How to Make & Install Bias Piping
Piping cord is a classic decorative element on the edges of pillows, cushions and upholstery pieces. Premade piping is available in some fabrics. Braided piping and lipcord are also options, but a more common trim is piping that matches the fabric you’re using. Making custom piping is a great basic sewing skill to learn.
You can cut straight strips of fabric for your piping, but today we’re going to show you how to cut on the bias. The bias is a 45-degree angle through the warp and weft threads of a fabric. While cutting bias piping might seem more complicated, it’s really pretty simple and is much easier to sew with. Cutting along the bias makes your piping take curves easier and, in general, provides an overall cleaner look than straight-cut piping. Also, fabric cut on the bias doesn’t fray.
Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and acrylic ruler makes the process of cutting your bias strips quick and easy. Both the cutting mat and the acrylic ruler have lines at a 45-degree angle to help you find the bias. Plus, using the ruler as your guide when you cut the fabric helps you get a nice straight line.
This video teaches you how to cut fabric strips on the bias, join them together and sew them into piping. It will also demonstrate how to sew the piping on a cushion, how to attach it to an upholstered chair and how to cleanly join the piping ends together.
- Cutting Bias Strips — 0:26 min.
- Joining Bias Strips — 2:21 min.
- Sewing Strip Over Cording — 4:40 min.
- Stapling Cording on Chair — 5:47 min.
- Sewing Cording on Cushion — 7:50 min.
- Materials List — 9:35 min.
- Decorative Fabric of Your Choice
- Polyester Braided Piping 3/16" (#106730)
- Cardboard Upholstery Tack Strip 1/2" (#106420)
- Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm (#9655)
- Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat 18" x 24" (#102990)
- Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
- Multiuse Pins 1-1/2" (250 pack) (#102985)
- Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS Walking Foot Sewing Machine (100-230V) (#300500)
- Sailrite® Short Nose Upholstery Staple Gun (#121410)
This blog was updated in March 2023 to reflect changes to Ultrafeed naming conventions.