Andrea Ford of Re:Style Studio Toronto: PIPING PART 1


Andrea Ford, founder of RE:Style Studio RESTYLESTUDIOTORONTO.COM 








Piping is one of the key sewing skills used in upholstery, and knowing how to make piping properly – and how to use it diligently requires knowing the difference between common terms and applications.

Let’s start with a glossary of terms:




Piping: Covered cord sewn into a seam. In upholstery we use this a lot in cushion covers and boxy-style sewn arm seams. This beast of a chair was tricked out within an inch of its life with all the kinds of piping!










Welted cord: An upholstery application of topical trim, seemingly a “double piping” on which self-fabric is sewn to an inner cord which is lashed together and the seam is sewn into the welt between cords. This is glued or stapled to the final detail of an upholstered chair with wooden trim to cover fabric layer staples. These chairs feature contrast welted cord made from a tight-weave canvas. Look for my one-stitch welted tutorial in coming posts.










Lip cord: Fabric covered cord stapled to the bottom edge of a chair, ottoman, sofa, etc. This is not needed to be sewn prior to stapling in place. In this ottoman you’ll see a sewn piped edge at the top, along with lip cord stapled to the bottom edge.









  1. For your own sanity, make sure you stitch an anchor at the start of your piping sleeve – trapping the cord into the seam and attaching it to the fabric – to avoid the annoying pull-through as you work with the unwieldy covered cord.
  2. Give yourself a tiny margin (1/8”) between your stitch line and the cord, rather than trying to choke up on the cord like store bought piping. That way your stitch will be buried in your final seam and never peak out. There’s nothing worse than hooking your seam ripper into the fabric covering your piping and creating a hole.
  3. For microfibres and linen sewn into box cushions or rectilinear shapes, cut your fabric strips along the warp or weft and forget about bias strips. Bias strips are key for curvy work and to give a little extra ease in tightly woven fabrics.





















Do you have adventures in piping with your home decor projects?

Do you love working with it or avoid it in some instances?

Part 2 coming up next Thursday.

About Liz Thompson

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for over 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to sew, read, knit , crochet, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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6 Responses to Andrea Ford of Re:Style Studio Toronto: PIPING PART 1

  1. DJ says:

    Just finished reupholstering my first project. My granddaughter saw a chair that she loved at the furniture store but it was $400. Her mom found fabric that was very similar and asked me if I could reupholster a chair that she had. Looked at youtube videos and dove in. There is a lot of piping on the chair. I used my zipper foot on my Janome 10000 and adjusted the needle to sew very closely to the cording. Chair is completed to give to her for her birthday on June 17. She is going to be so surprised.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi DJ

      Thank you so much for sharing that great sewing adventure. We are sure your grand daughter is going to be super thrilled. Well done!



  2. Stephanie Buckingham says:

    Interesting post, thank you.


  3. jrp53 says:

    I love adding piping to projects. They look so professional when it is added.


    • lizafrica says:

      We think so too and thought this Guest blog post would have a good amount of appeal to our Janome life viewers. Thanks for reaching out with a comment.



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