Bias tape is one of the most useful sewing notions and can be used to neaten and trim almost anything. It can be decorative or just an easy way to finish a vulnerable edge, seam, armhole, neckline or anywhere that needs neatening. The slight stretch in bias cut fabric lends itself to a clean and attractive edge, particularly in curved areas. So what’s on the list of types of bias tape that are most useful in sewing circles?
Single tape, double tape, fusible tape and even blanket tape make a comprehensive list of the types of bias tape. Don’t forget to add in the DIY enthusiast who just can’t resist making their own version of an original patterned bias tape.
Types of Bias Tape
Single fold bias tape is made from strips of fabric cut on the bias (diagonal) and folded in on each edge to meet in the middle. Store bought single fold bias tape is conveniently wound around a piece of cardboard for neat storage.
The most commonly used width is 1/2 inch (12mm) which is used for finishing necklines and armholes. You can choose to sew the bias tape so it is hidden on the inside of the garment or on the outside for an attractive contrast look.
Double fold bias tape is folded on the edges like single fold tape and then folded in half again making it easier to wrap around the edges of your article. Double sided tapes are slightly wider on one side ensuring you catch in both sides when you are sewing. Once again the most commonly used size is 1/2 inch (12mm). Narrower 1/4 inch (6mm) double fold bias tape is often used for bias bound seams.
Fusible bias tape: This is a very useful type of bias tape with an adhesive on one side. Wrap the tape over the edge to be bound and iron on the tape. A presser cloth is a good idea to prevent any edge of the tape sticking to your iron. The edge is enclosed with no pinning or sewing involved. If the edge needs a more hard-wearing finish then a single or double fold bias tape is a better choice than the fusible finish.
Blanket tape: Look out for lovely satin finishes in this type of bias tape and use it for the edges of fleecy blankets or other cozy fabrics for a really soft finish. Turning the corners can be a bit tricky so look out for puckering at the corners as you go round the blanket. Reducing the stitch tension can help ease the puckering.
Continuous bias tape: A challenge? Yes, but with practice, this type of tape is most rewarding to work with and provides beautiful continuity. Continuous bias tape has less piecing together and is created by sewing your fabric into a tube and then cutting in a spiral to create a continuous strip of fabric. You can then press it into either single or double fold bias tape to suit your project.
DIY bias tape: Shop-bought bias tapes generally only come in plain colors. Create interest and dramatic effects in your projects by making your own tape in patterned and colorful fabrics. There are wonderful fabrics to play around with and make your own tape. It is important to keep the width regular and with the help of a bias tape gadget, the whole task of turning in the sides is made much easier.
The subject of bias tape is certainly broader than a single piece of fabric cut on the bias. Experiment with different fabrics and colors and add a few rows of decorative tape to a skirt or tablecloth. Keep learning new things and never be totally predictable in the styles, finishes and fashions you create.