Capping/Tipping Spiral Steel Boning

There’s lots of tutorials out there for cutting spiral steel boning, but many of them are rather vague when it comes to how to apply the caps. Most of them say to just press down on the tips with a pair of pliers. The problem is that when you press down, the sides of the tips flare out. When you press the sides, the top flares up. Neither result is very secure. Some people seem convinced that manufacturers use a special tool for applying the caps, and for that reason they completely avoided cutting the boning themselves and would instead buy it precut to size. Not true! You can apply them like the factory very easily with everyday tools. What you’ll need are a pair of ordinary pliers with a flat end (like these) and a pair of needlenose pliers.

After you cut your boning push on the cap, making sure the top is snug against the wire. Then take your flat pliers and hold the end of the wire so you are squeezing it from the sides. Make sure the tip of the wire sticks out slightly beyond the edge of the pliers so you’ll be able to reach it with the needlenose pliers. You’re using the flat pliers as a vice grip, but you want to make sure you only apply just enough pressure to hold the boning in place. If you squeeze too tightly you’ll probably flop the boning over. The caps are very thin and flexible so not much pressure is needed at all. I’m right handed so I held the pliers with my left hand.


Now take your needlenose pliers and pinch the top to crimp it. Keep pushing out the  tip of the boning and crimping the top so you get the entire cap pushed down on the wire. (Ordinarily I would hold the pliers with my left hand and crimp with my right, but I needed to use my left hand for taking the photo.)


Your boning cap will now be securely in place. In fact, the boning cap I applied is probably more flush to the wire than the factory-applied one!

Silk Organza for Spiral Steel Boning Casing?

Has anyone ever used strips of silk organza as a casing for spiral steel boning? If you have, how did it work out? Did you make the casing out of one layer or two? I’m working on a dress right now that can probably use some boning and I don’t have time to wait for formal boning casing to arrive in the mail. The section that will be boned is underlined with cotton flannel, so I’m probably going to catchstitch the casing to that.

Merckwaerdigh News

Merckwaerdigh sent out an email this morning with a couple of updates:

  • Her “official” web presence is now It mostly operates as a landing page and has links to her various shops as well as social media presences.
  • She will be shutting down her eBay store at the end of this year due to certain eBay policies. Until then she will be offering hefty discounts on a lot of items. (BTW don’t get put off by the Dutch listings – the actual item descriptions have English translations.)
  • After the eBay store closes she will continue sell kits, patterns, and lingerie notions through her Etsy shop. She will also continue selling through a site I never heard of before called Check out the DeWanda shop when you get a chance – there’s lots of gorgeous samples as well as the usual lingerie sewing supplies. Some vintage trinkets too, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • This wasn’t mentioned in this specific email, but she has a new bra pattern out for sizes 32-42D, 30-40E, and 28/38F.