Do you want to make an eye-catching and luxurious update to your furniture or couches? Upholstery piping could be the answer! Whether you are a beginner at sewing or a professional upholsterer, if you want to learn how to make piping for upholstery then this guide is for you. Everything from understanding what upholstery piping is, gathering the right materials and cutting the piping, to basting the piping and completing a finished project will be covered. Follow along to learn more about this skillful and stylish craft, and start creating stunning pieces of furniture that will add elegance to your home.
Upholstery Piping Basics and Materials
Upholstery piping is a great way to add a unique and stylish finish to your furniture. Creating upholstery piping requires gathering the right materials, careful preparation, and precision during the construction process. In this guide, we’ll be discussing the basics of upholstery piping, looking at the materials you’ll need, and then showing you step-by-step how to create your own upholstery piping to give your piece of furniture the perfect look. Get ready to create upholstery piping like a pro!
Understanding Upholstery Piping
Upholstery piping refers to the addition of fabric-covered cord or piping that adds a decorative effect to furniture and other home items. It is commonly used on the edges of furniture, including chairs, sofas, ottomans, and headboards, to give them a finished, polished look. The piping is typically applied before the finished upholstery is put in place.
The type of fabric used for upholstery piping varies depending on personal preference, but typically includes cotton, silk, velvet, and other woven fabrics. Generally, a strong and versatile batting is used that can resist movement, stretching, and abrasion, while maintaining its shape and form over time. Cotton cord or piping is usually preferred for its strength, durability, and flexibility.
The process for installing upholstery piping requires precision and accuracy, and typically begins by measuring the perimeter of the item being upholstered. The cord or piping is then cut to the proper length and the appropriate length of fabric is cut to the desired width. The fabric is then stitched together and placed over the cord or piping, with the edges of the fabric tucked in and secured on the ends. The piping is then basted between two pieces of fabric and a permanent stitch is used to secure it in place. Finally, any excess fabric is trimmed off and the upholstery piping is complete.
Gathering the Right Materials for Upholstery Piping
Before starting an upholstery piping project, it’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary materials. The materials you need can vary based on the project, but the list below covers the basics:
Piping and cord are the two main materials needed for upholstery piping. Piping is fabric-covered foam or cotton wrapped around a cord. It helps to create a more refined and finished look for upholstery projects. Pick a piping that complements the color, texture, and pattern of the fabric for the most cohesive look possible. The cord should be stiff enough to hold the piping shape, yet flexible enough to bend around curves.
The fabric should be the same type used for the upholstery project, or a fabric that complements it. Avoid lightweight fabrics that are too soft or flimsy to hold a strong shape, as the piping could lose its shape over time.
Thread is used to bind the piping, cord, and fabric together. Choose a thread that’s strong and thick enough to easily sew through the layers of the project. A fine, strong thread such as polyester or nylon is often recommended.
The needle and pins are used to attach the piping and fabric. Choose a needle that’s long and narrow, with a sharp point and large enough eye to fit your thread. Pins come in various sizes, depending on how much fabric needs to be held together at once.
Finally, scissors, an iron, and an ironing board are essential for preparing the piping and fabric for sewing. Choose durable scissors for cutting the fabric, piping, and cord. The iron is used to press the fabric and create seams in the right places. Using the iron is especially useful when creating corners or intricate designs in upholstery piping.
Gathering all the right materials is the first step toward creating a successful upholstery piping project. Without it, the project could end up lacking the desired look or outcome. Make sure you have all the items you need before you start.
Preparing for Upholstery Piping
Before you can start creating upholstery piping, it’s important to make sure you have the right materials and have cut everything to the right size. Taking the time to prepare your project in advance will help ensure that you don’t run into any issues once you begin the upholstery process. We’ll show you how to measure and cut the piping and cording, edge the fabric, and prepare your sewing machine for the job. With our help, you’ll soon have everything you need to get your project underway.
Cutting the Piping and Cording
Once you have all the materials needed to make upholstery piping, you can start to prepare for cutting the piping and cording. The main parts are the piping (the cord sewn into a tube, usually made of cotton, linen, or leather) and the cording (the same twisted cord used in other needlework projects). To determine how much of each you need, start by measuring the circumference of the area where the piping will be applied. Then, measure the width of the piping to be used, and multiply that by two. This will be the length of cording required for one run of piping.
