Binding is a quick and easy way to not only finish a raw edge, but add some contrasting color (or print, as the case may be!). It can be used to highlight a shaped edge, or subtly enclose it so it’s nearly invisible. I’ve highlighted some pretty examples of the former–binding that showcases rather than is a background element–both from vintage and modern sources. Why don’t you try binding on your next project?
Never made binding before? Here’s our popular tutorial on making bias binding.
Finish a dramatic collar with a binding, like this fetching 1950s example. Stripes work beautifully for binding (which is most often cut on the bias), but even a diminutive print would work equally well.
A high contrast color, like the black binding on this dress from the Alice McCall spring/summer 2012 collection, is a great way to highlight even typical shapes (like the round neckline) in a distinctive way. The black also give the sweet, springtime colors a modern edge.
Finally this charming 1940s house dress shows off some lovely details with binding. The neckline is bound, but the binding is repeated on the shoulders and pocket. The joining edges are highlighted with decorative stitches. Consider when using binding how it can be applied as an embellishment beyond the functionality of finishing a raw edge.