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Fabric Trimmings and How to Use Them

Understanding the Different Types of Fabric Trim & How to Use Them

Fabric trims or trimming can be used in many different ways around the house. They can add a bit of color and fun to any home decor project, such as cushions, curtains, roman-blinds, tie-backs, pelmets, quilts, throws, blankets, tablecloths and even lampshades. Any fabrics for the home can be customized and brightened up with fabric trimmings. You can add fabric trimmings yourself or you can ask your upholsterer or curtain maker to incorporate them into your design. If you do decide to add trimming yourself any offcuts are worth keeping for sewing and craft projects.

What kind of fabric trim should you use? The answer is: it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. There are many different types of fabric trims like lace, braid, fringe, applique, pom-pom and more.  And each one has its own special qualities and functions in your home decorating project. But don’t worry this quick guide will help you understand the different types and how to use them.

What is Fabric Trimming?

Fabric trim, or trimming, is an embellishment added to fabric primarily for ornamental or decorative reasons. There are many different types of trim available with some of the most common ones being braid, cord, lace, tassles and ribbon. Highly decorative or elaborate trimmings are sometimes called passementerie.



What are the Different Types of Fabric Trimmings?

There are almost as many different types of fabric trim to choose from as there are fabrics. The most common ones which most people will be familiar with are ribbons and buttons. Other common fabric trimmings include: lace, braid, tapes, cord, tassles, and pom-poms. Fabric trimmings can range from simple bands of colour to highly decorative trims. Multi-layered trimming is sometimes called applique trimmings.



Which Fabric Trimming Should I Choose?

Most fabric trim is added simply for ornamental reasons so it is important to choose one you like. However, fabric trim is sometimes added for functional reasons: bias tape (fabric cut at a different angle to the main fabric) is great for adding strength and elasticity, a simple tape or ribbon can be added to lightweight curtains or voiles to give extra weight to help them hang better, and cord or piping trim is often added to upholstery and cushion edges to help reduce wear and tear.   

Simple Ways to Use Fabric Trims Around the Home

Lace Trimming

Lace can be used in many different ways. One way you can use lace is to add it to the bottom of a curtain or even on the top, usually in an X pattern. This creates a more luxurious look that's perfect for dressing up your windows. You could also use lace to the edges or across pillows and cushions to tie the scheme together.  


Braid Trim

Braid is a flat decorative trimming, similar to lace, but with a wider choice of fabrics and printing, embroidery and embellishment options. Braids can also be more harder wearing making them suitable for decorative and functional purposes. Braid can be used in window treatments on curtains, roman blinds, pelmets and tie-backs as well as quilts, throws, cushions and upholstery. It can add color and texture to any fabric project!



Ribbon or Tape Trimming

Tape trimming is perfect for adding a splash of colour but you can get an even better effect by using it to create a contrast in fabrics. Velvet and silk trimmings are both really popular ways of adding textural detail, the softness of velvet invites you to run your hands across it and picks up on the changes in the light, whilst silk is great for creating a bit of shimmer or sheen. The different textures and colours of these trimmings make them the perfect accent for almost any project from cushions and curtains and to furniture and quilts.


Applique Trimming

Applique trimmings are layered fabric trimmings, typical designs will include a tape trim base and then highly decorative layers on top which might include delicate laces, beads, shells, and more. The delicate nature of these trims makes them ideal for curtains, decorative cushions, but less suitable for furniture and upholstery.


Cord or Piping Trim

Cord or piped trim is perfect for edging cushions and furniture. The trim is typically sewn into the cushion or upholstered item in either a matching fabric or contrasting colour to add detail. Adding cord or piping can help prevent fraying from wear and tear which is why they are so popular on seat covers and sofas.


Fringe or Tassel Trimming

Fringe or tassel trim is at its best when it can hang freely as a decorative trim. This makes fringe or tassel trimming perfect for hanging from the bottom of a pelmet, as well as the underside of lampshades and tie-backs.


Pom-Pom Trim

Pom-pom trimmings have grown in popularity in the last few years, they are perfect for adding soft but colourful detail to any sewing project. They are an especially popular choice for childrens rooms where they can be added to curtains, quilts, bedspreads, cushions and more.

Embroidery Trimming

There is a wide variety of embroidered trim available, embroidered trim is generally stronger and harder wearing than its lace counterpart but can be equally decorative making it a perfect choice for most home fabrics. Embroidered trim looks great on bedding, quilts, throws, and cushions.



Fabric trimmings are the best way to make your window dressings, cushions and furniture truly unique. With the wide choice of trims available there is a decorative embellishment for every project, and if that isn’t enough, you can even create your own applique trim by layering different trimmings on top of each other. The choices of fabric trim really are limitless and we would encourage anyone to embrace their creative side and make trimming part of your next home décor project.

If you need some help or guidance on choosing or using trim why not give our friendly customer services team a call or drop them an email. We also offer a wide range of made-to-order services including curtains, lampshades, roman blinds, cushions, quilts, headboards and more, so once you have found your perfect trimming why not ask us for a quote.