Facing, Straight Cut Binding or Bias Binding — Which Do I Choose?
Side by side comparison of bias binding (tan), straight binding (white) and facing (blue) trims.
If you’re looking for the perfect finishing touch to give your sewing project a professional edge, binding or facing might be just what you’re looking for. When you glance at our selection of binding and facing options, it can be hard to distinguish the differences between all of the options. Binding and facing were made with different intentions but there is a bit of overlap, too. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences of these trims.
Binding is used to finish raw edges of fabric for a clean, polished look. It can be used in a variety of projects, including snap-in marine flooring mats (left) and totes and other bags (right).
Binding is a strip of fabric designed to fold around the raw edge of a fabric application to finish the edge. It can be cut in one of two ways: straight, down the length of the fabric, or on the bias, a 45-degree angle across the fabric. Binding is either centerfold, which means it comes pre-folded for easy wrapping around your unfinished edge, or flat, which needs to be folded before application. Regardless of which style you’re using, we recommend using a Sailrite® Swing-Away Binder to sew binding, especially around gentle outside curves. This sewing machine attachment will keep your binding folds even and ensure you sew through both the front and back of the binding through your material.
Bias Binding: Bias binding is the most common type of binding. Because it is cut on an angle from the original fabric, the result tends to be stretchier, making it easier to accommodate curves and corners. The fabric edges are folded inward and glued, so you cannot open them. Bias binding will have splices along the length of the material where the manufacturer has joined the cuts of fabric. This is completely normal and to be expected.
The raw edges of binding are often folded under to create a finished edge when the binding is installed. The binding we offer at Sailrite is available in widths ranging from 3/4 inch to 1-1/4 inches.
Straight Binding: Straight binding is cut along the length of the fabric. As such, it has only as much stretch as the original fabric and is less suitable for curved edges. We recommend straight binding for long, straight fabric edges that don’t have much curvature.
Sewing strips around the perimeter of a boat enclosure panel is a popular application for 2-inch facing.
Facing, on the other hand, is typically installed flat against a project to trim around marine window enclosures or to reinforce edges for the installation of zippers or fasteners. It is usually 2 inches wide and features an uneven fold on the back side. One edge is folded over 1 inch to accommodate fastener installation, while the other side is folded over only 1/2 inch. The wider width of facing prevents it from taking curves neatly; therefore, all facing is straight cut.
However, facing can be used as a binding if you’d like. Many customers want the wider look of a 2-inch binding and use the facing for this application. To meet this trend, Sailrite carries a 2-inch binder attachment for our sewing machines that will fit our 2-inch facing and help you easily install it as binding.