The heat shrink lace tipping is a 3/32″ diameter tipping that you “roll” the ends of your lacing through. Then by applying heat to the tipping it shrinks around the end of the lacing forming a tight bond. We have found a lighter or candle works great for this purpose. If you are using the poly lacing supplied at Corsetmaking.com, the trick is to heat to the point that the lace will actually begin to bond with the tipping forming a permanent seal. Neat stuff!!
Caution: Be sure to keep your heat source far enough from the tipping that you don’t discolor it… especially the clear tipping that can easily discolor if flame is too close.
If you work with continuous Flat Lacing from a spool, or if you want to shorten your existing laces, you will want to tip your laces for the ease of lacing and to keep the ends looking more professional and tidy. Lace Tipping is easy to use and inexpensive. (Round Lacing doesn’t compress, so it won’t fit into the Tubing.)
Cut your tips, about 3/4″ long. You can fold the lacing in half and roll it back and forth between your fingers to squeeze it tight and small. Push the lace into the tubular casing while you twist it in the opposite direction around the lace.
Once the lacing is through the lace tipping, trim off any frayed ends and leave a small amount of lacing exposed, about 1/8″ or a smidge less. (If you are using 100% cotton lacing there is no need to leave any lace sticking out of the tube, it will burn not melt.)
You can use a candle or a lighter to shrink the tip. If you are using a lighter you have a higher chance of burning yourself, you need to keep the flame going for a few minutes, be careful. When using the clear tubing on white or ivory laces, hold the tubing farther away from the flame to avoid discoloring the tubing.
Place the tip over the flame about two inches away. You don’t want to melt it too quickly, or burn it. Twist it slowly so that it melts all around. Gradually move it closer to the flame if it isn’t shrinking/melting. The small amount of exposed lace at the end will melt into a ball and help secure the tubing onto the lace.
The tip will be hot so be careful. If it starts to curve you can place it on a flat surface and roll it back and forth so it cools and dries more straight.
*Yes, there are different ways to get the lacing into the tip. You can put a couple stitches in the end and put the needle through the opening, then gently pull the lacing through, being careful not to break the thread. You can use a pin to push the lacing through. I’ve tipped a huge number of laces and the method I showed above is the quickest/easiest for me. There are also different techniques for using heat to shrink the lace tipping. Again, this is the best and quickest way we’ve found. Not to mention the least likely to cause a burn on our much needed fingertips.
~Happy Corseting, Amy Delicious