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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – introduction to piping

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – introduction to piping

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – an introduction to piping
As a small child I would often visit a Tobacconist, not too different in looks to the one in the photograph, to purchase my Father’s Christmas and Birthday presents.  A new packet of soft but wirey pipe cleaners, wrapped in a greasproof like paper with a satisfying red striped decoration on the front.
This week’s top tip is a little introduction to piping, what it is and how it can be used.  Keep your peepers peeled for further tips about using it.
Here we have a selection of piping with insertion flanges.  You can see there are cotton, polycotton and satin versions.  Single, double and even triple piping exists.
Piping cord is simply a cord that has been wrapped in a strip of bias fabric.  The cord is often cotton or polyester but you can use a chunky wool or string.  However, match the laundering of the cord to the laundering of the product it’s being applied to.  A shrinking cord is a menace!!

The strip is cut on the bias which is 45 degrees to the selvedge.  This encourages the piping to curve and wrap both around the cord itself and also so it can be shaped when applied – especially to curved edges.

Wrap the bias strip around the cord and tack so the raw edges of the fabric are even.  Tack close enough to hold in place so there is still room to stitch without stitching over the tacking – it makes unpicking very difficult!
Using a zipper foot, stitch as close to the piping cord as possible without squashing or catching the cord inside.  You may find it helpful to hold the threads at the back of the machine when you start to reduce the risk of creating a knot at the start of the stitches.
Hope you found that helpful and have a fantastic week!

In stitches,

Mrs Bowden xx

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