A quick look around the web showed that there really isn't a whole lot of information out there about carpet binding. True carpet binding is a simple polyester tape that is sewn over the edge of a carpet, with a high powered sewing machine, to keep the edges of your carpet from fraying and falling apart. This can be done with either a small, portable machine that rides along the floor on wheels, or a larger machine that sits atop a large air table; like the systems we have set up in most of our stores.
There are also products online available for a DIY project, and from what I've read, these are perfectly fine for a small, short term solution; especially when it's not practical to bring your rug to a place that offers traditional binding. For longevity however, I recommend using traditional, sewn-on binding. There are several variations of the tape that is sewn on and offers many options for a perfectly customized look.
The first is a simple polyester tape, the most widely used binding tape, and what most people think of when they think of carpet binding. Typically, the tape is matched as close as possible to the color of the carpet so it blends well. This is the easiest, most economical way to finish off the edge of raw carpeting.
Another binding option is the 3" wide cotton sisal tape. This tape leaves you with a nice wide (about 1 inch) edge on the carpet. Perfect for a more distinct look.
If you've ever looked closely at the edge of an oriental rug, you'll see that the edges are finished with a continuous thread, ins looping pattern; like this:
This is called surging, and to have traditional surging done on a rug or carpeting is very expensive, and can take weeks to complete, as the rug needs to be sent away for finishing. Thankfully, there is a much more cost effective option with a very similar look; surge tape. It works the same way traditional polyester binding tape does, but offers the more refined look of surging. Perfect for the ends of that new runner, or whenever you need a more classic, polished look.
Traditional fringing is sewn into the ends of an oriental rug when it's woven at the mill. It's a classic look that is expected of most traditional oriental rugs and runners.
If you buy a custom-cut runner from a roll however, it needs to be finished off in some way. If you are a fan of fringing, you are still in luck. First the carpet is bound with traditional binding tape, and then the fringing is glued on using a commercial grade hot glue gun. The perfect final touch for a new rug!