How to sew piping cord

Piping cord, also known as welting cord, adds an expensive finished look to pillows and upholstery. I used it in one of my previous posts, when I upcycled my daughter’s cot mattress into a couch cushion for a pallet couch. I’m new to sewing, and I found piping cord intimidating…until I tried it and found how easy it is to do. I’ve been adding it to everything since. It’s quickly become one of my favourite things to sew.

Here’s how I did it

I started off by cutting strips of material. I cut 5 cm wide strips. If your strip is too short you can attach another strip using the following method.

Place the first side face up and the second strip across face down, as demonstrated in the picture below. Sew together as shown in the picture.

Cut the excess material off as shown in the picture below

The pieces are now joined and will be less noticeable than if you sewed a straight line across

Place your piping cord in the centre of the material and fold over. Use a zipper foot, with your stitch setting set to a zipper stich (left stich). Start sewing about 1.5 to 2 cm away from the top of the cord.

Try to sew as close as you can to the cord. Stop sewing a few centimeters from the end.

Once the cording is sewed to the material I usually trim the excess so that it matches my seam allowance. Once you’ve done this, sew the cording onto the front of my material.

Tip. When doing corners, make a few cuts on the excess material of your cording. This allows the piping cord to bend nicely and creates a nice smooth corner.

In order to join the cord, cut the cord so that it meets perfectly. Cut the excess material from the one piece of cord, leaving the other piece with enough material to cover both pieces of cord

Fold the material over and sew together. That’s it. Your cording is sewed on and you can continue to sew your project as you normally would

I’ve used piping cord on couch cushions, throw pillows, bags and kids toys, the options are endless.