How to: Add a Fringe to Cushions and Upholstery

Discover how to make a statement by adding fringing to your sofa and cushions

Soft fringing makes the most elegant of trims for your upholstery. A step up from your average piping or cording, this technique is surprisingly easy. All you need is some fabric and basic sewing skills. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can use apply this fringe on sofas as well as cushions (or pillows).

To make your own fringe, first you’ll want to fray your fabric. Here we’ve used one of Annie’s own Linen Union fabrics. These fabrics are perfect for fringing as the weft and the warp are made from different colours. You can have a lot of fun playing with your colour choice here to either complement or contrast with your upholstery. Finally, to make your fringing extra soft and thick, you want to apply a double fringe trim by using two strips of fabric instead of one.

Step by step guide to making a fringe for sofas and cushions

  1. Begin with two strips of fabric. The strips should be 5cm in width and as long as you need. They can both be the same colour or different. The strips should be ripped rather than cut.
  2. Place the two strips on top of each other and then fold them down the centre lengthways.
  3. Pin them at this point to make it easy for you to sew.
  4. Using your machine, sew with a running stitch about 1 cm from the folded edge.
  5. Now fray the open edge all the way down to the running stitch.
  6. Pulling threads can be done one by one, or you might find it easier to use a seam rippe
  7. To add your finished fringe to a cushion, just sew it into the seam as is. For an upholstery trim, cut open the folded edge of the trim, trim to about 0.5cm and iron open with an iron. This creates a ‘base’ from which to fix your fringe to the furniture.

Now you’re ready to start making your own fringe trim, you can try applying it not just to sofas and cushions or pillows, but how about curtains or bedspreads too?

The gilded sofa with double fringing pictured here was also painted in Chalk Paint® and gilded. The project is featured in Annie Sloan Paints Everything published by CICO Books 2016. Photography by Christopher Drake © CICO Books.

Linen Union fringed upholstered ornate French sofa painted with Chalk Paint® furniture paint and gilded with Brass Leaf

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