What Is a Splice?
Have you noticed what looks like a seam in your fabric, binding or welting? Don’t worry — this is totally normal. The seam created where two pieces of material are joined together is what’s known as a splice. There are plenty of reasons a manufacturer would put a splice in any given length of material. We’re here to explain how and why.
Splicing happens with the manufacturer. It’s not something that happens to your fabric here at Sailrite®. We do our best wherever possible to avoid sending a splice in your order. However, it is impossible to say how frequently per yard there may be a splice. So if you’re ordering a large quantity of binding or welting especially, expect there to be splices.
Finding a splice in yards of fabric is rare, but it is more common in certain types of fabrics than others. For example, foam backed headliner from brands like Morbern® are known for having splices in the vinyl. In order to work around these splices, we recommend ordering up to 20% more material than you think you’ll need.
Manufacturers may join two ends of fabric together to accommodate defects in the material; this eliminates any holes, stains or other imperfections from the final roll.
When it comes to binding and welting, splices are inevitable. Both types of trim are made from bias-cut fabric. This means that, rather than cutting straight up the length of the fabric to create the trim, a manufacturer cuts the fabric into strips at a 45 degree angle, diagonally across the fabric. Because this results in shorter lengths of fabric, the pieces must be sewn together into a continuous strip to get the highest yard yield. Frequent splices are to be expected in any quantity of binding or welting.
When you’re sewing binding or welting with a splice onto a project, you don’t need to do anything differently. The material will still fit through a binder attachment, such as the Sailrite® Swing-Away Binders. Just feed the material through the binder and sew it on as normal.
For a more hands-on understanding of splicing in piping, see our blog on how to make your own bias-cut welting (#200665XHT). The manufacturer’s process is similar — so in the same places you would need to sew your own piping strips together, the manufacturer will join bias-cut lengths to get a whole roll of binding or welting.
There’s no way to anticipate where or in what quantity a splice will occur. The most important thing is to realize that splices are not mistakes or defects in your fabric or binding. We only carry first-quality fabrics and binding here at Sailrite. However, even first-quality fabrics will have a few flaws. If you have more questions regarding splices in fabric and binding, feel free to reach out to our customer support staff via phone, email or online chat. We’re always happy to answer customer questions and help you with all of your project needs.