Thanks for the tip about bias tape. I've never made real bias tape anyway, I've cheated and done the double fold on the simple quilts I've made. I'll practice with the zig zag on a washcloth and see how it looks.
 

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I got some new towels at kohls for $5 on sale look for sales then buy your towels! You could also do the zigzag binding till you wait for a sale on towels.
 

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I'm for saving the towels as long as practical. My suggestion actually combines several already given.....
.....turn the offending edges under once and zigzag them on the machine - will hold just just - don't really need to double turn on terrycloth - IMHO!!

My experience in saving towels comes from a pink ballerina towel my DD had when she was 2 (and is now almost 24) - I took all of our kids and beach towels to my preschool to use for blankies and that one was the favorite with the girls. When the edges were going, I made my own wide tape from a poly cotton pink floral print and sewed it on. They are still using that towel.!! Much easier to turn and zigzag!!

Pictures when you're done please - whatever you decide to do!!
 
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If they are good towels I would not cut them up. Can the binding be salvaged? Can you trim any frayed bits and put the binding back on? If the bindings are trashed, just fold then ends over and hem them.

My MIL got us some very nice towels when we got married 11 years ago and they are still going strong. One of the ends came undone and I just folded it over and sewed a little hem with the raw ends inside and it is good as new. It would cost us a ton of money to replace the set with a similar quality set.
 
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MM and the housewife nailed it......If you had a serger you could run the offending edge under and ta da done.....but I wouldn't go around a towel with binding...just fix what's broke.
 
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