There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.
Here are the basic facts for the six most common types of bindings.
Single fold bias tape
This is the flat bias trim with both edges folded in. It finishes at ½" and requires stitching along both edges... similar to applying ribbon. It's normally used for trim, casings and narrow facings.
Extra wide single fold bias tape
Just like the single fold above, but this bias trim finishes at 1". Like its skinny cousin, it requires stitching along both edges and is most often used for trim, casings, facings and hems.
Double fold bias binding
This is basically our friend the single fold bias tape from above, folded in half. It's almost always used as an edge finish or to create ties. It finishes at ¼".
Extra wide double fold bias binding
You're noticing a pattern by now, I'll bet. The extra wide double fold, is the extra wide single fold, folded in half. It finishes at ½" and as above, is most often used as an edge finish or for ties.
I like to think of this as extra-extra wide double fold bias binding. Quilt binding finishes at 7/8". Use it to finish the edges of fabrics with bulk, like fleece blankets or, as the name implies, quilts.
The type of binding is simply folded once, in half, finishing at approximately 2". Most folks choose this for finishing fleece blankets or replacing worn blanket binding. It's almost always satin so it creates that wonderfully smooth bound edge that kids the world over rub on their noses when they suck their thumbs.
There you have it. Now step up to that tape display with confidence!