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Sewing Binding, am i missing something?

Started by Old sailmaker, August 04, 2014, 11:16:35 pm

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Old sailmaker

Good afternoon everyone, looking for a little help. I virtually never used binding until a year or so ago and whenever I did i never used the attachment piece. Just manual sewed it and not bad. But i have since been trying the attachments with no luck whatsoever! Using 7/8" binding normally, acrylic, tried adjusting the attachment back and forth, until my patience wears thin, then i just take it off and do it manually again. Figure I can save a lot of time and effort if I could just figure out what I am doing wrong. Catches on top fine. Bottom doesnt get caught and it acts like it gets an extra little "fold" in the binding. Maybe change pressure foots on the old pfaff? Ive been sewing for 40 plus years now and its frustrating that I suck at something that should be pretty straight forward......in my trwisted mind anyway, lol. Thanks in advance for any help, tips etc . Craig


There are binders............
and there are folders.

If you are sewing carpet binding on with a folder, I can't do it. 

A binder is the best for actual binding.  This attachment is machined accurately for the binding being sewed and is framed out to fit close to the needle and the ones I have seen require a custom foot, feed dog, and feed plate and they work, manufacturers of auto carpet that require binding go this route.

Much can be said about this subject but in a word an effective binder is a piece of precision for the specific binding being installed and the peripheral equipment attached to the machine used.

On a relative scale, I believe even some years ago, one could expect to spend a bit over $500 bucks to get a professional binding arrangement.

Don't know what the status of this approach is today because newer autos do not use binding.  Probably the biggest user of binders today is for original older (antique) car carpet binding.

What is the number or identifier of your attachment, the machine you are using, and the feet  being used and feed dog plate as well.  Maybe some one may want to look it up.  A photo might be informative also.

Thanks for posting, interesting subject.



  I use a 3/4" folder or binding attachment. It is the second one I've had. and they both work great. Are you sure you are matching the size with the binding? I know I'm sure you are but it cant hurt to ask. On mine the binding slides in and is the exact size of the opening on the folder. I set mine so the needle is about 1/16" of an inch from the edge of the tape and about 1/4" from the foot. I use a standard flat foot with teeth and it feeds smooth and even all along. It is important that the tape is fed straight into the feet of the machine. Are you attaching it with one or two screws? I need to use two to keep it from moving and I tighten them pretty tight.
  Like Doyle said pics might be of help also.

  It is true that it saves a tremendous amount of time from doing it manually. Once set up I just feed the fabric and let the binding flow.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Somtimes i get a roll of bi di g that a tad tigbt in my 7/8" binder folder if it tight it can not slide easily and get a recerse fold at the center if it loose it can move sround and cat h on oone hallf and not the other

Darren Henry

I would hazard to guess that the binder you bought was as bad as the one I wasted $30 on. we had a chat about this a couple of years back (maybe check archives) and people were posting pictures of their binders. Mike and June come to mind as having invested in good ones---mine was a piece of crud from day one and no amount of "tweaking" ever changed that. If you were to look down the barrel of it , the binding would look like" [ " as it came at you, not "<" like the good ones.And it didn't fit the binding well so the binding sort of "slopped around" on it's way through.
Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!


I bought this binder way back when I first started sewing. I have used it on everything from carpet to acrylic fabric. It has been an awesome binder and has taken a great deal of abuse. The quality is the best since it is made in Japan.

They are a bit pricey but then you get what you paid for. Here is what they look like ( brand is called Sussei ).




I also have a Suisei binder described by Mojo. I worked quite well on my Singer 111W155. However, my Juki has larger screw holes for mounting attachments, and the binder mounting slot would need to be modified to allow attachment.

Juki 1508; Bernina 217 with CAM Reader

Old sailmaker

Thanks all, for some reason i couldnt post yesterday. Yes i got a $30 attachment from ebay or sailright . Mike i do use 2 screws and have adjusted it inside and out. Ill take a picture today of my setup and post it. Thanks again everyone. Craig


Interesting that this topic has come up again.  I have a swingaway binder that I purchased from a very reputable sewing machine dealer (owner was a member here).  It was sold as a binder for single fold acrylic binding (3/4").  And I had trouble with it from the get-go.  Sent it back to Tennessee Attachment (who fabricated them for the dealer to retail) to have it retrofitted.  TA was total drag to deal with (I will never use them again) and while it works now, it's barely OK, IMO.   

Fast forward:  I am having a custom binder made for my Nakajima 380 (cylinder bed machine).  As Doyle noted, I've sent the swing plate (where it will be mounted), the stock feed and feet to the shop (Kaplan Sewing, in NJ).  I was quoted $500-550 for the set up.  It will be a right angle binder because that's the set up that allows binding inside curves and tight radii most easily.  I have a custom right angle binder for my Singer 31-15 and it works like a dream (double fold, takes a flat bias and folds the top and bottom under as it's applied to the raw edge). 

I've used a lot of binders over the years and when they are properly set up for the work to be done they're a huge time saver; but when they don't work they are a total drag!  Boss was too cheap to buy a good set up and the work always looked sort of rinky-dink as a result.  The first canvas shop I worked in had a great binders, 3/4 and 1", right angles on the throat plate for the top loading Pfaffs.  My goal with my Nak. is to leave the machine set up as a dedicated binder; but a well designed binding set up isn't that hard to swap out, although it does take time. 

Old sailmaker

Heres my set up, 7/8" double folded binding, attachment. The folding is what screws it up


If your binding isn't being caught on the underside my instinct says that the folder is too large to keep the binding steady as it's fed under the needle.  But sometimes a "gut feel" isn't right.  I noticed that you have a welting foot on the inside foot and I wonder if poor contact with the feed dog is allowing the binding to "wander"? have you tried putting the regular feet on your machine to see if that helps with steading the feed of the binding?

Since you're binding straight runs you probably don't need a right angle and the set up you have ought to work fine.  I have friends who use that set up and it does what it's supposed to do with no real issues. 

Darren Henry

that's the one I had. toss it,it's a piece of junk. I wasted hours trying to tweak mine to no avail.
Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!

Old sailmaker

@bobbin, thanks i will change the foot and if that doesnt fix it, in the garbage it will go and i will try and find another one. Thanx yall


August 08, 2014, 06:40:28 pm #13 Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 06:44:53 pm by Mike
ive got the same binders looks like the same feet I don't know what they are I ever change them

I do like to angle mine a bit helps on inside curves what is the exact problem is it as boobin said not catching the bottom  when sewing?
once you get it right im sure you will love this set up when not binding I just slip on a empty plate unlike the swingaway binder bolted to the deck.

ive got a 90 degree swing away binder ive never use it just to odd and the tention is a lot when sewing the binding isn't free flowing with itl seems like the holding back of the binding tention woujld be trouble and I paid about 200 for it and it now rusty


Is it set too far back from the foot or is that just the photo?

I have mine just clearing the foot in both directions
I would have thought you wouldn't have too much trouble on straight runs otherwise