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.
This type of boning is used both for corsetry and other foundation garments such as crinolines and farthingales. It is flexible in one direction only and is made from plastic coated spring steel.
It is an economic and convenient way of boning corsets but you do have to be prepared to cut and finish the boning which takes a little time and effort.
The various widths available are sometimes used in combination in a single corset providing varying degrees of support.
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 waythrough the fabric of your corset. We normally round the ends using a grinder or file (dowear 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 heardof PVA and latex being used as an alternative.
We now stock some easy to use metal clips to join the ends of the steel when making hooped petticoats.
Many people find it more convenient to use the pre-finished steel bones.
This boning can be dry cleaned.
Finished steel bones are availablein several widths and finishes andare now standard in most corsetry with the 7mm width being the most popular. The 13mm size isused where more support isrequired and the rigid bones used in tight lacing corsetry and as a method of reinforcing behind a busk.
Comfortable, easy to use and made of high quality plastic coated spring steel.
Buy boning that is approximately 1 inch shorter than the length of the placement point or seam on your pattern.
Both the continuous steel and the pre-finished boning needs a channel in the corset to holdit 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 liningas 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 theunderside of the corset through all layers giving a strong finish and covering up any raw edges.
After the bones have been inserted he channels need to be sewn over top and bottom to secure.
Steel bones are often used in combination with spiral wires.
These bones can be dry cleaned.
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 seam sand 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.
It requires some strength to cut and the tips can be tricky to fix but great if you are making several corsets or are unsure which lengths of bone you will need.
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 driedtoo slowly. The trick to washing corsets with spiral wires is to wash gently in warm soapywater 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.
We spray all of our corsets inside and out with a fabric protector which means they need washing less frequently and extends the life of the garment.
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.
Washable and dry cleanable.
Easily cut with a pair of scissors and economical to use.
Can be stitched through using a sewing machine and an appropriate needle.
Why not mail us for a sample?
Available in three widths and sold by the metre this is a lighter weight,economic and practical alternative to steel boning.
Can be used for corsetry and hooped petticoats etc.
Provides good support and is great for historical corsets that require a lot of boning.
Can be cut to required length and ends rounded with hefty scissors. If you are cutting a lotof this the Dremel type tools come in very handy.
This type of boning should be pushing into a channel or casing, we don’t recommend that you sew through.
Washable and dry cleanable, available in white only.
Flexible plastic boning formed from three folds, producing a strong durable, flexible and very light alternative to continuous steel. Can be used for making:-
Bustles, Crinoline Cages, Tornures, Panniers, petticoats, Cuppolas, Hip Buckets.
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.
Washable and dry cleanable.
The classic lightweight boning used in bodices and for crafts etc.
Although not suitable for corsetry this is a great product for using in bridesmaids dresses and for any other garment requiring structure but not support.
Easily cut with scissors and sewn into garments.
Available in 2 widths by the metre.
Washable and dry cleanable.
An article by Vena Cava Designs I found quite informative, both form a sewing point of view, and for anyone buying a corset and unsure of what the different bonings are going to be like.