Knowing the Different Approaches of Binding a Seam
After you're done with your sewing projects, don't forget to bind the seams. Binding a seam is
very important for a number of reasons, the most important of which is to enclose and secure raw edges or
Securing seams or raw edges isn't only for aesthetic reasons but most importantly to protect the fabric from
unraveling when washed. Additionally, binding a seam also adds class to your sewing projects.
There are basically three approaches for binding a seam. These include piping, French binding, and bias binding.
But before you start to bind a seam, make sure to loosely stitch the raw edges of the seam about + inches from its
edge so that the fabric stabilizes. This method is commonly called stay stitching.
Single-fold Binding or Bias Binding
This is the most basic approach of seam binding. With this method, strips of fabrics are cut onto the bias,
meaning diagonally, with a width four times more than the width of the raw edges from the finished project. The
edges are then carefully folded inward where it will meet the crease that has just been made. Make sure to press
them flat once again.
After pressing, a long piece of fabric is left with four similar sections. Place the binding strip to cover the
seam and then securely sew it in place. You can machine stitch the strip to keep it in place, or hand stitch it
with the use of a slip stitch, depending on your sewing project.
Double-Fold Binding or French Binding
This type of binding approach requires a binding strip six times wider than your preferred finish width. The
binding strip is folded in two, lengthwise. The finished sides of the project should face out before pressing it
flat. Once done, the bias method follows. This type of binding seam is basically adding extra layers of fabric to
the binding strips to effectively add durability and strength.
This is a approach of binding a seam for decorative reasons. There are now ready made piping strips that can be
bought at sewing shops. This allows you to simply sew it to the edges or the seams of the finished sewing product.
Or if you want to have a more creative approach, you can try making a piping of your own.
To make this, simply follow the bias or the French methods of binding a seam. In the center of the crease, place
a cord of piping. You can then affix your custom-made piping to your sewing projects. Remember though then when
stitching the piping on your final product, it has to be done closer to the cord. This is to make sure that the
cord is secured snugly in place.
Aside from the mentioned approaches, there are also other seam finishes that are ideal for specific fabrics.
Keep in mind that fabrics are generally prone to fraying. On the other hand, there are also some fabrics that no
longer require a seam finish like the Polar Fleece. But in general, a seam finish provides a more tamed look on the
bulk of the seam.
Below are some other types of seam finishes that you can consider for some of your sewing projects.
The Clean Finish Seam Finish
This is a very simple straight stitching to make a seam finish. This finish is just a simple line of stitch done
on top of the original stitching.
The Zigzag Seam Finish
This type of seam finish is just a simple zigzag stitch done on the raw edges of the seam allowance. This is
applicable to almost any seam to secure the raw edges and prevent the fabric from fraying. You may want to keep a
clean seam using the zigzag seam finish. It is important then to vary the stitch length and the stitch width. This
can also prevent some extra bulk of the seam which isn't good to look at if not neatly done.
Keep in mind that seam finishes play an important role in providing the overall appearance of your sewing
project. If you are having a hard time finishing seams in the most proper manner, there are manuals available where
you can obtain the right methods of seam finishing.