Sewing & Pattern making Terms

Bound seams

In sewing, “bound seams” refer to a finishing technique used to enclose and reinforce raw fabric edges in a neat and durable manner. It involves attaching fabric strips or bias binding to the seam allowances, covering the raw edges and creating a clean, finished look.

Here’s what you need to know about Bound Seams:

  1. Purpose: Bound seams serve multiple purposes. They prevent fabric fraying, add strength to seams, and provide a polished appearance to the garment’s interior. Bound seams are particularly useful when working with lightweight or delicate fabrics that may unravel easily.
  2. Fabric strips or bias binding: Bound seams are created by attaching fabric strips or bias binding to the raw edges of the seam allowances. The fabric strips can be cut from the same fabric as the garment or contrasting fabric for decorative purposes. Bias binding, cut on the bias of the fabric, is often preferred as it allows for more flexibility and easier application on curved or angled seams. I normally cut my bias 3 cm (1 3/16 in) wide.
  3. Variations: There are different variations of bound seams, such as single-fold or double-fold binding. Single-fold binding involves folding the fabric strip once over the raw edge, while double-fold binding involves folding it twice, creating a clean finish on both sides of the seam. The choice of binding method depends on the desired look and fabric thickness.

How to create a Bound Seam?

To create a bound seam, the fabric strip or bias binding is first folded in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. It is then aligned with the raw edge of the seam allowance and stitched in place (usually around 0,5 cm | 3/16 inches from the edge) using a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch close to the folded edge.

The binding is then folded over the raw edge, encasing it completely, and stitched down on the right side of the fabric, typically using a straight stitch (edge stitch).

Finishing touches

Once the bound seam is stitched down, any excess binding can be trimmed to create a neat and even edge. Secure the bias by edge stitching along the seam. Pressing the seam after stitching helps set the binding and gives a professional finish.

Bound seams are commonly used in garments where the inside finish is as important as the outside appearance. They are frequently employed in lingerie, fine garments, and areas of the garment that are exposed or subject to stress.

By using bound seams, seamstresses can achieve a clean and professional finish, protect the fabric from fraying, and enhance the overall durability and appearance of the garment.

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Melissa Villegas
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