Sewing Glossary

Understanding Bias Binding: (12 Tips to Sew Bias Binding)

March 20, 2023 by

In this guide, we’ll be diving into everything you need to know about bias binding in sewing.

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Table of Contents

What is Bias Binding in Sewing?

Bias binding is a strip of fabric cut on the bias (45 degree angle to the grainline).

This type of binding is often used for finishing raw edges on garments, as it has a bit of give and can therefore hug curves nicely. It can also be used for decorative purposes, such as creating piping.

To make bias binding, you’ll need a fabric that’s at least double the width of your desired finished binding (plus seam allowance). Cut the fabric on the bias, then fold it in half lengthwise and press. Open up the folded strip and fold each raw edge to the center crease, then press again. Now, use a straight stitch or zigzag stitch to sew along both long edges of the binding strip. Finally, trim away any excess fabric and press once more.

Now you’re ready to finish those raw edges! Simply thread your bias binding through a bias tape maker (or make your own), then iron it in place. Voila! You’ve just added a beautiful finishing touch to your project.

bias binding example

What is Bias Binding Used For?

Bias binding is a type of binding that is used to finish the edges of fabrics. It is made from strips of bias fabric, which are cut on the bias grain. The bias grain is at a 45 degree angle to the straight of the fabric. This makes the bias binding flexible and able to stretch. Bias binding can be used to finish the edges of quilts, garments, and other sewing projects.

When Do You Need to Sew Bias Binding?

As a general rule, you should sew bias binding any time you need to finish raw edges on a garment or other item. This includes necklines, armholes, and hemlines. Bias binding can also be used to finish seams.

There are two main types of bias binding: single-fold and double-fold.

Single-Fold Bias Binding

Single-fold bias binding is folded in half lengthwise and then sewn to the edge of the fabric.

Double-Fold Bias Binding

Double-fold bias binding is first folded in half lengthwise, then each long side is folded in toward the center again, creating a finished binding that is twice as wide as single-fold bias binding.

Both types of bias binding have their own advantages and disadvantages. Single-fold bias binding is less bulky and is a good choice for curved edges. Double-fold bias binding is more durable and can be used to cover raw edges on straight or curved edges.

When deciding which type of bias binding to use, consider the thickness of the fabric, the shape of the edge, and the amount of wear and tear the finished item will see.

Bias binding is a versatile finishing technique that can be used on a variety of different projects. With a little practice, you’ll be able to sew perfect bias binding every time!

How to Sew Bias Binding (Tips)?

  1. Chalk the fabric where you desire to sew the bias binding.
  2. Then cut fabric strips on the bias, at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the fabric. 
  3. Just rotate the folded fabric so that the folded edge is parallel to your cutting mat rulers.
  4. Using your straight edge and rotary cutter, then cut perpendicular (90 degrees) to the folded edge to create your strips.
  5. Connect short strips together at ends if you need longer strips.
  6. Trip excess seam allowance
  7. Simply Pin the bias binding to the fabric
  8. The need is to sew lengthwise the crease of the bias binding. 
  9. Press the binding over the seam allowance with low iron.
  10. Fold the bias binding over to the other side of the fabric.
  11. Iron the seam to flatten it.
  12. Lastly, simply sew along the other edge of the bias binding.

Now you’re ready to fold, press, and sew according to your pattern’s instructions!

To further explore how to sew with bias binding, we also recommend this video by Tilly:

Final Remarks

Bias binding is the best way to finish the binding and is often the cleanest and most neat technique to cover raw edges.