Selecting the Perfect Piping
Piping adds the perfect finishing touch to cushions, pillows and upholstered furniture. From simple matching piping to large, intricate woven piping, when it comes time to choose a piping for your project, the options can be overwhelming. Do you use a pre-made piping or make your own? Which piping would look best next to the main fabric of your project? Let’s take a closer look at those questions and the available piping options so you’ll feel confident in your design decisions.
Piping breaks down into two main types: pre-made piping and piping cord. Pre-made piping is factory made and ready to be sewn onto your project. Piping cord, on the other hand, is the raw piping core and needs to be covered with your own fabric before you can use it. Pre-made piping can save you a lot of sewing, but doesn’t give the design flexibility of making your own.
Let’s take a closer look at the piping options we carry at Sailrite®.
Pre-Made Specialty Piping
The first type of piping we offer is what we call specialty piping. These trims are sometimes also referred to as lipcord. They are intricately designed braided or twisted piping in solid or multi-colored options. We carry two brands of specialty piping, Classical Elements and Sunbrella®. The Classical Elements brand features elegant blends of many materials for a high style, textured lipcord. These options should be used for indoor applications only and should be dry-cleaned.
Sunbrella Decorative Piping offers solid and multi-color designs that are perfect color matches to Sunbrella Upholstery fabrics so you can easily create a cohesive look. These piping cords are made with a core of polypropylene and are covered in Sunbrella acrylic so they have all the same great properties of Sunbrella fabric. This piping is soft and flexible, making it easy to install around corners and it can be used indoors or outdoors.
Here’s a short video that explains more about Sunbrella Piping.
The second type of pre-made piping that we offer is vinyl piping. Vinyl piping is our most weather-resistant piping option, which makes it a great choice for marine projects. Vinyl piping is made of a 5/32” weather-resistant foam core wrapped in a marine vinyl fabric. It features a slit flange to help it easily bend corners. Pre-made vinyl piping is currently available in two of our more popular vinyl brands, Seabrook and Naugahyde®, and is a perfect color match to those brands. But you don’t have to just use vinyl piping with vinyl fabric. It looks great as a trim on Sunbrella and Phifertex® projects as well.
Learn a little more about our vinyl piping in this video.
Piping Cord for Custom Piping
The other main option for piping is to buy the piping cord (or filler) and cover it yourself with any fabric you choose. It’s very common for the piping to be covered in the same fabric as the main project itself—but the design possibilities are endless.
We stock four different types of piping cord in a variety of sizes. Of our selection, three are made from synthetic materials (polyester, polypropylene and foam) and are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use. One is a natural fiber (cotton) and is indoor use only. When it comes to choosing between the different piping options, look for the desired combination of diameter and natural or synthetic fiber as required for your application.
Watch this video to see the differences between these piping cord options and to get a closer look at the firmness and hand of each.
Know what you need? Want to read more about a specific type of piping? Learn more about each option and shop our full piping selection in our Piping Category.