How To Make Cording

I’ve updated this video, and wanted to share the new version with you.  Enjoy!

Cording, which can also be  called welt cord or piping, is an easy way to add a little extra pizazz to your sewing projects.  We have already covered different ways to embellish pillows with cording and window treatments with cording, so today I’m going to show you how to make cording.

Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques.

How to make cording

How To Make Cording

I’ve created a video to show you, step-by-step, how to make cording.  Making cording is not hard, and in the video I try to give you a few tips that have helped me over the years.  Of course, there are lots of ways to make cording, this is the method that works best for me.

In the video, I talk about making bias cording.  When at all possible, I try to make my cording on the bias because it is much more forgiving, and stretches around corners so nicely.  If you want to make yours on the straight of the fabric grain, that, of course, is fine too!

I have written out the steps underneath the video.

1)  Pick what size cording you are going to make.  I use 1/4″ probably 90% of the time.

2)  Wrap a scrap piece of lining or fabric around the cording, and pin.

3)  Mark at 1/2″ from the cord (this is the seam allowance).

4)   Cut the fabric on marked line.  Unfold fabric, and this is your fabric cut.

5)  Figure out how much cording is needed for your project.  In our example we were making 2 – 20″ x 20″ pillows.  20″ x the 4 sides of the pillow – 80″ + 10″ extra = 90″ x 2 pillows = 180″ of cording needed.

6)  Lay your fabric out on the table, fold over at a 45 degree angle with right sides together.

7)  Using a ruler or yardstick, mark what your fabric strip size was from Video #1.

8)  Pull top strip over and pin at 90 degree angle – right sides together.

9)  Pull second strip over and pin to third strip.

10)  Continue on with remaining strips.

11)  Sew strips together using about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

12)  Lay cording on top of the wrong side of the fabric strip, and wrap fabric around cording.

13)  Using a zipper foot sew fabric along side of the cording, holding fabric layers together to keep them from twisting.

Your cording is done!  Now you can have fun adding it your projects.  Next week I am going to show you how to make a pillow with cording.

So, what do you think?  Do you love cording as much as I do?

I’m joining these parties.

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps On The Porch



  1. I’ve never tried to add cording to my projects, now that I’ve seen how easy it is to make I just might have to! Thanks for sharing on the Pinworthy Project Party!

  2. My grandmother told me years ago that cording wasn’t as hard as it looks– too bad we never sat down together for show and tell. I love your video visual description. Makes it really clear!

  3. Do you wash (preshrink) the cording first before sewing with it if the end product will be washed? I tried that once, and it grew and fluffed up in diameter to the point of being huge. I’m just a preshrinker, but maybe this isn’t the time to do it.

    1. Lee, I do try to pre-wash the cording if it’s something that will be washed. I don’t know what type of cording you used. The type I use has threads woven around the cording that probably help keep it from growing too much. I also put the cording in a mesh bag that supposed to be for washing hosery. I think that helps to keep it from getting too beat up in the washing machine. I wash and dry on delicate.

    1. Mary, I add up all four sides of the pillow and then add 5 or 6 inches to join the cording. So, if I had a 20″ x 20″ pillow, I would make about 85 to 86 inches of cording.

  4. Your video explains how to make cording more clearly than any other instructions I’ve found. Thank you for your clear, accurate and pleasant explanation. I think I can tackle the job now!

      1. Did I miss the part where you turned the stitched tubes right sides out? I assume you sewed them right sides together, so you would have to turn them right sides OUT and then pull them over the cording. That is usually the difficult part.

        1. Lynda, the fabric is sewn wrong sides together wrapped around the cording, right side out. You do not turn the tubes right side out. This tutorial is about making cording that you can attach to a pillow.

  5. Hi. Great tutorial that I will try. What do you do with all the leftover fabric though? Seems like a lot of waste.

  6. Hi! Love the video tutorial! If the pillow is 20″ x 20″, wouldn’t I need to add seam allowance to that size. For example 1/2″ seam allowance to make the fabric cut out to be 21″ x 21″?


    1. No, don’t add in a seam allowance. If you cut the fabric the same size as the pillow form, then your cover won’t be too loose.

  7. I was always intimidated by the thought of making bias cording, but you made it so easy to understand with your video! Thank you. I even shared your video with my daughter, who is just starting out in design and architecture.

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