Welting is a decorative trim which adds the perfect finishing detail to pillows, cushions, slipcovers and more by accenting the design lines and drawing attention to seam lines. It can be purchased in a variety of colors and sizes but making it yourself is quick and simple.
Cording – For this tutorial I used 8/32”
Sewing machine with zipper foot
Measure the item around which you will be attaching the welting and add 3 inches. Cut cording to this length. For this tutorial I will be using a 20 x 20 pillow so I cut my cording to 83”.
Cutting Fabric Strips
Professionals recommend cutting the fabric strips which will encase the cording on the bias, meaning on the diagonal of the fabric. Bias cut fabric is more flexible when going around corners and curves. I usually try to use this method, but have to confess I have on occasion - when the fabric is stretchy - cut my fabric straight across and it still worked out fine.
In most cases, one strip of fabric will not be long enough, which means cutting multiple strips. For this example I needed two.
To determine the width of your fabric strips, measure the circumference of your cording and add twice the seam allowance. For my cording, this meant fabric strips which were 1 ¾” wide – ¾” for the circumference of the cording and 1” for the ½” seam allowance.
Cut the number of fabric strips needed to go around your item.
Piecing Fabric Strips
Place two ends of bias cut fabric strips wrong side together as shown below.
Pin and sew along the diagonal using a ½” seam allowance.
If you did not cut your fabric strips on the bias, place two fabric strips, right sides together, at a 90 degree angle as shown below.
Cut on the diagonal and then proceed as above.
Making the welting
Fold the fabric strip around the cording – leave about ¼” of the cording showing out the end – with right sides out and long edges matching. Some people prefer to pin in place and then sew. I find it easier and quicker to just wrap the fabric around the cording – adjusting as I go – while sewing.
When you come to a point where two fabric strips have been joined, make sure the seam is pressed open.
Sew using a zipper foot. I usually do not sew the last few inches of cording to make it easier for attaching the two ends of the cording together.
Once your welting is all assembled it is time to attach it. As I mentioned earlier, for this example I am using a pillow. Start on the bottom edge of the pillow or the back edge of the item to which you are attaching the welting.
Pin welting to fabric - clipping at curves - with unfinished edges aligned on the right side of the fabric.
When you have gone all the way around, cut your cording to exact length needed. You may have to rip out part of the seam of the cording. Leave your fabric about 1” longer than the cording.
Sew ends of cording together using a needle and thread.
Fold fabric back and overlap raw edge of other end of fabric with folded edge. Pin.
Using zipper foot and sewing machine, sew welting to pillow.
Simple, easy and quick! To finish the pillow add a zipper and then back piece of fabric or just the back piece of fabric sewn closed with a needle and thread.