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Deco Polymesh: Will the Fray Ever Stop?

Laurie macneill

Decomesh is an amazingly versatile waterproof plastic-based material and is one of the biggest industry design materials in the wreathing world. Decomesh comes in hundreds of colours, textures, sizes and styles; it is literally one of the most adaptable tools a wreath maker has and it can be used to create just about anything one can imagine. At Unique In The Creek™ the majority of our wreath designs are made using some form of decomesh and while it isn’t the easiest material in the world to work with, we love using it and have prepared tips for making the most of your decomesh by preventing fraying on your edges and completed designs. 

As with any project you undertake, preparation is key. One of the most important steps in creating a gorgeous wreath is making sure you’re ready to create. Have a plan (we offers free printable patterns to plan creations on UITC™Boards HERE) your supplies and materials pre-cut and neatly organized, ready to attach to your board / frame. Because decomesh is a weaved material, the less you handle it, once it’s been cut, the better. Now, I know that sounds impossible but, if you have the steps and materials for your creation prepared ahead of time, you know exactly where your decomesh is going and the positioning; hence cutting down handling time. Think hot potato!

One of the most important tools for any wreath maker is their scissors or rotary cutter. A sharp cutting tool is simply a must have; not only will it cut down on accidents from dull tools slipping, it prevents sloppy edges on your decomesh ensuring clean lines with precision cuts. Sharpness is perhaps the biggest factor in reducing fray while preparing decomesh, the duller your tool, the more uneven the edges of your decomesh will be and the more they will fray. We’ve prepared a video on how to cut decomesh with a rotary cutter HERE.

Another practice that has become quite popular in the wreathing word is burning or melting the egdes of decomesh to “seal” them altogether. While these methods are guaranteed to completely prevent decomesh from fraying, they are not without issue. Burning / melting methods, because they are using a source of heat, produce toxic fumes as you are basically burning plastic. It is an absolute must that you use some sort of ventilator if you choose these methods and complete the burning / melting in a well ventilated area. We recommend using the bag sealer method at UITC™, this method melts the edges of your cut decomesh to seal it and prevent fraying, we have prepared a video on using one safely HERE.

Another way you can prevent fray is to “hem” the edges of your cut decomesh. That means folding over the cut edges and sealing them with glue or some sort of adhesive that will keep the edge of the cut decomesh from fraying. This method works wonderfully for sealing decomesh but, it is time consuming and can be visible if you are not extremely careful with the amount of adhesive you use in the “hem”.

Last but certainly not least, the quality of the decomesh you purchase is also imperative in preventing fray. Basic deco polymesh will fray more as there is less material in the weave to keep it together. Higher quality or premium decomesh will have more material woven throughout it and that alone will help with fray prevention in keeping the edges together once they are cut. Not to mention, better quality mesh produces a more polished finished wreath.

Decomesh is one of our favorite tools despite its challenges! We hope you’ve found this information helpful, we can’t wait to see what you create! Happy wreathing!


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