What Is Welting In Sewing: Uses And How To Sew It

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

The answer to what is welting in sewing is that it’s a fabric covering the edges of projects. We’ll also compare it to piping, which is considered interchangeable with it. And finally, this article discusses how to attach welting the easiest way. 

what is welting in sewing

Since we’ll compare welting to piping, read about what is piping in sewing. You may benefit from that article, and you’ll know the best ways to make one for your sewing projects. 


What Does Welt Mean In Sewing?

A welt is essentially a fabric strip that you add to the edges of the fabric. Welting means sewing this decorative trim to add detail and visual interest, especially when sewn on pocket openings. Pockets can either have the welt over the entire opening or flush with the opening, the most common type. 

Besides pockets on garments, welting is also added on slipcovers and pillows, the same way you’ll decorate their edges with piping. In general, any sewing project where you want your seam lines to stand out can use welts. Finally, you can make this trim yourself or purchase pre-made ones of various colors and sizes. 


What is the purpose of welting?

  • For decoration
  • For making the seams stronger


What is double welt?

A double welt means that you’re using a single trim to look like two rows close together. You can see this on upholstery, but double welt pockets are also gaining popularity. Furthermore, please note that double welting is another term for double piping, and they can be mentioned interchangeably. 


What Is The Difference Between Welting And Piping?

One can say that welting and piping are the same, but they are terms to help you differentiate between a fabric strip added on garment edges and a fabric strip added on upholstery edges. Piping is the term used in sewing, and welting is commonly mentioned when making home decors.

Furthermore, piping has its fabric strip covering a cord for structure. On the other hand, welting looks similar to a bias tape sewn on fabric edges. Keeping these differences in mind, it should be easy to identify what a welting looks like vs piping. 


What Are Welts In Fabric?

The welts in the fabric refer to the decorative detail you add around it. For example, it can have a cord in the middle, so welting is somewhat synonymous with piping. However, for projects like pockets, the welts are more like trims on the opening. 


How to make a welting cord

  1. Cut a fabric square according to your desired welting size
  2. Have the fabric wrong side up and draw a line from one corner to another
  3. Cut the line to have two triangles 
  4. Pin the triangles right side together and sew the edge with ¼ inch of seam allowance
  5. Press the seam, then turn the fabric wrong side up
  6. Mark the material with lines every two and a half inches according to the piping size
  7. Bring the fabric ends together and pin
  8. Sew with the same seam allowance earlier and press the seam
  9. Cut along the lines to make one bias strip
  10. Fold the strip over the piping right side out and cut the excess length
  11. Pin the edges and sew with a zipper foot


How To Sew Welting On A Pocket

  1. Cut two rectangular fabrics for the pocket
  2. Cut two fabric strips to make the welt that’ll cover the pocket’s opening
  3. Take one strip and draw two parallel lines according to the pocket opening’s width
  4. Pin one strip to each rectangular fabric on the wrong side so you’ll see where the pocket opening will be 
  5. Layer the two fabric pieces so the one pinned with the marked strip faces out and the piece with the strip free of markings faces down 
  6. Pin the pocket fabrics with the welting side up over the project 
  7. Sew across the parallel lines you made with a straight stitch
  8. Cut a slit between the lines starting half an inch inside the lines and stop the same length by the end of the lines
  9. Cut a diagonal line on each end of the lines so you can fold the material under
  10. Pull the fabrics on the front side of the pocket through the slit and tuck the fabric around the opening
  11. Fold the top fabric layer over the opening to cover it and press
  12. Fold the material up to cover half the pocket opening and iron to finish the welt’s top half
  13. Repeat with the bottom welt and sew around the welts to secure it in place 
  14. Fold the fabric at the back of the pocket in half
  15. Lift the top edge of the pocket and sew around the sides and top of the pocket to finish the pocket bag


What Is A Welting Foot For Sewing Machine?

A welting foot is an attachment to sew trims quickly with your sewing machine. It is also sometimes called a piping foot. For more information, read about how to use sewing machine attachments to familiarize yourself with different presser feet. 



And that’s it! You just learned what is welting in sewing, which is essentially a decorative trim that can also strengthen the seams on projects. It can be interchangeable with piping, but the latter has a cord inside. 

You can add welts on pockets and upholstery, either as single or double welting. We hope this was informative. Leave us a question below if you have any. 

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