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I was looking at possible area rugs for my apartment and found that the cheapest one was something called an "unbound remnant." However, a little googling revealed that unbound remnants shed their edges like crazy! I don't want that to happen, but I don't know if I can afford to bind it.

Should I bind the edge of an unbound remnant? If so, could I do so myself? What is the process for binding a carpet remnant, and what would I need if I did it myself?

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I don't have any experience with it, but you could try something like this. – Peter Rowell Jan 8 '12 at 3:04
heavy duty sewing machine and a zigzag stitch with a strong thread should work – ratchet freak Jan 8 '12 at 15:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You absolutely should (must) bind the edges.

Many consumer rugs are cut to length from a roll stock and bound for sale. Binding the edge is how it transforms from a textile on a roll into a rug.

You could do it yourself if you had the requisite equipment and sewing skills but I can't imagine it would be tremendously expensive to have done.

You can find a video of a product that can be used to bind your own edges, as well as basic instructions on how to use it right here.

A summary of the video is below:

Tools you'll need

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Straight edge


Start by trimming the rug to provide a clean smooth edge. You can do this using a straight edge and a pair of scissors.

Next you'll want to trim the binding, so you start with a clean straight end.

Pull back the backing paper, and apply the binding starting at the middle of one edge.

When you get to the corner, use the edge of the rug as a guide to make a cut through the flat part of the binding. Then bend the binding around the corner, and continue around the rug.

Once you've reached the place you started, use the beginning end as a guide to cut the binding to the proper length. Trim any excess strings, then attach the ends using hot glue.

Run a 1/8" bead of hot glue, between the edge of the rug and the piping. Do this in small sections, so you can hold the two together until the glue sets. Continue all the way around the rug.

Alternatively, any rug shop or commercial carpet establishment should be able to do it for you...

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I'm going to accept this, though I kind of wish it had a step-by-step guide in-answer for binding the rug myself. However, I don't find it objectionable, soooo :) – Aarthi Jul 31 '12 at 16:39
Eee, now it's perfect! – Aarthi Aug 1 '12 at 17:44

Depending on your application, and what kind of rug it is, you may not need to bind the edges.

  • If it's just a mat under your utility sink, who cares? If it's the back edge, behind furniture or a piano or something, it won't fray because it won't get worn.

  • If it were in a furnished area, or a place where people frequently scuff with shoes, then yes, you'll want to bind them.

For one bit of carpet, I used stringed packing tape and taped the edges to a concrete floor--this 'bound' them quite effectively and cheaply. It lasted about five years, at which point I just cleaned the floor and did it again.

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