Decorating with Rugs, The Magic Doormat

What is the Difference Between Binding and Serging an Area Rug?

What is the Difference Between Binding and Serging an Area Rug?

Below is information and images of binding and serging on the edge of a rug. Read down to see which one we prefer, which looks most elegant and lasts the longest.

What is binding? Most standard carpet binding is folded over the edge of a rug and stitched on with a binding machine similar to a commercial sewing machine. The finished width is approximate. ¼ to 3/8 inch, or 1 1/2″ with a cotton canvas binding. The colors generally match the field color of the rug, so the edge is not noticeable; it is just finished nicely.  Binding gives a rug more of a tailored look, a classic finish giving a rug an elegant finish.

Difference Between Binding & Serging

carpet binding

Beautifully Bound Wilton Carpets

rug binding

Bound Edge on Area Rug Matching Carpet Color

What is Serging? A serged edge is a continuous wrap of yarn around the edge of a rug. The finished width is approximately 3/8 inch.

carpet serging

Serged Edge on a Berber Carpet

rug serging

Serged Edge on a Plush Carpet

Many companies will push serging for a better and more durable look. As a Textile major at Longwood University and after 30+ years of making custom logo mats, I believe serging gives rugs a cheap look.

I often tell customers that it looks like the inside of how clothing is finished.

inside seam

Serged inside seam on a knitted garment

serged seam

Serged edge on inside clothing

serged seam

Serged Stitch on a fabric seam

serged rug edge

serged edge draws one’s eye to the edge

Serging does not resemble part of the carpet and draws one’s eye to the edge. Most higher-end mills and designer carpet companies finish custom area rugs by binding the edges and only serge the edges when requested.

Most companies don’t offer opinions, recommendations, or advice on finishing edges. They may want to finish the rug the easiest way possible or make the sale and will tell the client anything.

Serging is an easy way to finish rugs as it goes on quickly and can hide imperfections and an uneven edge.

At Rug Rats, we repair many serged edges where the yarns “sprout” and create bald spots in the rug’s face. This can happen due to foot traffic, vacuuming, pet claws, or faulty application.

Serged edge that yarn has sprouted and needs repair

The serged edge the yarn has sprouted and needs repair

Serged stair runner edge that needs repair

Serged stair runner edge that needs repair

Uneven serged rug edge

Uneven Serged Rug Edge

Serged edge with needle shows how easily yarns can pull

The serged edge with a needle shows how easily yarns can pull.



For questions or comments, contact Rug Rats at


Check out our Custom Logo Rugs for an assortment of custom rug styles and custom door mats for businesses, schools & universities, churches, and the military. Over the years, we have made many tailored welcome mats with logos.

We reply to every inquiry within 24 hours of receiving it, and our owner typically replies directly. Don’t hesitate. Call us today so we can begin creating your custom logo rug as quickly as possible.

About Rug Rats Fine Carpets and Rugs

Rug Rats incorporates a strong dedication to customer satisfaction. Each custom rug we create is a distinctive work of art. Contact us today via email.

We’re looking forward to working with you!


About the author - Sandy Henderson

The author Sandy Henderson is owner of Rug Rats Fine Carpet and Rugs, a small town business with a national presence. Sandy was drawn to materials and design and wanted to explore how we can take charge of the beauty and happiness of our own homes. She earned a degree in Clothing and Textiles, from historic Longwood College (founded over two hundred years ago as a teachers’ college in Farmville, Virginia). Sandy now draws on her 36 years in the custom rug business to help clients all over the US with their custom & logo rug decisions.

12 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between Binding and Serging an Area Rug?

  1. Monka Piland says:

    I would like a quote on Matisse Les vegtables runner. Approx. 2 1/2 ft. by 8 ft. Thank you

  2. AHMET OTER says:

    Very useful info . Thank you .

  3. Max Jones says:

    I didn’t realize the different techniques for rugs until recently! I really like the look of serged edges as opposed to the bound ones. My grandma had a lot of rugs in her home and recently passed away, and I noticed the different edges and how they held up over the years while cleaning her house. Thanks for the clarification on serging vs bound rugs!

  4. Monique says:

    Do you believe Scotch Guard is capable of protecting a light colored serged edge in a high traffic area?

    1. Sandy Henderson says:

      Yes Scotchguard will work for a while, but you do need to reapply as it does wear off depending on how much wear the edge gets. I tell our customers to reapply every 6 months to a year.

  5. Dante Scott says:

    Area rug is one of the best flooring option and the binding and serging of an area rug is different. Generally, binding give rugs a tailored and classic look that exudes elegance, where as serging is a quick and easy way to finish rugs. Another important point is if you are looking for a quick fix then it is better that you should select serging services. In your blog you really give the best comparison between binding and serging an area rug and that’s really helpful to others. You can refer this:

  6. Nina says:

    Sandy, Thank you for posting this very useful article. The difference between binding and serging an area rug is clearly explained and well-illustrated. As a designer, I will refer this article to my clients to better help them choose their edge finish!

    Nina Molter
    Nina Davis Associates, LLC

    1. Sandy Henderson says:

      Thank You! Let me know if I can help on any projects.

  7. Tim Salyer says:

    Have thought of doing the same work you are doing other than the logo styles. Thought of binding or serging the edge of custom cut carpets for people. Wondering what machine or machines you would suggest. I’m in Topeka ks so I should not be in any competition with you folks but could use advise so I can see if its something I might be able to do as a side business

    1. Sandy Henderson says:

      We use Bond machines. If you have any other questions, email me at

  8. Nina Dennis says:


    Do you know where I can find a custom cut natural fiber rug for a corner fireplace? Can I purchase a regular 9×12 and have someone cut the corner? Do you know where I can get this done inexpensively? I can’t seem to find anyone.

    Charlottesville, VA

    1. Sandy Henderson says:

      You will end up spending more by trying to get a custom shape this way. Any carpet store that does binding can cut off the corner and bind the rug, the problem is matching the original binding from the rug you bought. The entire rug will need to be re-bound to make the edging all one color.
      The easiest and best look would be to order the rug with your corner cut off. Fibreworks will cut custom shapes. You can look at their various styles here:
      We can send samples if you see any color that you like. Send an email to, with your sizes, and I will send pricing.

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