WELTED CORD (“DOUBLE PIPING”) TUTORIAL
Andrea Ford, founder of RE:Style Studio RESTYLESTUDIOTORONTO.COM
Welted cord is a topical trim used in upholstery applications to cover staple lines, most commonly around decorative wooden frames. Many tutorials exist using 2 separate pieces of piping cord or using multiple stitches to sew fabric onto your cord. However, we don’t have time to waste in an upholstery studio, so we’ve use a method for a single pass on the sewing machine…….our Janome 1600P!
Welted cord, itself, is an upholstery supply and comes lashed together on the underside, holding 2 pieces of “piping” cord together. There is some movement between the cord pieces for flexibility to move around curves.
Cut 2-3” wide fabric pieces on the bias – across the grain at a 45 degree angle. You’ll likely need several pieces sewn together to trim your entire chair.
Randomly mix piece lengths together to avoid decreasing seams in your cord. Sew fabric strip ends together, right sides together, and trim seam back to a minimal 1⁄4”. Finger press seams apart. No need to worry about common suggestions about sewing strips together at right angles – the fabric will stretch as you sew it so the seam will lay flat without all the trigonometry.
Place fabric on top of welted cording, right side facing up, and wrap right side of fabric to the underside of the cording (see pic 4). Holding the fabric in place, wrap the left side of the fabric over and to the underside. You will have a tail of fabric hanging on the right side.
Start with the first 4” of cord and place under the (regular, not zipper or piping foot) presser foot of your sewing machine. Stitching slowly, stitch down the center of the cording. Stop every few inches to tighten your grip and continue wrapping the fabric over the cord.
When you’ve finished stitching, trim the fabric tail from the back, as closely as possible to the stitching. The glue will reinforce the seam, so don’t worry about a too-close seam fraying. And if by chance your stitch didn’t catch the fabric wrapped over the bottom, leaving a little opening on the back, you can always touch up those spots with hot glue before attaching.
Traditionally welted cord was made with chunky fabrics like velvet and tapestries. The cord would be stapled onto furniture and the pile of the velvet or the density of the weave of a tapestry would hide *some* of the staples. However, today we use so many different types of fabrics that stapling is not always possible.
With patience and rested hands, you can begin to trim your piece as closely as possible to the staples. Use embroidery scissors or even manicure scissors to get all the threads and fabric ends out of the way. Use a hot glue gun to run a bead of glue 4” at a time and place your sewn welted cord onto your chair. Heat up a glue gun with clear glue sticks. Starting at an inconspicuous spot like the back of a leg or back of a seat, add glue to the chair frame no more than 4” at a time. Be gentle with the glue. If any fabric is hanging from the chair, brush up with the trim and trap it under the welted cord. You may need to add a little extra glue.
When you’re finished adding the trim to your chair end the cord by cutting some of the cord out of the fabric cover, wrap the fabric over the end, and butt up against the starting point. This cord is too bulky to overlap.
Are you a fan of this modern type of trim on upholstered furniture?