Binding is a fundamental technique that every seamstress and pattern maker should be familiar with. It involves attaching a narrow strip of material around the edges of a garment, bag, or quilt to provide a neat and professional finish. Binding serves both functional and decorative purposes, adding durability, structure and visual appeal to the project. In this article, we will explore the significance of binding, its applications across different projects, and techniques for achieving flawless edge finishes.
What is a Binding
Binding refers to a narrow strip of fabric, often cut on the bias for added flexibility, that is sewn around the edges of a garment, bag, or quilt. It encloses and secures the raw edges, creating a clean and polished look while providing additional strength and durability to the fabric’s edge.
Applications of Binding
Binding finds its place in various sewing projects, offering a versatile finishing touch. Here are a few common applications where binding is used:
- Garments: Binding is frequently employed to finish the edges of necklines, armholes, cuffs, and hemlines. It not only provides a clean and professional appearance but also helps stabilize and reinforce these areas for long-lasting wear.
- Bags and Accessories: Binding is used to finish the edges of bags, pouches, or wallets, adding structure, durability, and a decorative touch. It helps protect the edges from fraying and enhances the overall aesthetic of the item.
- Quilts and Home Decor: Binding is an essential step in completing quilts, blankets, and other fabric projects. It encloses the raw edges of the quilt top, batting, and backing, providing a polished and secure finish. Binding can also be applied to home decor items like placemats, table runners, or pillowcases for a refined look.
Techniques for Binding
Binding can be accomplished using different techniques depending on the project and desired outcome. Here are two common approaches:
- Single-Fold Binding: In single-fold binding, a narrow strip of fabric is folded in half lengthwise, with the folded edge encasing the raw edges of the project. The binding is then stitched in place, either by machine or hand, along the edge. This technique is suitable for lightweight fabrics or when a more delicate finish is desired.
- Double-Fold Binding: Double-fold binding involves folding the strip of fabric in half lengthwise and then folding each long edge toward the center fold. The resulting binding is then attached to the project, encasing the raw edges completely. Double-fold binding provides a sturdy and clean finish and is commonly used for heavier fabrics or when durability is essential.
Tips for Successful Binding
Consider the following tips to achieve professional and flawless binding results:
- Fabric Selection: Choose a fabric for your binding that complements or contrasts with the main fabric. Ensure that the binding fabric is compatible in weight and drape to maintain a balanced and cohesive look.
- Cutting on the Bias: For more flexibility and ease of application, consider cutting the binding fabric on the bias. Bias binding conforms better to curves and rounded edges, resulting in smoother and neater finishes.
- Pinning or Clipping: Use pins or fabric clips to hold the binding in place before stitching. This ensures even distribution and prevents shifting or puckering during the sewing process.
- Careful Corner Work: When reaching corners or curves, take extra care to create clean mitered corners or use appropriate techniques for smoother binding application.
Binding is a versatile and essential technique in the sewing world, providing a polished and durable finish to the edges of garments, bags, and quilts. Whether using single-fold or double-fold binding, this technique adds both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your projects. Embrace the art of binding, select the appropriate method for your project, and elevate the quality and professionalism of your finished creations. With flawless binding, your sewing projects will stand out with impeccable edge finishes and lasting durability.