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Instructions on Binding a Rug With Twill Tape

Edith Hignutt

Binding a rug keeps the edges from fraying and pulling apart. Available in numerous colors and strong enough to resist stretching, twill tape offers an easy binding solution.

Why Twill Tape

Braided rugs are perfect for binding with twill tape.

For centuries, twill has been used for a variety of purposes. Keeping the edges of rugs from unraveling is one of many uses. Twill refers to the weave of cotton threads; the technique produces a strong cotton fabric that is extremely durable. Like other cottons, twill withstands repeated washings and everyday wear and tear. Twill tape, with the interlocking weave, is easy to shape to curves, keep straight or fold to turn corners. While being pliable, twill is sufficiently stiff enough to retain its shape better than other cotton fabrics. Manufacturers recommend that you pre-wash twill tape before using. As it is made of 100% cotton, some shrinkage will occur. A pre-wash will also set the dye in colored twills. Wrap the edge of that carpet remnant to make a quick throw rug by the door; cover the edges of the latch-hook rug to hang on the wall. Tack it around the braided oval rug. Twill tape will bind the edges ensuring a long-lasting rug.

Differences in Twill Tape

Heavyweight twill tape is designed for the more rugged use of rug binding. While regular twill tape will suffice for a small decorative rug or to finish up the edge of a latch-hook rug, the heavyweight will withstand everyday use.

Unlike carpet binding tapes, twill is available in more than a dozen colors. While an exact match will rarely occur, close approximations can be made. From soft pinks to bright reds, baby blues to navy, even sea greens and forest greens, a whole palette of colors await to trim any rug. Even the heavyweight twill tapes offer a rainbow of color choices.

Twill tape widths vary from the narrowest at 3/8" to 2". Most heavyweight widths start at 3/4". Different rug types will determine which width is best. For binding a carpet remnant to make a throw rug, the narrow widths work well. To seal the edges of a latch-hook rug, a narrow twill tape can be wrapped around the edge, or the edges can be turned under and a wide twill tape applied over the bare latch-hook canvas. For braided or crocheted rugs, width is a matter of personal choice.

For the environmentally conscious, organic twill tape is also available. A pale tan in color, organic twill tape is made with organically grown (no chemicals) cotton. Organic cotton is available only in its natural shade; no chemical dyes to offer up colors or bleaching to whiten.