How to Sew With Dental Floss

Sewing with dental floss is nice since floss is a lot more durable than regular thread. Dental floss can be nice for sewing thicker fabrics like canvas, leather courdoroy and other tough material. I wouldn't recommend it for anything particularly light. I use dental floss a lot for sewing patches onto my jacket or mending jeans. Great for a real DIY look and a nice way to use any surplus floss you get from the dentist (and also floss your teeth because it's good for you!) Let's get started!

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Step 1: What You'll Need

1. Lighter
2. Waxed Dental floss
3. Sewing needle

Step 2: Threading

unlike sewing with thread, you won't double the floss over or tie the end down. thread the floss through the needle as shown. Make the first stitch in your fabric leaving about 1/2" of floss trailing out. you can stop here or make a couple more stitches to hold the floss in place relative to the fabric more.


Whip your lighter out and hold the flame close to the end of the floss. Once you're close enough the tip of the floss will start to brown and melt. slowly follow the melting floss with your flame down towards the fabric. once the melted part of the floss touches the fabric quickly take your thumb off the lighter button and use the end of your lighter to squish the melted floss against the fabric. you'll need to do this quickly so that your actual fabric doesn't burn and so that your melted floss doesn't dry lumpy.

Step 4: Cons of Sewing With Floss

while a big pro to sewing with floss is that you don't have to tie any knots and this for of sealing can be a lot more reliable than knotting, it does leave a relatively noticeable brown mark. This is less of a problem with darker fabrics, obviously, so if you are sewing something lighter and don't want the brown mark just make sure you seal the floss on the inside/underside of whatever you're making so that it won't be visible. also, be careful with sealing on the inside of snugger fitting clothes. I patched a pair of shorts using dental floss and had the problem of the seal being a little bit scratchy on my leg. Just keep these things in mind when you're deciding if you want to use dental floss for your project or not.

Step 5: If You Make a Mistake

sewing with floss is very forgiving in that if you happen to make a mistake it's super easy to slip your floss out without cutting it or using a seam ripper. Just slide your needle under the last stitch (I used a whip stitch here) and pull the floss out. After you do this you can still easily re-thread your needle and keep sewing without wasting any of the floss.

Step 6: Other Tips

here i have pictured how the floss looks against dark fabric instead of light. I think it adds a really great look for sewing together dark materials because the stitches with floss are very visible (more than thread) and again it is great for durability. Hope you learned a lot and happy stitching! :)

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice idea. Should be noted that the burning (really, melting) part will only work with mainstream dental floss - the kind made of plastic (aka nylon, in a plastic dispenser). For those of us who buy natural fibre floss (e.g., Eco-Dent, comes in a paper dispenser), you will need to knot the ends.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Sounds like a good idea for outdoor decorations like scarecrows

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    yeah! It'd probably work great for scarecrows. In that vein, it could probably be nice for halloween costumes too.