How to Crochet a Border Around a Piece of Cotton Fabric

ladies' handkerchieves with crochet lace image by Maria Brzostowska from

Things You'll Need

  • Pre-hemmed linen or cotton fabric square
  • Ruler
  • Fabric pen
  • Self-healing cutting mat or piece of cardboard
  • Tapestry needle or fabric awl
  • Cotton crochet thread, size 10
  • Steel crochet hook, size 6 or 7
  • Scissors

Crocheted borders on delicate handkerchiefs are a classic Victorian accent. They are beautiful and charming in a modern setting, peeking out of the pocket of a business suit to add a touch of femininity. A linen napkin on a dining table, covering a basket of warm rolls, looks welcoming with a soft crocheted ruffle. When a crocheted border is added to a bandanna, it becomes a funky accent on a head scarf that even teenagers will love. On a larger scale, a border turns a simple linen tablecloth into an heirloom that will last for generations.

Place the ruler against the edge of the fabric. Use the fabric pen to mark the holes at even intervals, so each edge of the square has the same number of holes. Leave a space of between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch between each hole.

Place the square of fabric on the self-healing mat or cardboard. Pierce the marked holes with a sharp downward motion.

Make a slip knot and slide it onto your crochet hook. Slide your crochet hook from top to bottom into a corner hole in your cloth. Attach with a slip stitch. Do not pull tight.

Work three single crochet in the corner and single crochet evenly along the edge, holding the tail from the slip knot along the back of the material and working over the tail to secure it. Do not pull the stitches tight, or the fabric will pucker.

At each corner, work three single crochet into the corner hole and work your way around the entire piece. When you reach the first single crochet, join with a slip stitch and chain one.

Add as many rows of stitches as desired, changing to double or triple crochet if desired. Add shells or picots for a decorative touch. Finish off and weave your tail through the last few stitches. Cut off any excess thread.


  • A crochet border can be added to a square of fleece to make a personalized baby blanket. Use a size H hook and worsted weight yarn.

    Add a border to the bottom edge of tea towels for a housewarming gift.