Binding: Bias vs. Straight Grain

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We all know that binding has a variety of uses in the sewing room – from finishing the edges of quilted items to hemming garments. In general, the term “binding” just applies to a folded piece of fabric that goes over or around the edge of something, but there are two main types of binding – bias and straight grain – and there’s a good bit of debate about which type is better for certain projects.

Learn the difference between straight-grain and bias binding. The article also shares how, when and where to use them.

 Bias Binding vs. Straight Grain

Time to weigh in! Here’s the break-down:

Bias Binding

1. Works for curved edges and straight lines equally well.
2. Creates a sturdier edge because it puts the fold on the cross-section of the woven threads instead of lining up the fold with the grain of the fabric.
3. Somewhat more complicated to make.
4. Requires a bit of math to calculate yardage.

Straight Grain Binding

1. Only works for straight line edges; will not hug curves.
2. Creates a weaker edge because the fold lines up with a single thread (or just a few) on the grain of the fabric.
3. Easier to make than bias binding – simply cut selvage to selvage.
4. Easy to calculate yardage requirements.

Bias binding may be more difficult to make, but the result is a binding that serves any purpose and is nice and strong. We’ve got some tips here on the blog to help you make continuous binding, turn it into piping, and calculate the yardage you need for it, so you’re covered either way.

Learn how to create continuous bias on The Sewing Loft Create custom piping in 4 easy steps.  The Sewing Loft How much yardage is needed to create bias for your project. Learn the details and download this easy cheat sheet.


Straight-grain binding is easier to make, and calculating yardage for it is also a snap. However, it’s probably best suited to things like wall quilts that won’t get a lot of wear and tear over the years.

So, what’s YOUR bias? Do you have a preference for a binding style? Share it with us in the comments below!

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  1. Audrey Ferronato says

    When you press “read more” the next page is so hard to read. Can you make the type larger on the second page, like the first page?

    • Hello Audrey,
      Are you looking at the email or the blog? If it is the blog, I can not change the font size however, you can increase your screen by hitting the view button along the top bar, scroll down and click zoom in. That should increase the size.

      Hope that is helpful!