Restoring Silk Binding on Old-School Blanket
December 6, 2017 11:35 AM   Subscribe

It's hard to find old school fluffy blankets with silk bindings, so I guess I ought to renovate my old one (the binding is getting a bit torn up). First, where can I go to have it sewn? (dress shops near me are super expensive). Second, the current binding is 3" wide, but it looks like they only sell 2" these days. Any ideas re: finding a wider one?
posted by Quisp Lover to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Buy a yard or two of the weight of silk you want to use and cut 3" wide bias strips from it? You could ask a seamstress to do that for you. It would (or should) be cheaper than buying ready-made binding.

Yours is fraying in part because it wasn't cut on the bias.
posted by fraula at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

See if a local dry cleaner does some simple tailoring. Definitely do not use a dress store, this is very simple sewing, it should take less than an hour on a machine. Or sew it on by hand, it's not difficult, it will just take a long time. I think the bindings are called satin, not silk. The blanket under it is finished off, the edge won't unravel unless it's exposed and treated badly, so it probably would not hurt to replace the 3" binding with 2" binding. I have a few of these old blankets too, they are so warm!
posted by mareli at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think blanket and quilt binding is usually *not* cut on the bias, maybe so that it won't stretch the way bias binding does? Or maybe just because it's cheaper But regardless of whether you want bias strips or crosswise grain strips it's easy to cut your own (six inches plus a bit more for seam/hem allowance so that the edges can be folded under).

Oh and I agree that it's satin you're looking at, not silk (though silk satin would be lovely).

There are quilt shops that will bind quilts - maybe there's one in your area that would bind a blanket? Or honestly it's the kind of very simple task that you might be able to ask a handy friend with a sewing machine and a quilting ruler to do in exchange for the meal or beverage of their choice. I would, especially if you took care of some of the ironing.
posted by mskyle at 11:56 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

If you decide to buy new, they haven't disappeared. The key words you want are "satin trim."

JC Penney
Super expensive Williams Sonoma

Although I admit I'm not seeing examples in that forest green shade, if color is important.
posted by Kriesa at 11:59 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Re bias or not, it depends, but most do recommend bias: Three grain lines for binding
(am a quilter, or at least was many moons ago)
posted by fraula at 12:01 PM on December 6, 2017

I'd check out local shops of quilters on etsy and talk to them and see if any would be up for the job
posted by raccoon409 at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2017

Kriesa, great find. Macy's has a crazy cheap sale right now on these, plus an extra 30% free shipping!

Still, I'd like to repair this blanket, and will follow people's advice!
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2017

Tips on binding from a quilter --
Corners: Start sewing binding several inches from a corner. Some commercial binding has a shorter side -- machine sew this facing you to catch both sides. Pins may leave permanent marks on silky fabrics, so I would be inclined to baste it in place to the first corner and not remove the thread.
Sew both sides to fabric edge. Reposition binding to second side, letting fabric drape back over corner to make a sharp point and 45 degree angle. Baste or pin second side and keep sewing.
Once back to the first end, cut binding off and allow a generous amount to fold over itself (covering raw edge) and sew over first end raw edge.
I usually do some hand sewing at the connection point and the corners to tack down the folded binding, but that's optional.
posted by TrishaU at 12:22 PM on December 6, 2017

On the purchasing aside, I searched high and low for these blankets a few years ago (the brand I was looking for was Fieldcrest) and found that most of the current constructions use microfleece rather than the old "touseled polyester" or even the nubby cotton ones from the 60-70s. It's very difficult to find these where they haven't been value-engineered into cheapness or luxuried up like the wool Williams-Sonoma.
posted by rhizome at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2017

rhizome, that's been my experience, exactly. In fact, this is indeed a cotton Fieldcrest blanket. Hopefully the Martha Stewart one linked by Kriesa will be as throwback as reviews say it is.

I guess I crave middle class blankets....but there's no middle class anything because the country's bifurcated into cheap/shitty vs fancy/luxury.
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

I have the Martha Stewart one. It has the new, shorter style of binding.
posted by answergrape at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2017

I'm wondering if this one is the type you want.
posted by answergrape at 1:15 PM on December 6, 2017

There's lots of these blankets on ebay, seems like the magic word is "acrylic thermal blanket". If that helps, at all. Example.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:46 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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