How to Sew Cording

By Emily Weller ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Cording
  • Bias tape (or fabric to cut into bias tape)
  • Fat quarter (22 inches by 18 inches) of fabric
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Matching thread
  • Piping foot
  • Sewing machine
Piped cording adds a decorative touch to pillows.

Cording adds a decorative touch to upholstered cushions, pillows and blankets. You can also add cording to the hem of a skirt or along the button placket of a shirt. You normally cover the cording in fabric, known as piping, before attaching it to garment or decorative object. Sewing piped cording requires a special foot for your sewing machine. You will also need bias tape, which you can buy at a fabric store or make yourself by cutting strips of fabric on a diagonal.

Wrap the measuring tape around the width of the cording to determine its thickness. You want the bias tape to be the thickness of the cording plus one inch in order to cover it completely.

Cut fabric for bias tape into strips on the diagonal, if you are making your own piping. Each strip should be the width of the cording plus one inch. Sew the ends of the strips together to create one long strip of fabric.

Fold the bias tape over the cording. The right side of the tape should face out.

Place the piping foot on your machine. Position the cording so that it is on the left side of the needle. Lower the needle into the bias tape and sew along the edge of the cording, securing the piping in place.

Position the covered piping along one short edge of the fat quarter of fabric. You want the part of the piping that does not have the cord in it to line up with the edge of the fabric while the cord faces into the fabric.

Place the piping and fabric under the needle of your sewing machine. Your machine's needle should be to the right of the cording. Lower the needle into the piping and fabric and begin to sew along the edge.

To turn a corner with the cording, cut several small slits into the piping, cutting up against (but not through) the cording, starting about a half-inch away from the corner. Continue to sew the piping in place. Turn the fabric gently when you get to the corner.

When you have reached the end of your cording, remove it from the sewing machine and press the cording so that it faces out from the fabric. Position the fabric under your needle again. The cording should be to the right of the needle now. Sew directly next to the cording to strengthen it.

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.