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Did you know that the little plastic tips on the end of your shoelaces have a name?


Of course they have a name, everything has a name right? But, there are some things we can go a lifetime not knowing the name of, like the name of the little plastic tips on the end of your shoelaces.

They are called aglets. I learned this as I researched how to finish the ends of the shoelaces I am weaving to raise money for the Boston Marathon victims. (You can read more about that effort here.)

While investigating, I came across a post on the blog A Spinner Weaver, written by fellow inkle weaver Annie MacHale, about a pair of shoelaces she wove and the dilemma of how to finish the edges. The discussion in the comments section of the post sparked the method I came up with for making my shoelace tips. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Materials I used:

-10/2 mercerized cotton (to weave the laces and wrap the tips). My laces have 30 warp ends – 15 heddled and 15 unheddled.
-3/32 heat shrink tubing (from Skycraft Surplus, comes in 4’ lengths)
-fabric stiffener (I used Plaid brand Stiffy Fabric Stiffener – but any brand will do)
-heat gun/tool (I tried a hair dryer, but it just doesn’t get hot enough to shrink the plastic tubing thoroughly. It would come off with a bit of a tug. So, I bought a Darice brand heat tool at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores with a 50% off coupon – Yay!) *I don’t suggest using glue. It scorched under the plastic tubing from the heat.

Other tools:

permanent marker
cutting mat
rotary cutter or craft blade


Measure, mark, and cut fringe to desired length of shoelace tip plus at least an additional 1/2″. You’ll need this to hold onto.

Lay a loop of thread or yarn about 6" long, down the center of the fringe and shoelace. This will be used to secure the tail of the wrapping at the end.

Lay a loop of thread or yarn about 6″ long, down the center of the fringe and shoelace. This will be used to secure the tail of the wrapping at the end.


Wrap a piece of size 10/2 yarn, about 16″ long, tightly around the fringe, being sure to start at the last row of weaving.


Once you have wrapped to the desired length, insert the tail into the loop as pictured.


Pull the loop (orange yarn) until it goes under the wrapping.


Continue to pull the loop until the tail comes out the bottom.


When you pull the tail all the way through, the top should settle in and be neat and snug. Closely clip the tail.


Trim the fringe to approximately 1/4″ above the top of the wrapping. Dip the tip into the bottle of fabric stiffener. Do not shake off the excess. It will dry clear.


Once the tip is dry, use the rotary cutter to slice off the fringe. This gives a nice clean edge to feed into the tubing.


Cut a piece of tubing 1/2″ longer than the tip length. Insert the tip into the tubing. You will need to twist, push, pull, shove, and cajole the tip into the tubing. It is a tight fit. This is what helps it stay without glue. After the tubing is on, cut it down to be level with the top of the tip. Shrink the tubing with the heat tool, being careful not to burn the shoelace, tubing or your fingers!. You are finished and have a beautiful shoelace tip.

If you are looking for information on how to weave a shoelace, the article by Brianna Lancaster, daughter of talented weaver Daryle Lancaster, on Weavezine is very good. Also, I found this site dedicated to shoelaces. Fascinating stuff.

How have you ended your shoelaces? Do you have any tips or suggestions?

warp, weave, be happy!