How to Make Cord Styled Edges on Your Cushions

Corded-styled edges on cushions often make a cushion look more expensive and dressed up. The cording is actually called piping and it is made by sewing fabric over a cord. To add cording to cushions, the finished piping is sewn between the seams of the cushion, facing outward. Any fabric can be used to create piping so it is easy to match the piping to the cushion fabric, or you can use a contrasting fabric to create a designer look.

Wash and iron your fabric to remove the sizing. Place the fabric on a large cutting mat. Cut 1 1/2-inch fabric strips on the bias. To understand bias, cut a piece of paper into a square. Fold the paper from one corner to the opposite corner to form a triangle. Unfold the paper. The crease is the bias.

Join the bias strips together by placing one strip face up on the worktable. Place a second strip perpendicular to the first strip with the face-side down so that the ends overlap. Sew across the two strips at a 45-degree angle. If your first strip is vertical and your second strip is horizontal, sew from the bottom-left edge where the two strips overlap to the top-right edge where the two strips overlap. Trim your seam to 1/4 inch and iron the seam flat. Make as much bias length as you need to go all the way around the sides of the cushion in one piece. Allow several inches extra.

Place the fabric face-side down. Position the cording centred along the length. Fold the fabric over and align the rough edges. Pin the fabric together perpendicular to the cord. Sew the fabric together as close to the cording as possible using the zipper foot on the sewing machine.

Place the cushion cover face-side up on the worktable. Position the piping with the cord toward the inside and the rough edges aligning with the rough edges of the cover. Start in the middle of the back. Trim the piping so that you start with a covered piece. Pin the piping to the cover using pins perpendicular to the cord. Place the side fabric face-side down over the piping. Align the corners with the seams. Pin the side fabric to the piping and cover, aligning the rough edges.

Sew the piping between the cover and side panels, starting 1/2 inch from the end of the piping, removing the pins as you sew. Cut the other end of piping fabric 1/2-inch longer than the cord. The cord end should fit to the first cord end exactly.

Open the seam along the 1/2-inch section and slide the fabric over the beginning cord. Tuck the end of the fabric under 1/4 inch and inside each seam and sew the fabrics together where the cords join. Repeat for the other side of the cushion. Clip the corners. Use the cushion zipper to turn the cover right-side out.


Piping can be made using leftover yarn. Add several strands together to create the size of cording you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Iron and board
  • Cutting wheel
  • Straight edge
  • Cutting mat
  • Cording
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.