How to Bind Auto Carpet

Updated April 17, 2017

Installing new carpet is a great way to personalise, refresh, or update the interior of your car or home. It's a great project to take on if you are about to sell, pass it on to a relative, or just want to remove an old stain spot. One important step to installing the new carpet is making sure the carpet is binded correctly to prevent rips, tears and fraying. Binding carpet yourself is generally done for smaller pieces such as a small area rug or car carpet interior. Larger areas usually will take a week or longer to complete without the equipment large industries use.

Cut the carpet from the roll or remnant piece with the heavy-duty shears. Make the cut as straight as possible. Take into account the type of carpet you are working with: the pile height, most commonly being 1/4 inch, a cut pile or a woven pile, and the backing. Most automotive backing is latex coated, while home carpet is most often open backing.

Determine the amount of edging you want seen on the top part of the carpet, most often being 1/4 inch. Then from this, multiply it by 2 to determine the amount needed to cover, and allow for salvage. Then take this measurement and double again to cover for the bottom allowance.

Cut the vinyl strips to the measurement determined from the previous step in width and the length determined from the length of the carpet that it will be sewn onto. Allow an extra inch or more at each end.

Place the vinyl stripping over the top pile of the carpet. Then place it vinyl side down onto the sewing machine, and stitch a straight line down the edge of the carpet. Repeat this for all straight sides of the carpet.

Allow approximately an extra 1/8 inch per inch of the corner. Most corners should be rounded out and have an extra piece of cardboard added for strength and stability.

Apply the binding glue to the vinyl and the underside of the carpet with an acid brush.

Use a hairdryer or heat gun to dry the binding glue to the vinyl and carpet backing. Pull the vinyl firmly in place while it is setting to prevent wrinkles starting at the corner and then working to the centre.

Spray the carpet backing with a silicone spray to prevent it from sticking to the sewing machine. Sew down the back to secure the vinyl is in place and hold the binding.


If a sewing machine is not available to you, consider other alternatives such as Insta-Bond.


Be careful while using all equipment to not burn or cut hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty sewing machine
  • Carpet needle
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Vinyl binding
  • Spray silicone
  • Binding glue
  • Heavy-duty shears
  • Hairdryer or heat gun
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About the Author

Sarah Haynes is a bachelor's degree graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been writing articles online since 2006, specializing in a variety of categories from decorating and building furniture to using programs on cell phones. While focusing on how-to articles, she has written a few pieces that expand on subjects telling about their origins and uses.