What's the Difference Between Binding and Facing?

Item # X-HT-300170
Side by side comparison of bias binding and straight cut facing trim

Compare the folds and cut of the bias binding on the left and the straight cut facing on the right

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 the two lines. 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 two trims.


Binding sold at Sailrite

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. Bias binding is the most common type because fabric cut on the bias will easily curve to accommodate the corners and curves of the projects. The raw edges of binding are 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.


Facing sold at Sailrite

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.

Whichever trim is best for your project, you can find a great selection of both binding and facing right here at Sailrite.