I'm a bit of a fan of alliteration.
That blog title probably promised more than I'm delivering here..... but I quite liked the opportunity to use as many W words as I could.
I'm also quite partial to a spot of hyperbole. Literary devices have always amused me. I digress....
We're going to talk about polypropylene webbing - which is fabulous for bag straps. The down-side is its quirky tendency to to do this (below) if it's not treated properly...
If you've used my Laptop Bag pattern, you'd have learned how to avoid fraying on webbing. I know that some people haven't bought the Laptop Bag pattern and have had issues with fraying (which of course is always a bigger problem once the bag is finished....), so here's a quick lesson....
Ideally, we'd all be able to justify the cost of an industrial hot knife (...or....ummm...is that just me?). This makes one simple cut-and-seal on webbing, which means that you can simply turn the sealed edge over a ring and stitch it down, or you can safely sew it into a seam and know that it won't come undone.
Mere mortals like us (with scissors) have to turn under any raw edges and stitch them down securely. I usually go for the box-with-an-"x"-in-it approach, with a sturdy needle and synthetic thread.
And I zig-zag the living daylights out of any frazzled ends that may be going into seams. I've been meaning to get a soldering iron and see if it will do the job of a hot-knife, but haven't managed it yet. (I'd be interested to hear if anyone has done this or found any other alteratives).
Although I haven't done it here, I often zig-zag after I've staystithed the strap in place on the bag, so that I'm not only preventing the ends from fraying, but anchoring them the seam allowances within the bag. I might be a little over-cautious here, but I'd say that's better than slap-dash where the potential for fraying straps are concerned.
The other tip I should mention here, is that if you're pressing a bag with webbing straps, take extra care (read: use a Rajah Cloth) to protect the straps from the heat of the iron. Nothing worse* than a beautifully finished fabric bag with melted webbing straps.
EDITED TO ADD: Thanks for the comments re: a lighter or match. I meant to suggest that as well as the soldering iron, but forgot. I have used a lighter for this in the distant past.
Since I have super-sensitive smoke detectors** (that cause the evacuation of the building, two fire trucks to arrive and a $1700 fine for false alarms.....says the voice of experience!), I haven't been able to use any melting techniques for the last 6 years. Prior to this studio, I had access to a hot knife.
With melting plastic, you have to be prepared with something to squash out the flame in case it flares up and melts too far. Having something flat - like a block of wood or the side of an old knife (and a fire-proof flat work surface) is a good idea before putting a flame to the end of the strap.
*Did I mention something about hyperbole...?