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Bias Tape Sizing ID Chart

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There you stand in the fabric store, staring at that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, the shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You study your Sew4Home Sizing ID Chart and get exactly what you really need.

Here are the basic facts about the six most common types of bindings.

Single fold bias tape

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This is the flat bias trim with both edges folded in. It finishes at ½" and usually requires stitching along both edges... similar to applying ribbon. It's normally used for trim, casings and narrow facings.

Extra wide single fold bias tape

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Just like the single fold above, but this bias trim finishes at 1". Like its skinny cousin, it usually requires stitching along both edges and is most often used for trim, casings, facings and hems.

Double fold bias binding

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This is basically the single fold bias tape from above, folded in half. It's almost always used as an edge finish or to create ties. It finishes at ¼".

Extra wide double fold bias binding

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You're noticing a pattern by now, I'll bet. The extra wide double fold, is the extra wide single fold, folded in half. It finishes at ½", and as above, is most often used as an edge finish or for ties. This is one of our favorites for simple bindings, such as around a placemat or hotpad or even as edging for a bag flap.

Quilt binding

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We like to think of this as extra-extra wide double fold bias binding. Quilt binding finishes at ⅞". Use it to finish the edges of fabrics with bulk, like fleece blankets or, as the name implies: quilts.

Blanket binding

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This type of binding is simply folded once, in half, finishing at approximately 2".  Most folks choose this for finishing fleece blankets or replacing worn blanket binding. It's almost always satin so it creates that wonderfully smooth bound edge kids love to rub across the bridge of their noses when they suck their thumbs.

There you have it. Now... step up to that bias tape display with confidence!

If you like these little helpful tips and tricks, you may also like our Sew4Home Sewing Cheat Cards. Each card covers an important, need-to-know sewing tip or technique in a handy business card size: 2” wide x 3½” high. You can download a set for yourself and all your sewing friends instantly from our Sew4HomeShop on EtsyThe Six Cards cover the following topics:

  • How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine Needle for the Job
  • How to Read a Tape Measuring Down to 1/16”
  • How to Convert Yards to Inches or Centimeters
  • How to Draw a Perfect Circle
  • How to Identify The Most Common Straight Line Shapes
  • How to Create Hexagons, Pentagons, Triangles, Stars & More with Common Angles


Comments (6)

Callye said:
Callye's picture

I’ve noticed that the width of the prepackaged binding is slightly wider on one side.  Should I sew the wider side first, then fold thinner side over and sew a second seam?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Callye - you're right - one side is slightly wider. It depends on how you use the binding. If just slipping over the edge, place the wider side on the bottom so when you stitch close to the edge on top, you will be sure to catch the fold of the tape on the bottom. If stitching and wrapping, you stitch the narrow side down first, and then when you flip it over to do the final topstitching, you will be assured of catching the wider fold in your seam line. For more details, you can check out our full tutorial on making your own bias binding:

RustyL said:
RustyL's picture

I do appreciate the explanations here; I had been wondering about these.  I have a question: if the blanket binding is just folded in half, how does it get sewn in without a raw edge showing?

Thanks so much for all the sewing ideas and stuff you provide!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@RustyL -- Similarly to how you would work with a quilt binding, you can use the blanket binding folded, stitching it to the raw edge of the blanket, and then wrapping it around and stiching in the ditch to secure. That would produce a narrower, doubled finished edge -- super soft. Or if you want the widest width possible, you'd need to either slip it over the raw edge and use a tight zig zag or overcast stitch to secure. Or, you could fold under the raw edges of the satin and stitch it that way with a normal straight stitch. 

Kathleen Ann said:
Kathleen Ann's picture

Thanks for the detailed explanations. Was there also supposed to be a bias tape chart in this post? Unless the ads are covering it up, I don't see it.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kathleen Ann -- Sorry for the confusion. "ID Sizing Chart" is simply what we called the article itself. There isn't a separate printable. But, there is a link at the end of the article to our Cheat Card series available in our Etsy shop. We don't have a bias tape cheat card, but there are six interesting cards you can download.