Tag Archives: piping


Custom piping is a great way to give your cushion, pillow or chair a professional, finished look. It’s not hard to make, but it can be tricky to figure out how much extra fabric to order to accommodate the piping. Luckily, it’s not a complicated process (just two steps!) and we even have a chart to make things extra easy for you.

Determine the Piping Cord Length

The first step to determine how much fabric you’re going to need for custom piping is to determine how much piping you’ll need. You’ll want to know the measurement of the perimeter of your project. Then add a little extra, just to be on the safe side. This is the amount of piping cord you will order. At Sailrite, we have three sizes of piping cord to choose from: 5/32″, 6/32″ or 1/4″ diameters.

Determine the Fabric Amount

Once you know how many yards of piping you’ll need you can use this handy chart to determine how much extra fabric to order. This chart only displays approximations for the most common piping diameter, 5/32”. Fabric estimates would be greater for larger diameters. The chart displays how many yards of 5/32” piping 1 yard of fabric will create in both bias and straight cuts.

Cut 36″ Fabric: Bias 36″ Fabric: Straight 46″ Fabric: Bias 46″ Fabric: Straight 54″ Fabric: Bias 54″ Fabric: Straight
1-1/4″ wide 19 yards 23 yards 25 yards 31 yards 28 yards 35 yards

You can also use the Sailrite Fabric Calculator to help you plan your required fabric yardage for your next project. The Fabric Calculator will also offer suggestions for binding or piping measurements. You’ll notice that the calculations there are higher than in the chart above, but that’s because the Fabric Calculator assumes cutting 2” strips for piping.

Find everything you need at

Do you make custom piping for your projects? Do you have any tips or tricks of your own for ordering the right amount of extra fabric? Share your ideas in the comments!


Adding piping to the edge of a cushion or pillow project is a great way to take the style to next level. However, sewing piping on so it looks just right can take a little bit of practice. The aspect of sewing piping that we get questions about the most is how to join the ends together so the piping still looks nice. Today we’re going to go over our method for joining piping ends step-by-step.

This method is great for piping you make yourself with an outer fabric layer or for prefabricated piping like our deluxe vinyl piping that has an inner cord. The method for finishing the ends of decorative piping and lipcord is a little different.

How to Join Piping Ends


1. Since you want the piping to join at the backside of your cushion, start your piping at the back of the cushion plate about 2-3 inches past the center point. Leave 4-5 inches of piping unsewn (like a tail). This will make the piping easier to join at the end. Sew all the way around the cushion plate and stop just a few inches short of the center where you started.


2. Carefully peel back an inch or two of the covering on each piping end, cutting any seams or peeling apart glued fabric. The exposed piping cord should overlap when laid down.


3. Lay the cords side-by-side and as flat as possible. Snip both the piping cords (not the fabric covers) with one cut so that the ends will be completely flush with one another.

4. Trim away any excess fabric, so that when the fabric from one end of the piping is wrapped around the other the fabric will only overlap about a 1/2 inch.


5. Match the tails of the piping cord up as closely as possible and fold the longer fabric end over the other.


6. Sew the piping closed, making sure your stitches overlap with your initial stitches at both ends. Be sure to bar tack to lock your stitches in place.

And that’s it! Now you’ll have a nice subtle overlap at the back of your cushion and beautiful trim all around.


To learn more about adding piping to your project and to see this process on video, visit


In this 6th installment of the Learning to Sew Series we’re going to learn how to install piping. Piping adds a crisp, finished look to the edges of pillows and cushions. If you’re just joining the series, be sure to start at the beginning to get all caught up!

In today’s video you will learn:

  • • Where to Start Installing the Piping
  • • Where to Place the Stitches
  • • How to Sew Piping Around Corners
  • • How to Join Piping Ends


We use a prefabricated piping in this video, but you can also make piping yourself for a perfect match to your fabric. Learn how in this How to Make Your Own Piping post.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the Learning to Sew Series Finale, Part 7: How to Sew a Pillow.

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