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Binding 101

One benefit of running Bessie Pearl Binding Co for the last 8 years?  I know A TON about binding.  Like, way more than a normal person should, hah!  I’m not saying I know it ALL but I at least feel qualified to write this post and hopefully pass on this huge amount of information to others in hopes that it is helpful to them! 

Boho Rainbow Stripe

Let’s start with some basics: what is bias binding? 

Bias binding is binding that is cut on the bias, or the 45-degree angle.  Fabric is made of fibers that are woven together.  When you cut those fibers straight (sometimes referred to as “on the straight grain”) that is traditional binding.  Cutting them on the bias, or angle, creates bias binding.   

What's the different between bias quilt binding and bias tape? 

Over the years I’ve noticed that people use these terms almost interchangeably so here’s how I define them:  

Bias quilt binding is strips that are cut on the bias and then folded in half, from top to bottom.  Bias quilt binding has one finished edge and one unfinished edge.

Bloomberry Floral Bias Quilt Binding 

Bias tape is strips that are cut on the bias but then each unfinished edge is folded in towards the middle.  That will give you single fold bias tape.  Fold it in half again, from top to bottom, and you have double fold bias tape.  Double fold bias tape will have no unfinished edges.   

Pink Dress Stripe Double Fold Bias Tape

Why use bias instead of straight grain binding? 

Anything that is cut on the bias will have more ease or stretch to it than a fabric that is cut on the straight grain.  You come across this often when making clothing in bias cut skirts, or something with a curve like a neckline.  In quilting, we often try and avoid the bias, so our seams don’t stretch out and become wonky!  

However, there are benefits to using bias binding on your quilt.  

  1. It lasts longer!  Fibers cut on the bias are stronger, so your binding won’t wear out as quickly.  Have you ever looked at an old vintage quilt?  Often the binding shows the most wear and after all the hard work you’ve put into the quilt, you want it to hold up!  
  1. If you have a quilt with any type of curved edge, bias binding will stretch around the curves easily and give you a clean, professional finish.  


What do I use bias quilt binding for?   

Bias quilt binding is most commonly used for finishing quilts (obvious, but yes) and also covering inside seams of bags or garments. Hereare three easy projects you can finish with bias binding. 

What do I use bias tape for? 

Bias tape can be used for all of the projects mentioned above but is traditionally used in sewing clothes.  I also have lots of customers that use it for small projects like handtied bows, finishing off potholders or Christmas stockings.  Basically, anything that needs a raw edge covered!  I use mine a lot to add handing loops on my towels and even pulled some out one night to replace a broken handle on a trick-or-treat bucket! 

I hope this has been helpful and now you feel confident in your project that needs binding!  Grab some BP binding fromthe shop and don’t forget to sign up for your free label download!  Readhere all about how to print your own quilt labels.  Not sure what style binding you need?  I wrote a wholepost to help you pick the perfect binding! 

Coming soon – part 2!  I’ll show you how to sew on your bindings and easy ways to join the ends! 

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