Bias Tape – Sew On or Fusible Edging
Bias tape, or bias binding, is a narrow strip of fabric that is cut on the bias (diagonally across the grain at a 45 degree angle). The strip's fibers make it stretchier than if it were cut on the grain. It is used in making piping, binding seams, appliqué projects, and finishing the edges of quilts, placemats, and around armholes/necklines instead of a facing. It can also be used as a simple finished strap or tie.
Types of Bias Tape
Single fold has each raw edge folded in toward the center, wrong sides together, and is pressed.
Double fold is single-fold that has been folded in half and pressed, with the single folds to the inside.
Iron-on (fusible) eliminates the need for cutting, folding, or pinning. This is often used for appliqué or quilting projects.
Differences Between Twill Tape and Bias Tape
- Twill tape is a strong woven fabric tape, much like a ribbon. Twill tape is most often used to reinforce seams and reinforce button holes.
- Bias tape is sewn around the edge of a garment to give it a finished edge. It is more flexible, and not as strong.
- Bias tape is meant to be seen as a decorative edging or to make an edge look cleaner, twill tape is used as a utility to strengthen a garment.
How to Sew With Bias Tape
There are many ways to sew with bias tape, each method is based on personal preference. Here are some things to remember:
- There will always be one side that is larger than the other on bias tape. The larger side goes on the "wrong side" or the side of your project that will not be seen as much.
- Sewing along the creases of the tape will make for clean edges.
- Both single fold and double fold bias tape can be used for edging, piping, and hemlines
Sewing with Single Fold
- Single fold bias tape can be sewn right out of the package.
- Take the wider side of the tape and pin it to the "wrong side" of your fabric so that the middle crease lines up with the edge of your fabric.
- Sew along the inside crease line, cheating more to the outside of your fabric.
- Unpin and wrap the bias tape around to the right side and pin it down.
- Carefully sew along the folded edge and unpin.
Sewing with Double Fold
- There are two ways to sew with double fold bias tape. The easiest way is to take the bias tape out of the package and pin it (larger side on the "wrong side") with the center crease lined up with the edge. Simply sew along the edge.
- This way is a lot messier than other ways, as you will not be able to see whether you are sewing through all sides of material
- Open up the wider edge of your bias tape and pin it "right side" down with edges lined up.
- Sew along the crease.
- Fold the tape back up and wrap around your project. The center crease should be lined up with the edge of your project.
- Pin it down and sew it up the same way as with single fold tape.
Iron-On or Fusible
Clover makes a line of iron on bias tapes called Quick Bias that require no sewing. Simply wrap the fusible tape around the edge of your project and iron it on.
- Bias tape will "bend" to a curved edge without puckering or warping.
- It cleans up any raw edges on your project.
- It is a pre-made hem that just needs to be attached and sewn to a project.
- Can add a decorative punch to otherwise boring edges.
Bias Tape Makers
You can buy bias tape makers or fusible tape makers. You are able to combine the fabric type of your chose with fusible web (for iron-on) and iron-instant bias tape in minutes.Both electric and manual tools are available that can help you to make your own.
Standard Widths for Bias Tape
Single fold - ½"
Wide Single fold - 7/8"
Double fold - ¼"
Extra wide double fold - ½"
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