Binding a carpet protects its edges from fraying, tearing or unravelling. You can bind a carpet by sewing or gluing synthetic or cotton tape over its edges. You can create area rugs, car mats and small rugs by binding carpet remnants or large pieces of cut carpet. A professional carpet binder can do the binding for you, or you can do it yourself using a sewing machine or no-sew binding products.
No-Sew Binding Products
You can buy a carpet tape product that lets you use a hot-glue gun to bind it to the carpet---no stitching or sewing is required. The cloth carpet tape is sold firmly attached to a wide swath of sticky tape. The sticky tape adheres to the bottom of the rug or carpet while you hold the cloth binding tightly against the edge of the carpet. Press the binding into place and use a bead of hot glue between the cloth tape and the edge of the carpet to seal the tape to the carpet and prevent fraying and tearing of the carpet edge. Some of these tape products can be used indoors or out.
Sewing Carpet Binding
You can use a sewing machine and some hand stitching to sew carpet binding to the carpet. You can find carpet binding tape at fabric stores and through carpet or upholstery supply houses, along with extra-strength polyester thread and carpet needles for hand-sewing and sewing machines. On the face of the carpet, use a zig-zag stitch next to the edges to prevent fraying. Then use a sewing machine to stitch the binding tape to the face of the carpet near the edges, then fold it back over the stitching and over the edge of the carpet and hand-stitched it to the back of the carpet. You can perfect the technique with practice on a carpet remnant before you work on a finished rug or art carpet.
Professional Carpet Binding
Professional sewers have all the supplies and machines needed to get the job done right. Sewers can use a sewing machine to stitch the binding to the carpet, or they can bind the edges using a serger. A serger uses an overcast V-shaped stitch to bind fabrics or carpets. The machine whips a heavy-duty polyester thread around the edge of the carpet, creating a casing over the carpet's exposed edge. Some carpet-binding companies will work on-site, but in general you must transport the carpet to the company and leave it there. It may take a few days or weeks to complete the work, depending on the company's schedule.