To begin cutting your piping and cording, you’ll need the following tools:
* Fabric scissors
* Sewing machine
* Piping foot
* Seam ripper
Start by laying out your fabric in a single layer. Measure the length of piping you need and cut the cording according to your measurements. Mark each end of the cording with a piece of tailor’s chalk. Place the cording between the layers of your fabric, over the marked chalk lines, and pin in place. Cut the fabric around the cording to the desired length and sew it on with a piping foot, creating the tube of piping.
Next, use an iron to press the seam allowance of the piping towards the cording. This will help create a crisp edge. Using scissors, trim off any excess fabric from the piping seam. Finally, use a seam ripper to remove any loose threads. Your piping is now ready to be used in whatever project you are creating.
Edging the Fabric
When it comes to edging the fabric for upholstery piping, it’s important to know the different types of fabric edging. The most common is bias tape or bias binding. This type of tape or binding is folded diagonally and is used for a neat and tailored look. Fusible tape is also commonly used. This type of tape has adhesive on one side and is applied to the fabric edging to make it easier to work with.
Another way to edge fabric is with French binding, which is more suited to curved edges than bias tape. French binding is sewn directly to the fabric and creates a finished edge. It’s also often used with shorter edges, such as cording.
Finally, some fabrics may require a rolled edge. This is done by folding the fabric over itself and stitching it down. A rolled edge creates a clean and simple finish, but it isn’t suitable for curves or corners.
Once the type of edging has been decided, it’s time to finish the fabric. It’s important that the fabric is cut cleanly and that all the edges are straight. This can be done with an iron and scissors to ensure that the edges are crisp and tidy. The fabric should then be pinned into place and the edging should be tacked down with a few stitches. This will help keep the edging in place while you attach it to the upholstery piping.
Creating Upholstery Piping
Creating upholstery piping can be a challenging but rewarding project. In this section, we will learn the steps needed to bring your fabric and piping together, to create an attractive and enduring result that can be enjoyed for years to come. We will look at techniques such as basting and edging fabric, as well as how to use the right materials. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to putting the finishing touches to your upholstery project!
Basting the Piping in Place
Before you can sew the upholstery piping on the fabric, you must first baste the piping in place. To do this, start by laying the fabric face-down on a flat surface and place the piping onto the fabric with the right side facing up. Make sure the piping is placed so it lays evenly along the edge of the fabric. Use weights or pins to keep the piping in place.
Once the piping is in place, you will use a needle and thread to baste it together. Here are some tips to keep in mind when basting the piping in place:
- Use a heavy thread, such as upholstery thread, for basting the piping on.
- Start basting the piping at one end and work your way down. Make sure to baste tightly so the piping does not move.
- When basting, make sure to catch the edge of the piping cord and the fabric with each stitch.
- Use small, even stitches so the finished product is neat and professional-looking.
Once you’ve secured the piping in place with basting stitches, you’re ready to sew the piping onto the fabric. You can use a sewing machine or hand sew the piping onto the fabric. Start sewing at the middle point, and work your way to the ends. Sew slowly and make sure the fabric and piping are laying nice and flat as you go.
Sewing the Piping onto the Fabric
Sewing the piping onto the fabric requires precision and patience. The technique requires using a zipper foot for the sewing machine if available, but for beginners a normal foot works just as well. The trick is to make sure the cord is snugly in the fabric covering. First, fold the fabric edge over the piping and begin stitching from the back side. Stitch the cord in place up along the full length of the piping and then back to the beginning. It’s important to make sure the cord is snugly along the entire route of stitching. Here is a list of tips to remember when sewing the piping onto the fabric:
- Set the stitch-length to a very short length
- Make sure the cord is kept taut while stitching
- Begin stitching at the back-side of the work
- Check to make sure stitching is even
- Keep pressure on foot evenly
Once the stitching is practiced and perfected, the material may need to be re-basted here and there to adjust the cord’s look and fitment. It’s also suggested to ‘whip-stitch’ or hand-stitch the last stitch or two to add strength to the seam. If you’re using a zipper foot on your machine, this last step is not necessary. Don’t forget to check for any loose ends or frayed stitches all along the way, as these can create bumps in the finished material, making it look imperfect.
