How to Make Your Own Piping

Piping decorates the edges of pillows, cushions, chairs and other upholstered pieces. While pre-made piping (also known as welting) is available, sometimes to get the best match for your fabric it is helpful to make it yourself. Making piping is a simple process and the finished product will be a lovely accent to any upholstered project.

4 Steps to Custom Piping

1. Choose the size piping cord to use. The bigger the piping, the more it will stick out from the project, so this is really an aesthetic choice. Then, based on the size of the piping and the desired seam allowance, decide how wide to cut strips of fabric. In the video, we use a 5/32” piping cord and cut strips of 1-1/4” for plenty of room to sew.

2. Cut fabric strips. Strips of fabric can be cut either straight across the fabric or along the bias. The bias is fabric cut at a 45-degree angle. To find it, lay the fabric out flat with the right-side facing up. Take one corner and fold it over so it is flush with the selvage edge of the fabric. Crease the fold and use this as a guide for creating your 1-1/4” strips. Cutting along the bias is more labor intensive, but generally looks nicer and bends around corners better.

3. Join fabric strips. Be sure to match up stripes or patterns from piece to piece for a continuous look. Fabric can be sewn together straight across or at a right angle to minimize bulging stitches. Trim off the excess fabric. Both methods are shown in the video.

4. Sew piping. Lay the piping cord in the center of the fabric strip and fold the fabric over so the raw edges are lined up with each other. Run a row of stitches as close to the cord as possible. It is recommended to use a welting foot on your sewing machine. The Sailrite Ultrafeed Sewing Machines come standard with a welting tunnel on the foot. If you need a cording/welting foot for another Sailrite machine, you can get one here.

If you have a hard time getting the welting cord to lay straight, try dipping it in boiling water for about 15-30 seconds and then laying it out straight. This is a great way to remove the kinks. You can see how it works here.

Now you’re ready to attach the piping to your material!


Have you ever made your own piping before? Share your pictures with us! Get all the materials to make your own welting at

  1. Love this blog!! I had no idea it existed until I got an email.

    • Nikki said:

      Welcome! Glad you like it! :)

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