Using Washi Tape For Sewing

I think it’s safe to say that just about every crafter has a stash of washi tape lying around. Or at the very least, has such an urge to buy some but you’re just not quite sure how to use it. Washi tape is a Japanese paper tape that is made from various plant fibers. It comes in the most fabulous array of colours and designs and not only looks pretty, but is incredibly useful beyond the decorating. It’s sticky but removable, like masking tape, but doesn’t leave behind a sticky goo. Even if you sew or quilt, you have no excuse not to buy some because it really is quite useful!

Washi tape and sewing machines

1. Marking lines on your sewing machine.
I use washi tape to mark the 1/4″ seam line on my machine. If I have a lot of half-square triangles to make, I’ll often add another strip to mark the needle line so I don’t have to draw so many lines on my fabric. Instead, I can line up the bottom corner with the tape and keep the fabric straight manually.


2. Labelling notions.
Want to keep your fabric scissors safe from family members who are inclined to borrow them for cutting paper? Wrap a strip of washi tape around the handle for a clear, visual reminder to keep their hands off! It’s also useful for a non-permanent way to mark your property when at sewing group, not to mention using a rainbow of washi tape to label plastic containers for storing scraps in an organised manner!

Washi tape and binding

3. Controlling your binding.
I hope you save your old spools! They’re a frugal and fabulous way to store binding – just add a piece of washi to keep it stuck to the spool.

4. Basting quilts.
Extra-wide washi tape is fabulous for taping quilt backings to the floor to keep it from moving while you’re basting a quilt. It’s gentle on your fabrics and floors but tough enough to keep its hold.

5. Marking lines on fabric.
While I use a hera marker for big quilts, quickly popping a strip of washi tape on my fabric is a great line to follow when quilting small projects.

How do you use washi tape for your sewing? Inspire us!

Alyce (226 Posts)

Living in Japan, Alyce spends her days mothering 2 little monkeys, quilting, blogging at Blossom Heart Quilts, and revelling in the fabrics of Japan!


  1. I often use washi tape to stick my quilt blocks to a wall so I can take a photo
    Tonya Grant recently posted..ModernQAL: Parisian Star BlockMy Profile

  2. Thanks Alyce! I have a question about using it for marking lines on a quilt. I wanted to do this for a straight diagonal line but then I was worried about what would happen if my needle went into the tape by mistake. Does it still peel off okay? Thanks!
    DeborahGun recently posted..Hexie elephant baby quiltMy Profile

  3. wow, I’ve never heard of Washi tape…just looked it up..I’ve got to get some soon! Thanks
    Tee recently posted..Grab Button AvailableMy Profile

  4. Peggy Flowers says:

    Will washi tape harm the bed of a vintage sewing machine? I don’t want to mess up the finish.

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