It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, the lull before the storm of Monday morning madness of alarm clocks, traffic jams and deadlines. The clock struck three and Rebecca’s elbow still rested on the arm of the tapestry-covered sofa. With her fingertips she began caressing the rough piping that ran along its seams. Simultaneously, the toes of her left foot moved back and forth across the edges of the sheepskin rug. (Source: https://www.flo-joe.co.uk/cae/students/tests/read3pr1.htm)

I understand the word-by-word translation of the sentence but it makes no sense to me. I think it somehow related to the sofa which was previously mentioned but I don't understand in which way.

1 Answer 1


The sentence sounds fine to me, but maybe the word piping is tripping you up. From Wikipedia:

In sewing, piping is a type of trim or embellishment consisting of a strip of folded fabric so as to form a "pipe" inserted into a seam to define the edges or style lines of a garment or other textile object.

For example, this off-white sofa has black piping:

enter image description here

So, if Rebecca was lounging on that sofa, she would be absent-mindedly rubbing her fingertips along one of those black seams.

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