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Haberdashery - What is Bias Binding?

Bias binding is a really useful Haberdashery item and can be used for finishing off arm holes, necklines, hems or used for casing for elastic amongst other things. Most dressmakers will understand what the word 'bias' means already but for those of you who don't here is a quick run down. Every piece of fabric has two edges to it and these are unfinished edges called the selvage. These edges run parallel to each other and if the fabric is a woven fabric you will see lines that run across and up and down the fabric. If you cut the fabric off at a 90 degree angle and then fold this in half diagonally, this creates a bias line which is 45 degrees from the selvage. If you cut along this angle, you are cutting along the bias. Patterns usually ask you to do this if you need a little stretch or give to your garment as when you pull your fabric across the bias rather than parallel to the selvage it has some stretch to it. Bias binding is created by cutting strips of fabric across the bias to make a tape. This tape then has enough stretch to it so that it can curve around corners and edges neatly.

Here at Calico Laine, the bias binding that we stock in our Haberdashery department is double fold bias which has pre folded edges and is ideal for finishing hems and necklines. Double fold bias sandwiches your fabric between two sides of bias tape to create a neat and crisp edge and can be used in a matching colour so that it is not too obvious or if you prefer, a complimentary colour to make the bias stand out on the garment.

Within our Haberdashery section online, bias binding is available to buy by the metre or in full rolls. It comes in three different finishes; cotton, polycotton and satin so that you can match the bias to the type of fabric you are using. The polycotton and cotton bias comes in two sizes; 16mm and 25mm and the satin bias is available in a size of 20mm. These bias bindings all come in plain colours.

If you are looking for bias binding to match your fabric exactly, you can make your own bias tape using a Haberdashery item by Prym; a bias binding maker. These come in three sizes with the biggest being 25mm. By cutting strips from your chosen fabric, you simply feed it into the binding maker and iron it as it comes out the other end to create a fold. This way, your tape will match perfectly.