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How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial for continuous bias tape, but this one or this one for strips are also quite good.

2. To begin the folding process
      a. start by spraying some water on the left side
      b. pass it through the bias tape maker
      c. iron the two sides as best you can. It won't be great, but just a bit
      d. put the piece of cardboard over the right side, so that the bias tape is underneath the cardboard

3. Once this first step is done:
     a. ensure the left side of the strip is wet
     b. pass some more tape through the bias tape maker
     c. turn the cardboard, such that the bit of tape you ironed in step (2) is on top of the cardboard, and the bit of tape you just passed through the tape maker is underneath. Make sure the sides of the tape that's underneath the cardboard are properly folded.
     d. iron the top of the cardboard throughly; this effectively means in step 3 you are directly ironing the bit of bias binding you passed through the maker in step 2; the bias binding in (3b) is underneath the cardboard - it's still getting heat from the iron, but less of it.

4. Rinse and repeat step 3.

Remember, you will always be ironing the bias tape you passed through the bias maker the previous round, so bias binding will first be ironed through the cardboard and afterwards directly by the iron.

This allows you to fiddle with the (still wet) sides of the binding, then somewhat settle them by the cardboard & the iron and only afterwards iron completely.

There you have it. This method has been pretty reliable for me, because all the layers of bias binding get ironed multiple times. I did, however, find it a bit more difficult to attach the binding that store bought one - but nowhere near the horrible time I had the previous time I've done this.

Here's the finished, attached binding:


  1. thanks a lot for sharing this! I will try it because silk bias binding is hell :)

    1. Let me know how it goes. The key is to fold the sides underneath the cardboard - they'll stay in place enough to finish with the iron on the following step.

  2. It was great to meet you tonight! I look forward to no longer being a lurker of your blog!

    1. Indeed, it was great meeting you. I do hope you like it!

  3. This looks like an interesting technique, thanks for sharing it. I have book marked it for when I sew the pesky beautiful stuff ...

  4. Thank you for the very useful information. I am using the bias binding as appliqué - do I need to back it?

    1. I'd say that depends on the weight of the fabric, but backing appliques is usually a good idea. You should always try on a scrap of fabric first.

      I'd personally try to interface it by applying fusible interfacing in such a way that it seals the folds but doesn't show on the outside. Say you have a bias maker that makes 1" strips - I would cut the interfacing to be 0.75" in width, then fuse it to the back. You would need to machine stitch the applique anyway, but this should reinforce the folded part while still leaving the top flowy, so it can be used in creative ways.

      This is a good idea though, I think it would make a very nice embellishment.


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