A rolled hem is used to give the end of the fabric a rounded edge. Rolled hem can be stitched by hand or by machine. The idea is to tuck the edge under the fold, and then stitch it. Rolled hems are often found at the end of napkins, tablecloths and even dresses.
A fabric and rolled and hemmed after the fabric is cut to fit a particular length. It secures the edges and does not let the fabric ends hang loosely. Sewing a rolled hem by hand requires practice, so try it on a spare fabric before you hem something in your wardrobe. To sew a rolled hem by hand follows the steps below:
To start with, iron the fabric to straighten out all the wrinkles, so that it is evenly placed. It is better to mark the adequate length before cutting it.
Cut the extra length carefully along the marked edge.
After cutting, fold the edge ½ inch or slightly more, twice, and iron the folded hem to set it. To keep the fabric from moving, fold and secure the edge with pins. It is easier to hold the fabric in place that way.
Once that is gone, you are ready to sow the fabric in place.
To stitch the hem, slip the needle out from under the fold, and sow it to the piece below using only a few threads, so that the thread is not visible on the other side of the fabric. Repeat this till the entire edge is hemmed.
Rolled hems can also be machine-stitched. It’s important to sew slowly and make sure the fabric is not getting stuck together. Again, it is best to try this on a spare piece of fabric first. A special rolled hem foot can be installed on to sowing machines that do the trick. The foot actually rolls the fabric and stitches it giving a narrow hem. The width of the hem depends on the size of foot and thickness of the fabric. Some machines may also have the option of creating patterns and designs on the hem.
Hemming makes the garment look neat and complete. Unfinished edges look ragged and can also tear with use. Rolling the hem is one of the ways to make sure your edges are sealed. Sewing machines these days have a lot of options to give your garment the design you want.