Binding & Piping
Binding is a way of neatening a raw edge using a separate length of fabric, usually in a contrasting colour.
Piping is a way to emphasize a seam or edge and can add strength to corners that might receive a lot of wear.
For both binding and piping strips of fabric cut on the bias are used as this makes them slightly stretchy.
Instructions on Cutting Bias Strips
- To cut bias strips fold the fabric diagonally so that a straight edge is parallel to the selvedge (the side of the fabric).
- Press this fold and use this crease as a guide to mark parallel lines for bias strips.
- To join bias strips place two lengths, right sides together, right angles to each other and stitch.
- Open out, press seam open and trim off the overlapping edges.
Instructions on Binding an Edge
- Cut bias strips 4 times the finished width of the binding required.
- Fold both raw edges to the centre on the back, down the length of the bias strips and press.
- Open up one side of the binding. Place this side of the binding onto the right side of the fabric with raw edges matching and pin.
- Stitch along the fold line of the binding.
- Fold the binding over the raw edge to the wrong side of the fabric.
- Pin and slipstitch the fold of the binding to line of stitches on the wrong side.
Instructions on Piping
Piping can be made by covering cord with strips of bias cut fabric. The cord comes in a range of thicknesses and is readily available from fabric and upholstery stores.
- Cut and join enough bias strips for the required length and wide enough to cover the cord plus the seam allowance.
- Lay the cord in the centre, on the wrong side of the bias strip.
- Fold the bias strip over the cord matching the raw edges.
- Stitch the 2 sides of the bias strip together along the length. Use a zipper foot on the sewing machine to ensure that the stitches are close to the cord.
- To attach the piping cord to a straight edge, pin it to the right side of the main fabric matching the raw edges.
- To turn a corner, clip the seam allowance on the piping cord up to the line of stitches. Ease the piping cord around the corner and proceed pinning it along the next edge.
- To attach piping cord to an outside curve, place it onto the right side of the main fabric matching the raw edges. Pin it in place, clipping the seam allowance to ensure that the fabric lays flat.
- To attach piping cord to an inside curve, work in the same way as an outside curve allowing the seam allowance to overlap where it is clipped.