Fixing Common Issues with Upholstery Piping
Upholstery piping can be tricky to sew onto a piece of fabric, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few simple steps, you can prevent and fix any common issues that may arise. Here are the most common issues you might encounter when working with upholstery piping, and how to fix them:
- Fabric slipping from the cord: This is a common issue that can occur if the fabric isn’t securely grasped onto the cord when zigzagging the edges. To prevent this from happening, make sure there is an ample amount of thread being used and tighten the tension dial. You can also use small clips or pins to secure the fabric to the cord before sewing.
- Sewing machine having difficulty going through the thickness: The thickness of fabric and piping can cause problems in a standard-size domestic machine. To fix this, you can raise the presser foot or lower the feed dogs. This will give you more room to move the cord under the presser foot. If problems persist, switch to a thicker thread that can handle the pressure more easily, or use a walking foot attachment.
- Thread breaking: Broken thread can easily happen when working with thick material. To avoid this, use a thicker thread and increase the tension. You may also need to use a metal needle instead of the standard plastic one, as the metal needle will keep the thread from getting tangled.
With these tips, you can avoid and fix any common issues when working with upholstery piping. Take the time to make sure everything is secure before beginning the sewing process, and you’ll be sure to have a successful project.
Finishing the Upholstery Piping
When it comes to upholstery piping, the finishing touches are just as important as the steps that preceded it. The good news is that these final steps are relatively simple and straightforward and can help to give your completed project a quality, finished look. With the right preparation and know-how, these small tasks will tidy up your project and make it look like a professional job. In this section, we’ll explore the basics of completing upholstery piping, from cleaning up threaded edges to hemming the fabric and completing the final project.
Cleaning Up Excess Threads and Edges
After you have finished stitching your upholstery piping in place, the next step is to clean up the excess threads and edges to ensure a clean, finished look. Here is a list of the materials you’ll need for this part of the project:
Start by gently cutting away any excess thread along the edges of the piping or cording. Making sure not to clip the cord or the piping itself, you’ll want to be sure that you are taking off as much thread as possible while leaving the fabric intact.
Once the excess thread has been cleared away, a seam ripper can be used to remove any leftover stitching. A tweezer can be used to pick out any excess yarn or thread that was missed during the first step of cutting away thread. Take care to avoid snagging the fabric as you go.
After all the excess thread has been removed, needles can be used to secure any remaining threads that may have been missed prior. Make sure to take your time and double check your work before moving onto the next step. When finished, your piping should be looking neat and clean.
Hemming the Pipping and Fabric
Hemming the piping and fabric is an important step in the upholstery piping process. It gives the piping edge a neat and clean finish. The first step is to clip off any excess piping cording if needed. This will make the next step easier. Next, fold the fabric and the cording towards the wrong side of the material – use an iron or a warm clothes steamer to get a nice crisp fold. Then use a straight stitch to secure the folded fabric and cording in place. This will also neatly roll the fabric to the underside. Finally, trim any excess fabric and cording from the edges of the fabric, making sure to keep the stitching even.
Once the fabric and piping cording are hemmed together, they should befinished with an edging stitch. Edging stitching is a decorative stitching used to join two fabric layers together. To finish the upholstery piping, zig zag stitch or a herringbone stitch can be used to add a nice decorative touch. Once the edging stitch is complete, the upholstery piping is finished and ready to be used in your project.
Completed Upholstery Piping Project
Once your upholstery piping project is complete, you can admire all of your hard work! Before you get too settled in and start patting yourself on the back, make sure to properly clean up the loose threads and trim off all of the excess material, so your project looks neat and presentable.
To finish your upholstery piping, you should pay special attention to the edges of the fabric. Any areas of the fabric that are now exposed due to the piping, need to be hemmed in order to secure the edges and reduce further fraying. Once that is done, take a step back and look at the project in its entirety. Any areas that have bulkiness should be addressed, as that can be an indication of poor piping alignment or unevenness in the stitching.
With any upholstery piping project, it’s important to complete it with an eagle-eye. Make sure no details have been overlooked and that you’ve done your best to ensure it will last for a long time. If you have done the best job you can and checked the project multiple times to make sure everything looks good and all necessary steps have been taken, you can be sure that your newly created upholstery piping will look great for a long time to come!