Boning - Types and Sewing Tips
helps a garment maintain its shape and stay wrinkle-free.
While it is most often used in a corset, bustier, swimsuit or
strapless gown, it can also be used strategically in other
garments. Use boning to stand up a collar, keep
folds or pleats in place, and keep necklines from sagging.
Types of Boning
boning: nylon-coated spring steel, ½" or ¼" wide.
It is very rigid and strong, and can be bent in one direction
to make a curve. It can also twist or buckle. This
is perfect for corsets or costumes, and should only be
dry-cleaned. When cut, this it needs to have tips to
prevent it from poking through casing and other fabric.
boning: durable and flexible plastic, ½" or ¼"
wide. It is made for flexible support, and prevents
rolling of fabric on garments. It cannot be sewn in a
curve, and would not work for a "waist-reducing" corset. This
is perfect for costumes or garments that require very light
support, and can withstand machine or hand-washing. When cut,
this boning does not require tips.
boning: lightweight and flexible plastic, 1/2" wide. It
is able to flex around the curve of a supportive garment meant to
fit the torso. Flexible enough to wear with
comfort, flexicurve can be used for a corset, bustier, or
tips: U-shaped tips that cover the cut ends of
continuous boning. They come in ½" or ¼" to match your the
size of your boning.
It is important to always make a casing for your boning.
Here are steps for creating simple casings:
- Measure the area where you want the boning, and cut your boning
around 1/2" shorter. This will prevent it from putting stress
on the sewn edges and keep it from eventually peeking through.
- Cut a strip of fabric that is one inch longer and one inch
wider than the boning.
- Fold the long sides of the casing under ¼" and press; do the
same with the bottom, but fold ½".
- Pin the casing to the inside of the garment, positioning the
top edge of the casing ½" higher than you want it when it is
- Start ½" from the top of the casing, and hand sew the sides of
the casing to the side seam of the garment. Use small
- Slide the boning into the casing.
- Fold the top edge of the casing over and sew closed.
Using Boning in Everyday Clothing
Plastic or featherlite boning can be used for more than just
shaping clothing. It can be sewn in any direction needed to keep
your garment in place. Here are some ways you can use boning to
make your everyday clothes more comforable and fit better.
- Sew it along the hips of a tight pencil skirt to keep it
from riding up. It will prevent the fabric from folding and
wrinkling as you move.
- Add boning to the top of a wide neckline to keep it from
- Sew it horizontally into the dart of a bustline to keep it in
- Sew a few pieces of boning into a high waisband to keep it
from riding up or wrinkling.
For picture tutorials and more how-to's, check out the Craftster.org forum!
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