What is a Bodkin?

In the world of sewing, some tasks can be quite difficult, such as passing a cord through a garment or the envelope of a bag. This is where a multi-purpose tool called bodkin comes to the rescue. A master key is a small but essential tool used by seamstresses to make various tasks easier and more efficient. Whether threading cords or turning tubes of fabric, a mat proves to be an invaluable asset in any sewing kit. In this article we will see what a pass-through is, its different types and, above all, how to use it to easily pull a cord. Whether you're a seasoned seamstress or just starting out with sewing projects, understanding the functionality of the sewing pass will undoubtedly improve your sewing experience. Let's explore the world of sleights and discover the tricks of this useful tool!

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Pictured here – Several types of Bodkin

What is a Bodkin?

A sewing machine is a specialized sewing tool designed to make various sewing tasks easier and more efficient. It usually consists of a thin, elongated metal or plastic rod with one pointed end and a loop or eye on the other end. The pointed end allows easy insertion into fabrics, while the loop or eye makes it easy to attach threads, ribbons or cords.

There are different types of pass holders available for various sewing tasks. The basic straight pass-through is the most common, featuring a thin shank with a pointed end and an eyelet for threading. Another type is ball piping, which has a rounded ball-shaped tip suitable for delicate fabrics like knits to prevent snagging during insertion. Flat tip mat, as its name suggests, has a flat, broad tip, making it useful for guiding ribbons or trim through casings or loops. For pulling thicker or multiple strands of wire through small openings, the grommet comes with an extra wire loop at the pointed end. Finally, the elastic duct is specifically designed for threading elastic through waistbands, cuffs, or other areas of clothing that need stretching. Each type of piping serves a specific purpose, providing seamstresses with versatile options for tackling various sewing challenges.

How to Use a Bodkin to Pull a Cord

Using a grommet to pull a cord through a casing is a simple but valuable sewing technique. To start, make sure you have the correct piping for the task, such as basic straight piping or ballpoint piping for delicate fabrics. First, grab the loop or eye of the pass-through and tie one end of the cord securely. Next, insert the pointed end of the grommet into the open end of the cord and gently pull the grommet through the housing, guiding the cord with it. The smooth surface and pointed end of the piping make it easy to navigate the fabric, preventing any snags or tangles. Gradually pass the piping through the casing until the cord emerges at the opposite end. Once the cord is fully pulled, you can adjust its placement within the housing, ensuring a neat and uniform appearance. As you master this simple technique, you will find that using a grommet to pull a cord is a convenient and effective way to easily complete sewing projects.


How do I take care of my body?

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your master key, it is essential to take care of it. After each use, be sure to clean the piping thoroughly, removing any residual thread or fabric particles. Use a soft cloth or mild soap and water to gently wipe the mat. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the body surface. Additionally, keep the mat in a dry, safe place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Proper storage prevents rusting or warping, keeping your mat in excellent condition for many sewing projects to come.

Where can I buy a master key?

Bodkins are typically available at sewing supply stores, craft stores, and online retailers specializing in sewing tools and accessories. You can find a wide range of grommet types, including basic straight grommets, ball grommets, and much more. Check with local sewing stores or explore online platforms to find a master key that meets your sewing needs. When purchasing a mat, consider factors such as material quality, size, and any additional features that may be beneficial for your specific sewing projects.

Can you turn a tube with a sleight of hand?

Yes, a piping pass can be used to turn a tube of fabric right side out. To do this, sew the fabric tube wrong sides together, leaving both ends open. Next, insert the grommet into one end of the tube and carefully guide it through the inside of the tube, making sure the pointed end reaches the opposite end. Once the pass-through emerges from the other end, securely tie your fabric tube through the pass-through loop. Then, gently pull the mat, turning the tube of fabric right side out. This technique is particularly useful for straps, belts and narrow fabric tubes where the use of a grommet makes the turning process much more manageable and efficient.


The sewing pass is an indispensable tool in the world of sewing, simplifying various tasks and improving overall efficiency. With its thin, pointed end and its loop or eyelet, the mat makes it easy to thread cords, ribbons and threads through fabrics.

As you embark on your sewing journey, consider the mat a valuable addition to your toolbox. Mastering the art of using a pedestal to pull cords or turn tubes of fabric opens up a world of possibilities in your sewing creations. Enjoy the convenience and ease that piping brings and let your sewing projects flourish with precision and finesse. Whether you're a seasoned sewer or just getting started, exploring the versatility of piping will undoubtedly elevate your sewing experience to new heights. Happy sewing!

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