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Difference Between a Border and Binding in a T-Shirt Quilt

Borders or Binding?

Baylor quilt, parts of a quilt
Baylor quilt, parts of a quilt with flannel backing.

Many times when someone is sending their tshirts in and ordering a quilt, they will ask ‘what fabric do you use for that outside border?”

OK,  the confusion comes because the customer does not understand the difference between the ‘binding’ and a ‘border’.  In this photo, we are also showing ‘sashing‘ and ‘backing‘ which are also parts of any real quilt.


Binding is the final step in the quilt-making process that encloses all of the raw edges of the three quilt layers (top, batting & backing) to make a beautiful finished quilt.

The binding is usually the same fabric as either the front border or the backing material.  It can be something totally different if you want to go for a color ‘pop’.


Borders are the strips of fabric that go around the outside of the quilt blocks.  There can be any number of borders.  T-Shirt Quilts of Texas is unique in that they offer TWO borders at no additional charge on their standard quilts.

We offer these options:

  • Sashing – This is the part that goes around the blocks  and the outer area of blocks.  Think of ‘window sashing’ .  In the photo, it is the white fabric.
  • Outer – This border is a generous 5 to 6 inch border that complements your t-shirts.  Again, no extra charge for this border.  Usually, this is the same fabric as the backing, but in this case, the customer opted to upgrade to a flannel backing.
  • Accent – Now this is an optional border.  It is a 1″ pop of color that we offer to make your quilt that much more special.  Think of a Harley-Davidson quilt without that extra ‘pop’ of orange color.  This is available with all of our quilts except for the “BASIC” style, which is a cost effective alternative.
  • Binding – This is that very outer fabric that encloses all the raw edges of a quilt.  Some folks call it a border, and ours is a ‘double fold” border, which means there are several layers of fabric in your binding.

For more terms used in making a tshirt quilt, check out this post: T-Shirt Quilt Terms Acronyms.

If you are ready to get started with your t-shirt quilt, just click to get the next steps.

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