How to Select the Correct type of Boning.
Here is a detailed description of the types of corset boning that we stock giving their uses etc. For quick reference here is a chart comparing the different boning materials with their possible uses.
Boning Comparison Chart
Mark the lengths of bone required using a marker pen and carefully cut the steel with aviation snips or bolt cutters, your local hardware store should be able to help you here.
You will be left with sharp ends to your boning which if not smoothed will work their way through the fabric of your corset. We normally round the ends using a grinder or file (do wear eye protection). The ends can then be finished with spiral wire end caps or dipped in silicone bathroom sealant (takes a while to dry but works well and is safe), we have heard of PVA and latex being used as an alternative.
Many people find it more convenient to use the pre-finished steel bones.
Finished steel bones are available in several widths and finishes and are now standard in most corsetry with the 7mm width being the most popular. The 13mm size is used where more support is required and the rigid bones used in tight lacing corsetry and as a method of reinforcing behind a busk.
Both the continuous steel and the pre-finished boning needs a channel in the corset to hold it in place. It is important to keep these channels precise to prevent the bones from twisting whilst the corset is being worn.
The channels can be formed in various ways but we find the most convenient is to use boning tape. If you are making a corset where you are treating the outer fabric and lining as seperate layers this tape can be sewn inside the lining and be completely hidden from view. If you are treating all of the layers as one then the boning tape can be sewn to the underside of the corset through all layers giving a strong finish and covering up any raw edges.
Continuous Spiral WireFinished Spiral Wires
Spiral wire is made from steel coiled springs press flattened. It has the advantage of being able to bend in two directions. It can be used to form a supportive but very comfortable corset and in combination with straight steel boning (the spiral wire used for very curvy seams and those over the bust area).
Spiral wires can be bought pre tipped in many lengths. It is also available as economic continuous boning on a roll with end caps bought separately.
Choose bones that are approximately 1 inch shorter than the placement point and use the channels technique described in steel bones above.
Spiral wires should not be used in the channels that are used either side of eyelets, steel bones only here!
Spiral wire is galvanised to make it rust resistant. It will rust if left to soak and then dried too slowly. The trick to washing corsets with spiral wires is to wash gently in warm soapy water and dry flat in a warm environment. If you are in any doubts about the colour fastness or suitability of your fabric for washing then dry cleaning is a far better option.
REINFORCED FLEXIBLE PLASTIC BONING
Reinforced Flexible Boning
This type of boning is mainly used for lighter foundation garments such as bridesmaid's bodices and swimming costumes. Can be used for corsetry when in combination with other types of boning.
It is available in three widths and is soft and pliable. The reinforcing helps it to retain it's shape making it far superior to Polyester Boning such as Rigilene.
Why not mail us for a sample?
Having discovered this material we have found it excellent for making bustles. The finished garment is a lot lighter than it's steel boned counterpart and yet seems to offer a similar, if not better, support for bum rolls, petticoats and skirts.
Easy to cut (with good scissors) and join (we have found that you can open out a fold in one end, push the other end into the gap to create loops and hoops, then use adhesive tape to hold the two ends together). Staples might work too.