Author Topic: Hem stiffening  (Read 2791 times)

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Offline gem

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Hem stiffening
« on: January 28, 2011, 02:35:48 PM »
I want to stiffen the hem of my kirtle with something to give the gored skirts a little more oomph and fullness at the hem. What are my options? And more importantly, where do I get the stuff? I'm not lining the skirt and I don't want stitches or trim visible on the outside of the skirts, so I think I'm limited to something that's concealed within the actual hem itself. I've heard of using jute webbing (what is that and where does it come from?). Mundane skirts are often stiffened with horsehair braid; is this wide/stiff enough for period garb? I don't think I want to use rope (although I have plenty left from my corded petticoat); I think I want something flat.

Ideas?

Thanks!!

Offline LadyStitch

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 02:40:56 PM »
You can get horse hair braid up to 2 inches wide.  I have use buckram strips cut to the width of the hem to stiffen the bottom of dresses. I have never tried rope.
It is kind of strange watching your personal history become costume.

Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 02:41:56 PM »
Horsehair braid comes in lots of widths and stiffnesses.  You just have to find it...  You could try a good stiff Petersham.  Or two rows of the dreaded Rigeline, sewed to the bit you are going to turn up.

Offline Adriana Rose

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 03:16:55 PM »
Rigeline that is the plastic boning right? Sorry if I'm thread jacking.

Offline gem

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 03:32:38 PM »
Oh! I just did some Googling of horsehair braid, and it looks like *marvelous* stuff!!! I'd want the stiffer, 2" wide variety, right? Not the narrow Dritz stuff they have at Joann.

AR, I think Rigilene is the boning you can sew through. It looks like this:



I'm wondering if that would be too stiff? Although if you bought a big roll of it, it would already be conveniently curved...

FWIW, my fabric is a pretty heavy (tablecloth) cotton-blend damask.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 04:08:10 PM by gem »

Offline Adriana Rose

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 04:08:28 PM »
Would a heavier ducking work? I think it would give the umph you want without the lampshade effect that the rigeline might give.. Or at least thats what it looks like it might end up like in my head.

Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 10:35:59 PM »
Horse hair braid works wonders for light weight hems. I have a growing collection of the stuff that I take out of wedding gown hems because I do a rolled hem that works just as well.
"As with Art as in Life, nothing succeeds like excess.".....Oscar Wilde

Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 01:35:44 AM »
Rolled hems work brilliantly on lighter weight stuff, but for anything reasonably substantial, horsehair is the biz!  Rigeline comes in several widths/weights.  It's almost completely useless as either boning or hooping, but if you just need a little help along a hemline and cannot get horsehair of sufficient body, it's worth experimenting with in an emergency.

Yes, you can sew through it, AR.  It's tricky stuff to play with, and has sharp poky ends, but in this area that shouldn't be a problem.

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 03:24:35 AM »
I want to stiffen the hem of my kirtle with something to give the gored skirts a little more oomph and fullness at the hem. What are my options? And more importantly, where do I get the stuff? I'm not lining the skirt and I don't want stitches or trim visible on the outside of the skirts, so I think I'm limited to something that's concealed within the actual hem itself. I've heard of using jute webbing (what is that and where does it come from?). Mundane skirts are often stiffened with horsehair braid; is this wide/stiff enough for period garb? I don't think I want to use rope (although I have plenty left from my corded petticoat); I think I want something flat.


If you want a period approach, add one or two layers of felt (preferably wool felt) to the hem. You can use it as it is, or quilt it to make it even sturdier. You can conceal it by stitching a strip of the fancy fabric over it, on the inside, and fold the sides in. I've done that for three of my Renaissance skirts, and it just makes all the difference! The last I did was the maroon underskirt with golden embroidery - I think that looks the coolest with a stiffened hem:


More about that skirt here: http://operafantomet.livejournal.com/223583.html

I also used that method for my Florentine "Peacock" dress. That one was trickier, as it has a curved train, but I pieced various strips together, and it worked out well in the end. I also clipped the lower part, as seen in period examples, and it's a very cool detail.


For an underskirt for my folk costume, I used a contrasting green strip of fabric on the inside. Only a small bit of it can be seen on the outside. I also added piping to the clipped hem, which made it more stiff. The actual skirt is black:


I've written an article about stiffening the hem in a period manner. It should be updated, as I have a lot to add, but here you go:
http://aneafiles.webs.com/renaissancegallery/doppia.html

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 03:28:55 AM »
AR, I think Rigilene is the boning you can sew through. It looks like this:

http://www.mrechtonline.com.au/collab/data/photo/11249-b.jpg

I'm wondering if that would be too stiff? Although if you bought a big roll of it, it would already be conveniently curved...

FWIW, my fabric is a pretty heavy (tablecloth) cotton-blend damask.
I've used it for large netting underskirts with a cotton base. One would think it would be too stiff, but mostly it just curves in large loops, and the skirt is neither neat nor stiffened... It looks like a big 8 number from above. I think you'll have to add several rows for it to work - unless I did something wrong? But I've tried Rigilene for the hem twice, One with three rows an one with one row. And it was a disaster every time.

Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2011, 10:23:23 AM »
Rigiline is mainly used for Bodices of Wedding and Bridesmaids gowns. When I have to take in gowns in the bust area, I often have to peel back the stuff, take in the seam, then resew it all back. Which is why many seamstress hate working on Bridal.
"As with Art as in Life, nothing succeeds like excess.".....Oscar Wilde

Offline Cilean

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2011, 04:14:07 PM »

Add Horsehair to the bottom of your kirtle and it will give weight.

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Offline gem

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2011, 04:14:57 PM »
I am bumping this up to see if you gentlewomen have favorite online sources for nice, wide horsehair braid.

Gramercy!!

Offline LordPaulet

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2011, 05:45:04 PM »
www.lacis.com (search horsehair braid)
and
http://www.judithm.com/shop/?page=shop/browse&category_id=50645e69272ecc604c99ec266d8fe0fd

Lacis has standard black and white in many different widths.  Judith M has 3" and 6" in many colors (GREAT for ruffs).

Offline gem

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Re: Hem stiffening
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 07:10:46 AM »
So I ended up buying some 4" polyester header tape (for drapes) at Hancock's, because I just couldn't figure out what kind of horsehair braid I needed. They also carried Dritz horsehair braid in thinner widths (1" and 1/2"), and this stuff was identical, only wider. I'm not 100% sure about the stiffness, and it doesn't have the loops at the top to draw up the curved hem. I'm hoping I can get away without them!


 

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