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Trimmings and Their Types: Binding & Piping

Trimmings

A variety of easy-to-apply edgings can be used to decorate furnishings. Trimmings are not structurally important, but when used with imagination, binding, piping, or frilled or pleated edging can add a smart and individual finish to curtains, cushions, bed linen, or blinds.

In addition to these hand-finished edgings, there is also a host of ready-made trimmings available, such as braids, fringes, lace, ribbons, and cords, which can be stitched onto or into a seam or hem to provide extra colour and texture.

Binding and Piping

These edgings add both decoration and strength to soft furnishings. binding is made from strips of fabric that are cut on the bias - a line diagonal to the grain, or wave - and will not pucker on curves. Ready-cut bias binding can be bought in a variety of weights and colours, but it is easy to cut strips from most kinds of fabric.

Piped edging is made by covering a length of piping cord with strips of bias binding. A piping cord is sold in a range of diameters, suitable for different furnishings and weights of fabric. Always preshrink piping cord and bias strip by washing them.

Bias Strips

1. Finding the Bias Check that the edges of the fabric are cut along the grain. Fold the fabric diagonally, so that one straight raw edge lies parallel to the adjacent edge. This fold is the bias line. Press in place.

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2. Marking Strips Calculate the length and the width of binding needed - allow extra for joins. Rule measured lines parallel to the bias crease, marking with vanishing ink or tailor's chalk, and cut the strips.

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3. Joining Strips Join stripes by placing them right sides together at right angles to each other. The raw edges and the straight gains should align. Pin, tack if necessary, and sew 5 mm from the raw edges.

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4. Trimming Joins Open the seam and press it flat. You now have a bias strap with two corners sticking out at the seam. Snip off these corners. Join pieces as necessary to make up the required length of the strip.

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Continuous Bias Strip

1. Finding the Bias This is a useful way of making a long length of bias binding. Take a rectangle of fabric with straight edges, and fold one short side down diagonally to meet the adjacent edge. Press in place and cut along the bias line crease.

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2. Sewing Pieces Lay the triangle on the other piece, right sides together and short straight edges aligned, so that when sewn they will form a diamond. Sew the pieces together, using a plain seam with a 6 mm allowance, and press the seam open.

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3. Marking Strips Lay the fabric right side up. Mark lines parallel to the bias across the whole of the fabric, spaced to the desired width for the finished strip. Use a straight edge and either vanishing ink or tailors chalk to mark the lines on the fabric.

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4. Forming a Tube Fold the fabric right sides together, aligning the marked edges. Align the ends of the marked lines, offsetting them by one: they will form a spiral. Pin along these edges to form a tube: the seam will spiral. Turn the tube right side put.

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5. Cutting a Strip Check that the bias lines on the pinned edges meet. Turn the tube inside out again, tack, and sew a plain flat seam 6 mm from the edge. Press the seam flat. Starting at one end, cut along the marked line in a continuous spiral.

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Covering Piping Cord

1. Measuring Cord Choose a cord and wash to preshrink. Measure around it and add 3 cm for seam allowances: this is the width of the bias strip that is required. Cut a strip to this width and the required length.

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2. Covering Cord Lay the cord along the centre of the wrong side of the bias strip. Fold the strip over the cord, and pin and tack. Sew close to the cord, using a zip attachment if you use a machine.

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Applying Piping

1. Pinning Piping Cut and cover the required length of piping cord - add 10 cm for joining lengths if necessary. Lay the piping on the right side of one piece of fabric, with the raw edges aligning. Pin in place, snipping the seam allowance at corners, and tack.

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2. Sewing In Lay the second piece of fabric on top of the piece with the piping attached, right sides together, and raw edges aligning. The piping will be sandwiched between them. Tack and sew through all the layers close to the cord, using the zip attachment.

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Joining Piping Straight Across

1. Thinning Cord Sew the piping to the right side of one piece of fabric. Allow a 2.5 cm overlap, and leave 5 cm of each end free. Open a few stitches on each end to reveal the cord. Unravel the ends, and cut half the strands from each.

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2. Binding Cord Twist the ends of the cord together and bind with thread. With the piping ends flat and the wrong side up, fold one end to the wrong side by 6 mm. Lay the other end of the binding on top of it and trip the overlap to 1.5 cm.

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3. Sewing Join Fold the overlapping ends of the binding around the cord. Sew along the seam line, over the join, securing the piping to the fabric. Slipstitch the join in the binding. To disguise a join, make it at a seam or in a central position on a panel.

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Joining Piping Diagonally

1. Matching Up This is the neatest way to join piping. Sew the piping to the right side of one fabric piece, with a 10 cm overlap free and with the seam unpicked. Fold back the corner plus 6 mm of one end of the bias strip diagonally, on its straight grain, and press.

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2. Pinning Bias Strip Lay the other end of the bias strip on top of the folded end. Make sure that the straight grain of the two ends matches, and that both ends lie flat. Carefully pin the two pieces of bias strip together along the fold in the bottom end.

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3. Joining Ends Tack and sew along the pinned fold line, and trim off the excess fabric from the ends of the bias strips. Press the finished seam flat. Unravel the ends of the piping cord, cut strands away from each to thin them, and twist them together.

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4. Finishing Join Stitch and bind the two ends of the piping cord together securely with a needle and thread. Fold the diagonally stitched bias strip over the bound piping cord ends. Tack the joined piping to the main fabric, using a zip attachment if machine sewing.

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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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