For many years we have had a flag flying in our front yard. My husband being a veteran is a little bit anal about his flags and since ours is lighted it stays up 24/7/365. Occasionally when the weather is bad, the flags fabric tears or the seams on the stripes break and my husband pulls the flag down for some minor mending. At first I was a little uncomfortable mending the flag. I somehow felt like I was being disrespectful to it. After some thought though, I decided it was fine, if not even respectful, to mend the flag. My choices were to leave the flag tattered, which is unacceptable, buy a new flag, but at $40 a piece that is not feasible, not have a flag at all, which didn’t settle well either, or mend the flag. So for years, I have mended our flags until they are too tattered to mend at which time my husband burns them. After the last low front moved through and the winds calmed down, I found myself needing to mend the flag again.
This time was not as easy a mend as most times. Several of the stripes had come unstitched and the fabric frayed on the edges of them. I almost declared the flag too damaged to mend, but I thought I would give it a try. I had to use a little bias tape to replace some of the frayed fabric, but I think all in all it mended well.
For years I have used fray check on the flag to try and preserve the edges, but the fray check did not seem to make very much difference. After using several bottles of fray check, I asked the best seamstress I know, for something other than fray check to seal the edges of the flag. My mom’s answer was clear fingernail polish. Brilliant. So, off to the dollar store I went to buy the cheapest clear nail polish I could. I must say, it works great. It sealed the seams and stopped the little frays spots from continuing, and holds up great it the weather. I can think of several places to use nail polish instead of fray check. I am very generous with the polish when I apply it, so my only problem with using the polish is that my sewing room is always a little smelly after I do it and I get a little dizzy from the fumes.
So if you ever have something that you need to seal the seams on and you want something that will hold up better than fray check give the clear fingernail polish a try. It worked for me!