What Is Rick Rack In Sewing And How To Use It

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

This article talks about what is rick rack in sewing, which is essentially a waved trim or pattern. First, we’ll talk about the story behind its name. And, of course, you will learn how to sew the rick rack attached on seams, edges, and even over the fabric. 

what is rick rack in sewing

You can also browse our blog for other sewing terms and tutorials that will help you if you’re a newbie. For example, learn what is piping in sewing and many more. 


Everything To Know About Rick Rack In Sewing

Rick rack or “ric rac” is a type of sewing trim in the form of a zigzag or wavy pattern. It can be made from various materials, and it comes in different widths to suit various projects. Rick rack is usually added to garments in their seams, corners, edges, or even on the top of the fabric. 


Why is rick rack called rick rack?

There is no written log as to why rick rack was called rick rack. The theory is that it’s more catchy than its previous name, “waved crochet braid.” Nonetheless, rick rack helped pave the way for the popularity of trims to enhance the look of seams. 


Types of rick rack

There are different types of rick rack trims, ranging from cotton, polyester, to even wool. It comes in various sizes and colors, and you should easily find a design that will suit your project with the extensive options in the market. Additionally, you can purchase a rick rack in bulks or yards with widths ranging from ¼ inch, ½ inch, to even ⅝ inch. 


What do you use rick rack for?

Rick rack is used the same way you’ll use any trim. Its braided and zigzag look adds decorative interest to clothes and various items like curtains and linens. However, did you know that before overlockers became popular, the rick rack was used to finish fabric edges not just for decorative purposes but also because this trim is durable? 

Speaking of which, you might be looking for ways to finish the edges of your sewing projects. The good news is you don’t need to buy a separate overlocker or serger. Instead, read how to serge with a sewing machine to give your project’s seam a professional-looking finish. 


What Is Rick Rack Fabric?

A rick rack fabric refers to adding the rick rack trim on the material’s edge, seam, or even on top. Some people even make decorative flowers with rick rack or combine them for a braided finish. Here is how to make a rick rack flower for a quick yet cute detail on your sewing projects:


How to make a rick rack flower

  1. Cut two strips of rick rack according to the size of the flower you want, but 20 inches should be a good size
  2. Intertwine the two rick rack strips and use your sewing machine to sew a straight line across one side of the combined strips 
  3. Roll the rick rack starting from one end, and glue the bottom edge as you go to secure the petals
  4. Fold the trim half an inch under when you reach the end and glue to make a base
  5. Press the petals open from the outside going in


What Is Medium Rick Rack In Sewing?

Medium rick rack refers to the trim’s size, and for medium, it typically pertains to a half an inch wide rick rack. So how is rick rack measured? The rick rack’s measurement is determined by the distance between the outermost left edge or zig and the outermost right edge or zag. 


How Do I Sew Rick Rack?


Sewing a rick rack trim into the seam

  1. Make a straight line in the center of the rick rack and align it with the stitching line of the seam on the right side of the material
  2. Pin the trim in place and baste along the line you made
  3. Put the other fabric and finish the seam 
  4. Turn the fabric right side out to check if the rick rack is showing to your liking


Sewing a rick rack on a finished edge

  1. Position the rick rack on the wrong side of the finished edge, ensuring that you still have some extra trim
  2. Pin the trim in place and turn the material over
  3. Sew the right side to attach the rick rack and add the other fabric 


Sewing a rick rack on top of the fabric

  1. Wash and press the rick rack or read how to prewash fabric before sewing to know why it’s necessary
  2. Mark the rick rack to know where to stitch
  3. Sew the trim in place
  4. Seal the rick rack ends with an anti-fraying solution


How Do You Keep Rick Rack From Fraying?

  • Trim off the frayed rick rack end
  • Spray the ends with an anti-fraying solution
  • Gently burn the rick rack end to melt it off, but check if its material has a slow-burning rate



And that’s it! We just discussed what is rick rack in sewing, and learned that it’s essentially a wavy or zigzag trim that is used on fabric edges, seams, or as decoration over the project. It’s relatively straightforward to sew, and you can even intertwine two strips to make a flower detail. 

We hope this was a helpful read. Leave us a comment if you have any. 

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