Wendy's Rug Binding Technique

- Wool covered cording -

This is a techinique that I use on almost all of my rugs. It's very fast and very easy to do. It gives a wonderful finish to your rug and also a nice protective edge for your outside loops of your rug.  The back of your rug will look nice and neat and all raw edges will be covered and protected. And the front side of your rug will look very professional.  I can easily bind a medium sized rug in just a couple of hours or so.  It just takes a little practice!

*** Click on pics for larger view ***

Zig zag edge of rug a couple times, just like you normally do.  I usually leave about 3/4" - 1".  Cut off excess foundation.

Measure the distance around your rug, and then add 6" - 12" extra.  EXAMPLE: A 2' x 3' rug would be 10 feet all the way around, and then add some excess on there. I would probably  make 11 feet of wool covered cording for a 2' x 3' rug.

I use cotton cording, generally about 1/4" in diameter for most projects. You can use larger cording for larger rugs, or rugs where you want more protection for your outside loops.  You can use narrower cording for small projects or small mats, etc.  Cut the cotton cording into the length you need, in my example for a 2' x 3' rug, you would cut your cording 11' feet long.

Tear a strip of wool approximately 2-1/2" - 3" in width into the length you need for your covered cording.  For our example, I will need 11' feet of wool for the length.  You may have to seam several pieces together to get to your length. If you do need to seam together, be sure to sew your seams on the diagonal. This will reduce the bulk at the seams.  TIP:  I bind in black wool most of the time. So I keep about 5 yards of black wool, all in one piece, just for binding.  So I can tear my entire length needed, without having to piece together to get my 11' feet. So I have NO seams in my wool covered cording.   If I don't use the entire length  of the strip....I just strip it on my cutter and hook it into a rug! No waste!!!! 

I have not found it absolutely necessary to do your wool strip on the bias.  I have no trouble doing curved rugs or corners with my wool cording on the straight of grain. But keep in mind - some plaids look really cool when they are cut on the bias and then cover your cord with them.  You will see the alternating colors of your plaid this way.  REALLY neat! 

At your sewing machine, put your zipper foot or cording foot onto your machine.  Either one will work just fine.  Take your long wool strip and fold it over by about a 1/3, over the cotton cording.  This will give your cotton cording a short seam allowance and a long seam allowance (see pics to the left).  Now sew with your zipper foot or cording foot, along that edge of cording as close as  you can, to form a piping (just like if you were sewing up piping for a pillow).  Sew the entire length of the wool strip and cording. 

The picture on the left shows a cording foot being used to make the wool covered cording. The picture on the right shows a regular zipper foot being used to make the wool covered cording. 


Here is what your long piece of wool covered cording should look like now.
Here is a close up picture of your wool covered cording.  Here you can see the enclosed cording up close at an end.
Using a carpet or VERY strong thread, hand sew the wool covered cording onto your rug.  Start about an inch or so in from the end of your cording (this makes it easier later on when you go to end your cording ends into each other).  Also, don't start sewing your cording on real close to a corner. I usually start in the middle of one of the sides, usually the bottom of my rug.  Sew it right up next to your last row of hooking.  Sew it as close as possible to that last row of loops.  And I mean CLOSE.....make your needle come up right at the edge of those last loops. If you are doing this correctly, you will not see any of your rug foundation on the right side of your rug when you are finished. 

MAKE SURE that when you are sewing this wool covered cording onto your rug, that you leave the longer seam allowance of your wool covered cording, so it will fold to the back when you're done and cover your raw edge of the rug foundation.  Once you get a few inches done, you will see how that longer side of your seam allowance, will fold to the back and will cover and hide your rug foundation's raw edge, as well as the shorter seam allowance of your wool covered cording. 

Here's a view from the other side of the wool covered cording, so you can see where my needle comes out on the other side.
Here's what the front side of your rug should be looking like at this point.  See how neat it's going to look when you're done??? 
Here I have worked my way around the rug a little, so you can see what it's looking like.  I have just rounded the wool covered cording around the corners.  See the next pics....
Here's the view from the top and you can see the long seam allowance on the wool covered cording in the picture.  Note: you can't see any of my foundatioin from this front side, because I have sewn that cording right up next to that last row of loops.
Here is a view from the top of the rug, so you can see how I just rounded right around the corners with my wool covered cording.  DO NOT pull your cording REALLY tight around the corners.  Give it a little ease and let it gently wrap around the corner. If you sew your wool covered cording around the corners really tight, you will make the corner of your rug pucker up. Just let the wool covered cording ease itself around that corner. 
I have now sewn all the way around my rug.  I am getting ready to end my wool covered cording into the beginning where I started. 

Cut JUST THE CORDING...NOT THE WOOL.... of your end.  See the picture!!!!  I usually leave the wool about 1" longer than the cording. You cut the cording so that it JUST meets the beginning edge of the cording.  See the next picture....

You can see that the end of the cording meets the beginning now.  I have left excess length of wool (about 1") and I'm going to use that wool to encase the beginning of my wool covered cording.  Then I continue hand sewing through all the layers of wool. So it becomes continuous cording on my rug.  See next picture.
Here is the finished end of my wool covered cording, attached to my rug.  See how the edge now looks like one continuous piece of wool covered cording??
Here's an even closer view for you!
Here's a view from the back, after I have just sewn the wool covered cording on to my rug.
Now take that long seam allowance on your wool covered cording, and fold it down onto the back side of your rug.  This should cover everything up!  (It should cover your raw edge of your rug foundation, as well as the shorter seam allowance of your wool covered cording)  Don't pull it real tight to the back side.  Fold it to the back so it just so it lays down on the back, without pulling your loops over on the front side.  I pin it all down at this point, then turn my rug over and make sure that I've not pulled it too tight to the back.
Here's a close up of a corner.  I just fold one side down, then fold the second side down to form a corner.  Make it look tidy!!!!!  Then just pin it in place. 
Now just whipstitch that long seam allowance down to the back side of your rug.  Again, I'm still using carpet thread.  No need to fold a seam allowance down for this....just lay that long seam allowance down onto the back side of your rug and whipstitch it down.   Then give your rug and it's new wool corded edge, a good steam pressing with  your iron (be sure to use a pressing cloth!).
Here's a view of the finished back side of my rug. 
Here's a close up view of the finished back side of my rug.  Doesn't that look really neat and tidy??
Here's a close up of a corner on the back side of the rug.
Here's a view of the front side of the finished rug.  The wool covered cording adds height to the edge, so it will protect your outside edge loops, when your rug is being walked on.
Here's a close up of a corner from the front side of the finished rug. 

Fun things to do with this type of binding:

I like to use plaids for this type of binding.  If you use a particular plaid in your rug, it's wonderful to cover your corded edge in the same plaid wool. Your rug will look coordinated and so professional!  Remember when using plaids for your wool covered cording....I like to cut those on the bias, so you will see the alternating colors of the plaid all around your rug on the corded edge.

Another fun thing to do, is to sew shorter strips of wools together to form your long wool piece that covers your cotton cording.  I did this on my "Garden Thyme" rug. I alternated between black and mustard wool, sewing the shorter strips together to form my one long strip.  then I covered my cording with that alternating wool strip.  Looks really neat!   Check out "Garden Thyme" to see an example of this!

- HOME PAGE of The Red Saltbox™ -

© 2003 The Red Saltbox™  These binding directions and pictures are protected by copyright.  All rights reserved.