Difference between Merrow (Overlock) border and Hot cut border?

Merrow border is wider than hot cut border

What is the difference between Merrow (Overlock) border and Hot cut border?

Borders prevent the patch from fraying or unraveling and give the patch a good pronounced edge. Borders are of two different types of the hot cut and the merrowed type. We will talk about the differences in both and why one is preferable to the other in separate cases.

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A Merrow border is a heavier border which is sewed up and over the exterior edges of your patch. Merrow borders are most generally located on shapes, for example circles, ovals and squares. Merrow borders are implemented after the design is stitched onto your patches. A Hot Cut border is a simple, thinner, flatter border that is removed using a hot knife that seals the peripheral edge of your patch, shielding the thread from fraying.

Hot Cut border could be narrow


Obvious from the definitions above, Merrow Edge borders have larger, rounded edge. Almost like piping around the patch while Hot cut Edge have Thin, flat edge. It very gently lines the patch. Also, Merrow edge borders are best with plain and symmetrical shapes. Circles, rectangles, triangles, square etc. A useful rule of thumb to go by is if it doesn’t have a lot of points in and/or jagged edges. It can probably be merrowed while the other works with any shape. Whether you are looking for a straightforward geometric or custom shape, it will come out just right. Merrow edge borders are machine sewn-on edge while Hot Cut border is laser-cut for precision. Besides all these, Merrow edge is easier to design. Sometimes limitations can set the creative mind free. While Hot cut nearly limitless design possibilities. Most customers want their embroidered patches to be finished with merrow/overlock border.

Hot Cut border seen from the side


In terms of quality of durability Merrowed Edge has taken the lead as it’s seen more durable than the Hot Cut Edges and the Merrowed Edges also has more aesthetics looks that Hot Cut Edges because Hot Cut edges could occur impression of not finished patch from the side. Looking from both sides and front of the patch the Merrowed edges have better looks although the Hot Cut is also suited for giving expert looks to smaller patches. To get the best possible protection against shredding the Merrowed edge should be used as it’s better than the cut edges.
Talking about the price which is a factor that must be considered the hot cut edge cost less than the Merrow Edge because the Merrow Edge is relatively thicker and has wide bordering of about width of 3mm while the hot cut has thin bordering of about 1mm which makes it cheaper. Also, hot cut border does not require special machines.

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Shapes & Colours

As said earlier, Merrow Edge is available only for simple shapes (rectangle, circle, triangle and simple shields shapes) while the hot cut is the best solution for complicated shapes. In the Merrow Edge Border, the edge of the border can be hemmed with a decorative lace which makes it more attractive while in hot cut the colour of the frame always ideally matches the whole design because they are of the same thread. However, despite all of these, the Merrowed border is the standard for embroidered patch edging.


Hot Cut border Pros

  • Colours of the frame always ideally matches the whole design, because of using exactly the same thread.
  • Better look for smaller patches
  • Best solution for complicated shapes.
  • Thin bordering available (even 1mm).
  • Lover cost than merrow border.

Hot Cut border Cons

  • Could occur impression of not finished patch from the side

Edge of the merrow bordered embroidered patch

Merrow Edge Pros

  • Better aesthetics
  • Stronger durability
  • It looks much better from the side and front of a patch
  • Best possible protection against shredding
  • Hemming the edge with a decorative lace

Merrow Edge CONS

  • Relatively thicker and wide bordering (width 3mm)
  • A bit Higher price of a patch
  • Available only for simple shapes like rectangle, triangle, circle, and simple shields shapes
The ability to make complicated shapes only with hot cut borders

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