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Fastenings - Types & It's Applications (Part One)


A cover that has to be removed from time to time for cleaning needs a suitable fastening. Fabrics for removable covers range from robust furnishings materials suitable for a sofa to fine cotton and delicate textiles used for bed linen and cushions, so take care to match the fastening to the type of soft furnishing.

For a heavy-duty closure, use zip or robust hooks and eyes. More lightweight, decorative fasteners include fabric ties and buttons. Hide press studs and velcro tabs or strips within a seam. When a cover needs only infrequent cleaning, consider slip stitching one seam, and opening it when necessary.


Velcro is also known as "touch-and-close" fastening. Two strips of material, one covered with tiny hooks, the other with small loops, adhere to each other when brought together.

Although easy to apply and use, it is too stiff for lightweight or medium-weight materials. Continuous lengths of several widths and colours, and spots of various sizes are available.

Velcro Spots

1. First Side The seam allowance must be wider than the spot. Mark sites for the spots and pin half a spot to one allowance. Hand sew in place.


2. Second Side On the opposite allowance, align the second half of the spot with the first. Pin and sew in place. Space spots 5 cm to 10 cm apart.


Velcro Tape

1. First Strip Use a tape slightly narrower than the seam allowance. Place one half on the allowance, and pin, tack, and sew it in place.


2. Second Strip Pin the other half of the tape on the opposite allowance. Check the alignment, and adjust if necessary. Tack and sew in place.


Press Studs

Press studs are available in both metal and plastic, and in a limited variety of colour and sizes. They are sold either loose, to be stitched or individually, or mounted to a tape, which is more convenient for long openings.

Although they are a simple means of fastenings two edges together, press studs are not very sturdy and will pop open under any moderate strain. They are suitable for bed linen and scatter cushions, where they can be unobtrusively mounted.

Sew-On Press Studs

1. The Socket Mark positions 6 mm from the edge with pins every 5 cm to 10 cm. Place the socket of the stud on the seam underlap, and work a few stitches through each hole.


2. Aligning Halves Place the ball half of the press stud on the overlapping fabric in the position marked by the pin. Check its alignment with the socket half, and sew in position.


Press-Stud Strip

1. First Strip The seam allowance must be wider than the strip. Turn under the raw edges on the ends of the strip, position it on the seam allowance, and pin in place.

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2. Aligning Strips To align the two strips accurately, lay the second one on the first and close the studs. Pin the second strip in place, working from the back, and turn under the raw ends.


3. Sewing on Strips Open the press studs and tack and sew both edges of the strips. Work in the same direction each time to prevent puckering, and use the zip attachment on a sewing machine.


Hooks and Eyes

Hand-sewn metal hooks and eyes are a simple fastening for edge-to-edge or overlapping fabric pieces. These easy-to-hide fasteners are available in a number of different sizes, and are sold either loose or mounted on a plastic strip. They are strong enough to take quite considerable strain, making them particularly suitable for furniture covers.

Individual Hooks and Eyes

1. The Eyes Mark positions for the fasteners with pins every 5 cm to 10 cm. Hold the eye in place, and sew five or six times through each metal loop.


2. The Hooks Check the hooks' alignment. Stitch over the hook neck and through the loops. If the seam allowances gape, slipstitch the edges.


Hook-and-Eye Strip

1. First Side The seam allowance must be wider than the strip. Neaten the raw edges of the strips. Place the eye strip on the allowance, and pin, tack, and sew in place. Use a zip attachment if necessary.


2. Second Strip Fasten the hooks and eyes to align the strips. Pin the hooked strip from the back, undo the hooks and tack. Sewing through both layers of fabric will leave visible stitching. If sewing through one layer only, slip stitch the seam allowance to prevent gaping.



Fabric ties make an unusual change from ready-made fasteners. Flat fabric ties are easily made up and attached, and make a decorative fastener for light-weight furnishings such as bed linen and scatter cushions.

Rouleau strips are narrow tubes made up from bias strips, which can be tied or mounted as loops along an opening as an alternative to buttonholes.

Flat Ties

1. Cutting Ends Cut the length and twice the width of the tie, plus 1 cm all around. Fold the edges of the long sides to the wrong side by 1 cm and press. Cut across the corners diagonally, fold the ends down to the wrong side, and press.


2. Sewing Fold the fabric in half lengthways, wrong sides together. Pin, tack, and sew all the sides, about 2 mm from the edge. Make up the other tie. Pin one end of each tie to each side of the opening, sew in place and tie into a bow or knot.


Rouleau Strips

1. Sewing a Tube Fold the required length of bias strip, use a strip that is 2.5 cm to 3 cm wide, in half lengthways, right sides together, press, and sew 6 mm from the edge.


2. Attaching Thread Thread a large, blunt needle with a strong thread or fine twine. Secure the thread to one end of the rouleau and push the needle into the opening of the tube.


3. Turning Tube Work the needle and thread along the tube and out at the other end. The end of the rouleau will follow: take hold of it and pull the tube right side out.


4. Finishing Strip Snip the thread of the tube, and tuck the raw edges of the rouleau back to the inside. Oversew the ends neatly with small stitches to finish off.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Temoor Dar

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