|vogue fabrics store|
|vogue fabrics store|
There are a few things to remember when working with plastic boning of any kind. The first is that it comes on tightly coiled rolls. Even when unrolled, the nature of plastic boning means that even after you cut the pieces the curve will still be there. There are a few ways to counteract this. Most patterns will recommend that you just ‘switch the curve’ on each bone as you sew. This means sewing one bone with the curl of the boning curving in toward your body and the next bone with the curl curving out. This generally works best if the bones are placed right next to each other. Another good method is to cut one or two yard pieces and place the ends under heavy furniture for a few days. I like to cut pieces the width of my bed and place them under the wooden 2x4x24” blocks that I have under the footboard to make my bed level. The weight of the furniture will keep the boning straight and it will ‘learn’ not to curve. This can be coaxed in stubborn boning by carefully heating the stretched boning with a hairdryer. The heating and cooling process helps the boning to mold straighter. You can also iron plastic boning on low heat until it is straight. This can be a delicate process, though, because leaving the heat on too long can cause the boning to curl back toward the iron, and too high of a heat can melt the boning. This is particularly dangerous with horsehair braid and feather boning because the plastic filaments in them are so thin.
When I need to use plastic boning, I place it in a sink of very hot water for a few minutes. then place it on a flat surface with a book on top of it until it's cooled to straighten it out....if you need to put a curve into one area (like over the bust), then I reheat just that section after I've flattened it and tape the rewarmed section over an appropriately sized can's side until it cools and holds, carefully ironing. I double-bone and overlay them, so the one going THIS way has another one going THAT way atop of it. That way they sort of cancel each other out in terms of bending, and become nice and straight.
|vogue fabrics store|
Metal boning in the United States is mainly bought by mail order. Corsetry supply sites sell in one or half inch increments. Some shops from Canada and Europe sell by millimeter increments. Some have bulk prices for bones bought by the dozen or gross. Others have longer or shorter bones. Prices vary greatly as well, so shop around. You need to know how many pieces and what lengths you need before you order. The best idea is to make the corset base first, then measure the channels and order the boning. This takes time but ensures you get exactly what you need without spending too much money.
You can also buy spring and spiral steel in spools. The spools can be cut to any length you want. You snip the wires with wire cutters or tin snips and cover the cut ends with special u-tips crimped on with pliers. The tips can be bought by the dozen or the gross wherever you buy the spool of boning. An alternative to the u-tips is to dip the ends in a plastic compound for extra blunting. There are a few compounds you can use. The most common is Tool Dip. This is found in the hardware section of the store. It’s a plastic/rubbery liquid used to restore the handles of screwdrivers, hammers, and other handgrips. Be sure to use it outside and wear a mask, the stuff is powerful. Just dip the end of the boning in the compound, shake off the extra, and hold it out for a few minutes. I try to do it around a box where I can put a weight on one end, leaving the other hanging off the edge of the box. If you do this just be sure to turn them over the first five minutes, or the dip will coalesce on one side. Non-toxic alternatives are layers of acrylic paint, which you would apply just as the tool dip. I’ve also heard of people using duct tape, masking tape, or medical tape in a pinch. This wouldn’t be good for a long-term corset, I would think, and especially not one that will be washed, but for one or two uses it’d be fine.
If buying boning in pre-cut lengths doesn’t seem like your thing, there are plenty of cheap alternatives available. For most of them you will have to put in some time cutting, sanding, or coating to get a good product, but if you’re on a tight budget or time crimp these may be worth it.
Study plastic boning can also be found in the lumber section. That’s right, where they keep the wood. Go look around a bit under the racks. Stores use long strips of plastic or metal to hold the groups of logs together on the trucks. When it gets to the store, they cut it off and throw it away or leave it under the racks to throw away later. If you can’t find any, ask a clerk. They’ll usually give the stuff away, since it’s trash to them anyway. Make sure that the plastic is thick like a cable tie, not thin woven stuff. Treat the plastic variety just like the cable ties or ABS. The metal variety is workable; you’ll just need a few tools. Wipe the metal with a clean cloth to get off anything gross that’s left over from the trip, and then cut to length with tin snips. Use a dremel tool or other sanding device with a sturdy bit, or a metal file, to sand off the corners into something somewhat round. Lay them flat and spray paint with enamel paint, or brush on regular enamel or acrylic paint. Turn over and repeat, and do a few coats.
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