Blog,  Sewing

Steel vs Plastic Boning

When constructing costumes I find that it is regularly requested that I insert light weight boning to the bodice. The boning is necessary as it gives the bodice that structure to give it a perfectly clean silhouette. Below I have put in two pictures of two different costumes, one has boning and the other does not. You can see in the photo on the left the bodice looks a little sloppy and the one on the right looks clean and professional (even though the one on the right has more issues than the one on the left).

Bodice with Boning = Clean and structured

Bodice without boning = slouchy

For years I have been working with the plastic boning that you can either purchase by the yard or in pre cut packages. I would curse and swear, get my iron as hot as I could just to straighten it out, and would be so disappointed by the end results at times. (Not always disappointed but I would say a good 6 out of 10 times.) However, it is a great way to start out on your adventure of boning a bodice but once you feel confident enough to venture in steel boning your life will be forever changed.

Plastic Boning Exposed
Plastic Boning

Spiral Steel Boning
Spiral Steel Boning

I have been using spiral steel boning for a project of mine and there are just so many great things that I could say about it. First of all it is extremely flexible to the fact that it molds to the body well.  It also provides fabulous support and structure to your garment. You can purchase this boning either by the yard in spools or with pre-cut pieces. I purchased this batch by the yard from here.

Now if you order the boning by the yard there is defiantly some assembly required. You will also need to remember to purchase the appropriate sized tips for the ends and the casing.


Boning Tips
Boning Tips

There are also few tools that you will need to cut and assemble you boning. A pair of vise grips to hold things in place, needle nose pliers for crimping, and channel lock cutters. I highly recommend purchasing your own cutters. I tried using a pair of my husband from the garage and it just didn’t work out to well.

Assembly is relatively easy but I do recommend purchasing a few more tips than you need because you will mess up a couple. Also watch this YouTube video for step by step instructions that I found supper helpful. Also I want to point out that I use my vise grips in place of the second pair of needle nose pliers that are discussed in the video.

I hope I have inspired you to take on a new material that will help you advance the look and feel of your next project.

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