Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sewing on Binding Tape or Fabric

A follower asked me to explain how I do the sewing on of binding tape.  I'm cheating here and using an old blog post which was done in 2013.  The method is the same whether using regular binding tape, wide binding tape or cotton.  

There are numerous ways to bind a rug and I have done several of them but not all. So far I have whipped with wool yarn, whipped with wool strips, wool covered cord, regular cotton binding tape, cotton and with this extra wide cotton binding tape. They have it in numerous colors but you need to buy the whole roll which can be costly unless you have a guild or other friends who would be willing to share the cost.

I only do this if there are no plans to enlarge the border or design.  The first thing I do before hooking is sew two rows of straight stitching and 1 row of zig zag stitching about 1 1/4" away from the edge of the design.  I do this because it is much easier to put this stay stitching in before the rug becomes cumbersome and heavy.  I like for the trimmed edge to be secure from fraying.  You may also notice that I mark the corners at an angle to reduce the bulk for when the corners are mitered.  That corner is also about 1 1/4" away from the design.
Next thing was to draw a line 1/4" away from the rug design; which would leave 1" beyond as the remaining foundation.  Actually, when using cotton fabric I leave a wider allowance for stability between the hooked piece and the binding.  

Next, lay the binding tape along that edge (yes, I'm using another design as an example as I hadn't anticipated doing this tutorial earlier.  Anyway, when butted up to the drawn edge I know that my 1/4" seam allowance will sew along the edge of the design and can hook up to the binding tape. Voila, part of the undesirable binding part of the work is already done.
Then you hook the rug, trim away the excess backing and mitre the corners of the backing.  
I sewed the binding tape to each side of the rug and extended a smidgen beyond the real dimensions of the rug at the corners so there would some excess, better to have a little binding extra than have it be too short.
Next the cotton binding is turned to the back and the corners mitered as well.  I play with it for a few moments, do some preliminary pinning and folding to see how much bulk I can afford to trim off.  Go SLOWLY, as you can always trim away more later, because if you trim off too much you may end up being short.  This photo shows where I'm folding.
Here you can see I have trimmed a little off to reduce the bulk in the corner when the cotton biding is mitered.
And here is what the one end looks like after mitering the corners and sewing down the one end.  
The other sides need to be stitched down and then the rug will get another steaming.  

FYI, there is probably numerous topics the new hookers might like to know. which have previously been discussed on my blog.  An easy way to see what I posted or if it was covered, scroll all the way up to the top left of my blog. There is a small window there working as a search engine.  You could easily research my blog by doing that yourself using basic wording.  To find this and other blog posts I typed in "sewing on binding tape" and several posts popped up for viewing.

Tomorrow I'll have my hooked rug to show you (I think).  Thanks for visiting and have a great evening.



  1. Hi Saundra,
    Thanks so much for sharing your version! I really am a visual person so it helps to not only read it but SEE IT!! I have read about this in some of my books but it just sounds difficult and hopefully your info will make it easy when the time comes!!! I truly appreciate your taking the time to re-post this!!!
    Hope you enjoy your rug hooking time!
    Heart Hugs~

  2. this looks like such an easy way to bind rugs...nut I never know ahead of time where my hooking will end...

  3. Great tutorial and I really do need to use binding, I think that is one reason my rugs start tearing at the edges.


  4. I have several ways of sewing my binding but I use mostly Gene Shepherd 's method. Your tutorial is very clear. Thanks.

    Hugs, Julia

  5. Well, doesn't that look easy! I could send you my rugs and you could bind them to practice your


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