Ask the tailor: What's the difference between bias binding and kick tape?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re explaining all about the difference between kick tape and bias binding… and why it matters.

How carefully have you looked at the inside of your bespoke tailoring? Inner seams are usually neatly finished using bias binding. You’ll also find kick tape being used, usually for trouser hems. 

These things are important as they affect the overall look and feel of your tailoring, as well as how hardwearing they are likely to be over time. 

Why are bias binding and kick tape used in tailoring?

Bias binding and kick tape play slightly different roles in the creation of your tailoring, but they both fit them same general purpose: to neatly finish raw ends and seams of fabric. 

Finishing these areas has the dual purpose of making your suit look neater and stopping the fabric from fraying. 

When is bias binding used?

Bias binding is generally used to enclose inner seams in your tailoring. It can also be used on necklines and for casings and piping. 

When is kick tape used?

Kick tape is used on the hem of your trousers. Generally the tape will be attached so that the finished end of it will sit just below the bottom of the hem and will protect the hems themselves from coming into contact with the floor or your shoes. 

Is there anything you should look out for?

Often, the real sign of quality is in the details. At first glance, it may not seem very important which type of tape or binding is used in your bespoke tailoring. However, inspecting these details more closely can help you to get a feel for how dedicated your tailor is to the pursuit of tailoring perfection! 

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to give us the lowdown on bespoke shirt care. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.