Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

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ms_maven
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Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby ms_maven » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:21 pm

Hello!

This is my first post here-- I've stumbled upon this bulletin board when trying to find information about boning.

I really don't want to purchase boning on the internet for a few different reasons, 1) I'm very tactile in my creating and purchasing process...If I don't like it or think it will work, I won't get it. 2) I'm uber worried I'll buy the wrong type of boning (silly, I know, since there's all of 6 types of boning [widely sold] on the internet) and be stuck with something I can't (or won't, see #1) use. 3) I'm an instant gratification kinda person-- I want to do this asap and truth be told, 4) I am under a bit of a time contstraint.

I've heard tale of using cable ties from hardware stores, but they're expensive for the amount/size I'd buy and I don't think they'd have the 'staying power' I'm looking for to keep me at attention all weekend. (I dress in charachter at the MN Renaissance Festival) I've used the custom corset maker from one Elizabethan Corsetry Website, but am desparately trying to get some sort of steel boning to make it all happen...

Does anyone know either: a) what to ask for in a hardware speak that equates to what I need in corsetry speak... (I said steel boning to one worker at Menards and his eyes nearly bugged out of his graying little head) b) if there are any stores in MN that offer corsetry supplies (specifically boning), or c) if I'm just better off going the internet route (and if so-- which shops have quick *cheap* shipping, best results, etc)?

I really appreciate any and all input... :) thanks!
ms_maven
Erin
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby Erin » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:39 pm

Can't help you with the instant gratification part, no hardware store that I know of is going to carry steel boning. You're better off searching for independent sewing shops that cater to reenactors. I know of a couple in Pennsylvania, but I'm afraid they woudn't be close enough to you. I've ordered boning online from Farthingale's LA and been very satisfied with both their customer service and shipping speed. Most of the places you can get boning online will have good customer service, and if you call and describe what you're looking for will be happy to make recommendations, and take returns if it's not what you were hoping.

I know it's not what you were hoping to hear, and I completely understand. I flat out refuse to buy anything online unless I've touched it in person. I never buy a fabric I haven't touched and played with. Unfortunately, though, demand for the stuff we like to use for boning isn't that great on the grand scene, and it limits where we can get it.
:fence:
Heather
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby Heather » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:47 pm

You just won't find what you need in a hardware store, I'm sorry to say. Steel boning is only sold by specialty costume suppliers. And those usually do not do enough business on a local level to justify the expense of managing a store. You could try contacting sewing supply stores in the nearest major city to you. But the cost of driving a long distance isn't worth it, if you ask me. The next thing would be to contact people with the Renaissance Faire and see if there are vendors there that sell the boning.

You really can't go too wrong with your boning, even buying it online. For Victorian garments, you want the stuff that is 1/4" wide, and not too thick. Some suppliers carry different weights of the 1/4", in which case, I would go with the thinnest they offer. If you get boning that is too stiff, it will not conform to your body as it should. In the 1/4" size, there are two varieties, white spring steel and spiral steel. The spiral looks like a flattened coil, which can get confusing with the spring steel, which is flat and covered with white stuff. Most of the time, the flat white spring steel is what you want. But if you need to have a twist or sideways curve to your boning, then the spiral with get around the curves. So, places like the curved back seam on a bodice need the spiral boning. Typically, all other seams can use the flat white.

That's really all there is to it. Whatever you don't use in one project, you can always use in the next one, so there is no reason to fear the purchase. It is best to purchase pre-cut sizes, so you won't have to struggle with cutting and tipping yourself. Since you need boning for all Victorian bodices, I like to purchase a dozen or so in several sizes, as a stash I can work from.
ms_maven
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby ms_maven » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:21 pm

wonderful insight! thanks so much for the help! :) I'll just bite the bullet and order online-- good to know some of my fears are shared-- and how to get around some simple issues.

cheers!
ms_maven
Bookwyrm
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby Bookwyrm » Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:27 am

Chances are slim to unlikely, but if you have any stores in the area that would cater to basketweavers or cane chair restorers, you could be in business. Steel was actually not a common boning substance during the Renaissance (the spring steel alloy we use today had not been invented, to my knowledge). Whalebone and cane were common, and one of those is still easy to obtain today.

Now, cane takes a certain amount of preparation - you generally want to soak it and then probably sand at least the ends and possibly the whole length, but it's lighter and more breathable than steel, which can be nice. I b'lieve Festive Attyre and Bridges on the Body have some very good information about cane in corsets.
Sarah F
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby Sarah F » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:08 pm

Ooh! Another person in Minnesota! Do you live in the Twin Cities area? There are two groups, the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of the Victorian society and the Living History Society of Minnesota, who do Victorian events. Let me know if you are interested.

There are no stores in Minnesota that sell corset supplies. You will have to order them online. Farthingales is a good one.

I hope to get to meet you sometime!

Sincerely,
Sarah
"Why is it that everyone here is someone else's eccentric relative?"
Yuusui
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Re: Boning supplies in MN? Hardware store?

Postby Yuusui » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:17 am

Years ago I used to buy boning from a medical prosthetic house on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. They also made medical corsets so they had a handy supply of boning. I have no idea if they are still around, but I am sure there are other places around town. Check the yellow pages for prosthetics and give them a call.

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