Rug Binding Instructions

Written by shannon lea
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Rug Binding Instructions
Binding your rug can make the difference between sloppy and professional. (rug making image by Alison Bowden from

Homemade rugs are a beautiful addition to any home.You can make your rugs even more beautiful and by learning how to bind them. Even a beginning rug maker can use rug binding to add an extra level of finishing to a completed rug. You will be amazed how professional your rug looks when you are done. Perhaps best of all, binding rugs also gives them added durability that will help your rugs last for generations.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Finished unbound rug
  • Towel
  • Iron
  • Wool yarn
  • Yarn needle
  • Rug binding tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Heavy-duty hand-sewing thread

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  1. 1

    Dampen your towel so it is wet, but not soaking. Place the towel on top of your finished, but unbound, rug, and press gently with the iron. Use the setting appropriate for the material you made your rug of (in most cases, this will be the wool setting). Press both the front and back of the unbound rug. Let the rug air-dry overnight.

  2. 2

    Trim the rug to create a 1-inch border around the hooked area of the rug. Do not make this border less than 1 inch.

  3. 3

    Fold the border down, and place a piece of binding tape on top of it. The length of your binding tape will depend on the size of your finished rug.

  4. 4

    Thread roughly 4 feet of the wool yarn onto the yarn needle, and start sewing down the rug binding tape. Sew starting behind the border you folded down, up through the binding tape, 1/4 inch from the edge. Bring the needle back to the back-side of the border, and tie a knot. Bring the needle up through the binding tape again, 1/4 inch from the edge. These two stitches will help secure the border and the binding tape.

  5. 5

    Begin sewing by bringing the yarn through the border and binding tape, keeping the 1/4-inch edge. Repeat this stitch all along the edge. Keep laying the binding tape down as you work.

  6. 6

    Sew all around the perimeter of the rug, keeping your stitches even and very close together. When you start to run out of yarn, simply sew beneath the border and tie the ends of the new and old yarn together. Bring the tied yarn ends up through the binding, and continue sewing until you reach a corner or around the whole perimeter of your rug.

  7. 7

    Finish sewing with your yarn by bringing the needle to the back side of the border, tying a knot in the yarn, and weaving in the end.

    Turning a corner

  1. 1

    Stop sewing about 1 1/2 inches before you reach a corner.

  2. 2

    Open the binding tape and border away from the rug. Fold the centre of the corner down towards the rug, then fold down the sides. Pin the corner in place.

  3. 3

    Continue sewing, keeping the 1/4-inch edge consistent.

    Sewing the Binding and Finishing

  1. 1

    Thread your needle with heavy-duty thread. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.

  2. 2

    Begin sewing down the binding tape. Bring your needle from the back, to the front of your binding tape. Pull the thread tightly, and bring it back down through the binding tape an inch or so away.

  3. 3

    Repeat this process until you reach a corner or cover the perimeter of the rug. If you have a corner, repeat the corner folding process.

  4. 4

    Tie a knot in your yarn, and bring the needle to the wrong side of the binding tape. Cut your yarn--the end will be hidden under the binding tape.

  5. 5

    Finish binding your rug by steaming it again with your iron. Allow the rug to dry overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful that you are not sewing through the front of your finished rug; you shouldn't be able to see any of your binding stitches on the right-side of your work.

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