If you buy continuous rolls of spiral steel you’ll need to tip the boning that you’ve cut so that it slides smoothly into your casing and it doesn’t harm the fabric with sharp edges. These tips also work great on Hoop Boning, making the hoops slide into the long channels without catching on threads or seam allowances.
The best way to keep your tips from falling off is to crimp the tips before they are on the boning. (Wait, what? I’ve been trying to crimp them while on the boning for ages, and they always fall off… )
It’s easy to do with needle nose pliers. Start by crimping each of the sides partially closed. If you squeeze too much, use a flat head screwdriver to wedge it open a bit. (You probably have that screwdriver handy to change needles in your sewing machine.)
Next, squeeze the two sides together. I always squeeze them, and then test them for fit. If they are closed a “smidge” smaller than the width of the boning it may be more difficult to get onto the boning, but will stay on nice and tight. You can always use the pliers in the opposite manner and pry the sides out a bit. Put the closed pliers in the gap and pull open.
When you put the tip onto the end of the boning it should be tight. Work from one side to the other and cram it on. You can crimp it more after it’s on, but if it’s tight you won’t need to. Lay the piece of boning onto the outside of your corset over the channel it will go into before inserting. It’s easier to adjust the boning now, than try to pull it back out with the tip still on.
You can also use bone tipping fluid on your cut boning ends. You will need to dip the ends and balance them on something so they don’t stick to your work surface. Wait till they dry, and do it again to get a thorough coating.
~Happy Corseting, Amy