Tutorial: Securing Serger Thread Tails

As I worked on my jeans on Monday, I was reminded of a little tip I intended to share with you way back when I made my first Thurlow Skirt. I even photographed it at the time but I wasn’t crazy about the clarity of the photos so I never blogged it. I re-shot the images on Monday for you and I think they are much easier to understand.

Let’s talk about those pesky thread tails that are left when you pull your fabric off the serger. What do you do with them? Trim them off if the seam will be crossed with another, but if they hang freely they will unravel if trimmed close. It’s too bulky to tie a knot – no one wants a lump at the bottom tip of their pocket lining.

I can’t remember where I picked up this technique but I know it’s not my original method. However, I find it so helpful that I want to share it with you.

First, leave at least 2 inches of serger thread tail hanging off the end of the fabric and grab your loop turner:

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Next, insert the tip of the loop turner through the serging stitches starting about an inch or so from the fabric edge and push it out toward the fabric edge:

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Once the loop turner is protruding from the edge, use the hook at the end of the loop turner to grab the curly knotted serger tail near the end, but not all the way at the end (if you grab the very end it will unravel and this won’t work). Now close the little claw-like part:

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Pull the loop turner back through the stitches, bringing the serger thread tail with it. I find it helpful to turn the opening side of the hook toward the fabric to avoid snagging the stitches on the way:

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Once you have removed the loop turner from the stitches, open the claw and remove the end of the thread. Now you can trim off the excess.

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This should effectively secure any loose serger thread end whenever it may be exposed. I always use this at the bottom of pockets linings. Can you think of other applications in which this technique would be useful?

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7 thoughts on “Tutorial: Securing Serger Thread Tails

  1. Ah ha!! This way is pretty neat! Reminds me of what you’d do with embroidery. For my overlocked ends, I pull one or two threads till they are longer, then tie just these two threads together. It works as even just by pulling it, it will secure up the threads; however, it CAN pull too much and end up pulling on the fabric as well, so this way is probably not recommended for thin fabrics.

  2. I do this too but I have a special needle that is very thick and both blunt ends have an eye to thread the tail through, then you just it under the stitches and pull the tail through 🙂

    http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/2+double+eyed+needles.do

    My overlocker manual shows a way to turn the fabric around and overlock the tail back into the chain but I have never tried it because I usually overlock several pieces at once in a chain and that would slow me down 😉 Haha. I’d rather fix whatever tails I need to later because sometimes you overlock back across it or secure the tail another way while sewing the pieces together.

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