How to Make Piping

Piping is one of the easiest things to make, and the only tools you need are a sewing machine and a zipper foot.

I'm using 1/8" shock cord, and 420D Robic in this example, but you can use grosgrain, or any other fabric, just keep in mind, you may need to use multiple layers of thinner fabric if you are trying to fit it on hardware with piping sliders.  

The instructions are pretty simple.
1. Cut the fabric to 1.5" wide x however long you need. Cut the shock cord to the same length.
2. Fold the fabric widthwise, and insert the cord into the fold.
3. Sew it! When sewing, make sure your stitching and foot are as close to the shock cord as your zipper foot allows, creating a tight channel.

This isn't just for hardware either. This can be used in any project where you want to add some rigidity to your project, like the top channel of ridgeline organizers (to prevent them from bunching up), bags, pockets and pouches to help them keep shape when empty, and even on cosmetic additions like the scales on this dragon tail stuff sack (I'm not saying it was used here.. but I'd use it here)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


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  • I used ~1/4" polyurethane welting cord while sewing the top seam on a skin boat. Good stuff. You sew a loose diagonal running stitch and then yank it. This takes out the slack, draws the two sides together in a nice tight finished seam, the unfinished fabric edge is underneath, so it all comes together in one move. To run the hardware along the 'piping' as this instruction shows I don't know if the poly would work as well, so I'm not recommending it for this use. Piping, welting, is a good technique to know about. Thanks

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