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What is a Raw Edge in Sewing?

This post is part of my Beginner Sewing Series.

So, what is a raw edge?

A raw edge is, basically, the edge of the fabric that hasn’t had anything done to it and it will probably have at least a few little strings coming off if it.

Here’s a picture of a raw edge.

If you need to wash your fabric, it’s not a great idea to leave your edges raw like this when you throw them in the washing machine.

You can do a simple zigzag stitch to keep them from unraveling.

Here’s what a zigzag stitch looks like and here’s a tutorial about how to do it, if you need help.

And just in case you were wondering, here’s what the selvedge looks like.


  1. Hi, I just found your blog on Pinterest! I am in love with your tutorials too 😉

    One question, do I need go prewash the quilting squares too? I am talking about those that come precut either on 6×6 or the 12×24 blocks before I start quilting with them?

    Thanks in advance for your reply. Hopefully I will start quilting soon.

    • Thank you! I rarely prewash pre-cuts, and have never had a problem. The only exception I can think of is one time I had some really deep red squares and I did prewash them. I just soaked them in the sink with a tiny bit of detergent. The water did turn pink, so I was glad I did. But that would be the only time I’d bother to prewash… if you have a really deep bold color.

      Start quilting soon! You will love it.


  1. […] as part of the pre-washing process, you should know that you only need to stitch around the raw edges. You can stitch around the selvedge, but there’s no real need for you to do so. If you […]

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  3. […] left all the strips’ edges raw except for the edge that would be at the top of the duvet cover. I hemmed the strip that went […]

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