Merrow Border and Hot Cut Border Explained

What do borders do? Borders aid in achieving a fine and strong edge by preventing the patch from wearing and thinning out. In addition to protection, it also has a decorative function.

Types of Borders: There are two kinds of borders: Merrow or overlock border and hot cut border. However, both differ with each other in properties to some extent. A comparison between both the types is presented below to highlight the dissimilarities as well as making a final conclusion about which one is more preferable to the other in different cases.


A border sewn up and over the exterior edges of the patch is a Merrow border. Mostly located on shapes such as circles, squares and ovals, it is a heavier border. The implementation of merrow border comes into being once the design is stitched onto the patches while a hot cut border can be defined as a more basic, levelled and thinner border.
A hot cut border can be simply removed through the use of a hot knife that seals the peripheral edge of the patch. This in turn helps preventing the thread from unravelling.


The aforementioned definitions are able to highlight the basic differences in brief. Whereas one would find a more rounder and larger edge in Merrow edged borders, similar to a piping around the patch, Hot cut edge borders possess a thin and flat edge which lines the patch in a delicate manner.
Secondly, Merrow edge borders comes with more basic, plain shapes that are symmetrical such as rectangles, circles, triangles, square. An easy point of distinction can be made by seeing if it has multiple points in and/or jagged edges since merrow edge borders do not usually have many points and jagged edges. The remaining type, other than merrow edge border can work with any shape and the resulting shape would come out right whether it is a complicated geometric or a custom shape.
As already mentioned, merrow edged borders are machine sewn-on edge while hot cut border is laser-cut in order to achieve precision. However, merrow edge wins here due to having the ability to be designed easily since it has lesser possibilities to be designed other ways as compared to hot cut border which can be designed in several ways. In this regard, hot cut border is more suitable with people having creative instinct, wanting to have endless possibilities of design. Still, mostly customers are oriented towards getting merrow or over lock border on their embroidered patches for the sake of uniformity and ease.


Merrowed edge border is ahead of hot cut border when it comes to quality and durability. Furthermore, hot cut edge borders sometimes leave an impression and look of an incomplete or non-finished patch from the side whereas merrow edge border does not have any such flaw which makes it more aesthetically appealing.
Upon the comparison of the patches of both borders from all sides, Merrowed edges are capable to give a better look while hot cut leaves a finer, elegant look to patches that are smaller.
Merrowed edge border comes out as a better choice for shielding against fraying and shredding due to being superior than the cut edge.
While reflecting on the cost analysis, hot cut edge is not pricey. Merrow edged border costs more than the hot cut borders because of its thickness and the width which is about 3mm as compared to the thin (only 1mm) bordering of the hot cut border, thereby costing lesser. Moreover, hot cut borders can operate without specialised machines conveniently.


Where Merrowed edges are only suitable and convenient for simpler and plain shapes such as triangle, rectangle, circle and basic shields shapes, hot cut borders do not have such limitations. All sort of complicated shapes can be dealt through a hot cut border effectively.
Merrow edge border has this flexibility to have its edge hemmed with a decorative lace, making it earn a point in attraction. In Hot cut border, due to the same thread, the whole design and the colour of the frame are same. Thus they match each other ideally and do not vary or feel different from each other.
In spite of these qualities, the merrow edge border is held as the standard for the edging of embroidered patch.



  • Colours of the frames always match the entire design
  • Desirable look for smaller patches
  • Suitable for complicated shapes
  • Capable of providing even 1mm thin
  • Economical and reasonably priced than merrow border


  • Can leave an impression of a non-finished patch look


  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Strong and durable
  • Gives a better look from side and front of the patch
  • Better immunity from fraying
  • Possibility of hemming the edge with a decorative lace


  • Much thickness. Wide border of about 3mm
  • Costly
  • Restricted for only basic shapes (rectangle, triangle, circle, square etc)

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