Tips for sewing gimp

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It’s the little things that can make or break a trailer. Handmade gimp is one of those special touches that can have a huge impact on the final look of your restoration.

Gimp welting is trim that goes between the wall and cabinets, or almost anywhere that 2 pieces join and are visible.

I wanted to keep this project as close to original as possible. Some people like to use wood trim. While this looks nice, it does not flex with the movement of the trailer, or prevent the squeaking from wood on wood contact.

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I found fabric that was pretty close to the original., and purchased 5/32 welting cord (the standard size for gimp welting)

Cut your strips 1.25 inches wide. When cutting on the bias, you can get a bit over 25 yards of gimp per yard of fabric (out of 54 inch wide fabric). If cutting a straight cut, you can get 35 yards of gimp per yard of fabric.

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NOTE: If you are using vinyl, there is no need to cut it on the bias. If using another type of fabric, I would recommend cutting it on the bias, as it helps the fabric bend around corners.

I went ahead and purchased a welting cord foot for my sewing machine. If you do not want to do this, you can use your zipper foot

Live and Learn Moment: When sewing with vinyl it sticks. It sticks to your foot. It sticks to your plate. It refuses to slide properly. Its a pain on the arse. I glued a piece of thin teflon sheet to my foot and plate to prevent this from happening. Using tissue paper (the normal way to prevent vinyl from sticking) does not make sense in this case and is very timing consuming.

Join your strips at an angle (Here is a great video on this ) as it reduces bulk.

Use a very long stitch length. There is no need to have a supertight stitch. This is temporarily holding the gimp together until it is stapled to the wood. (When these trailers were originally built they did not sew the fabric around the cording, the strips were wrapped around the cord as they stapled it on. ) Get as close to the cording as possible.

Just keep sewing…..just keep sewing ( in Miss Dory’s famous words). Keep going until you have the amount you need!

This is an undertaking not for the faint of heart or those who have a UFO (unfinished objects) basket as big as a bath tub.

Making your own gimp is easy with basic sewing skills.

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